5 Social Media Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Church

Social media is one of the best ways to reach new members and engage current members, especially younger ones.

However, social media mistakes could turn this highly effective tool against your church. The last thing you want is to drive people away.

Luckily, these common mistakes are easy to avoid. With a little planning, Facebook, Twitter and all the others could become your church’s online community.

1. Posting And Forgetting

The top reason people use social media is to stay in contact with friends. When members and potential members find your church on social media, they expect to experience some type of engagement. One of the worst social media mistakes you can make is to just post something and forget it.

Encourage members to interact with your social media channels. Set aside specific times to respond to comments and questions. In fact, 24.7% of people unfollow brands on social media because no one responds to their comments or questions.

2. Talking About Volatile Topics

Volatile topics, such as politics and personal opinions, aren’t exactly the right type of content for a church’s social media account. Your church should feel like a welcoming presence in a chaotic world and this includes your online presence. When something’s going on in the world that you don’t like, post relevant scripture or an encouraging word.

Despite the temptation to be vocal about sensitive subjects, hold back. It’s also a good idea to ensure anyone who manages your social media channels know your church’s stance on what’s appropriate and what’s not.

3. Doing Nothing But Preaching

Simply preaching at social media followers is one of the worst social media mistakes your church can make. Think of the types of pages you follow on Facebook. They post engaging content that makes you think, laugh or feel better. Getting too preachy may actually turn people away.

People don’t want to interact with social media channels that only tell them what they’re doing wrong in life. With so much bullying and judgement going on, they need an uplifting place that helps guide them in their faith. It’s sometimes a hard line to walk, but it makes all the difference between an effective social media strategy and one that hurts your church.

4. Skipping Any Type Of Strategy

Not having a strategy is probably the most common of all social media mistakes. This doesn’t just apply to churches either. Smart Insights provides a list of reasons why you need a strategy and why it applies to businesses, the advice still holds true for churches. Without a clear strategy, it’s difficult to truly engage anyone on social media.

Just think if a church pastor didn’t prepare for Sunday services at all. They didn’t have a sermon or purpose for that week. It would difficult for the pastor to guide members and odds are, members would likely start leaving for another more organized church.

Your church’s social media strategy should include things, such as:

  • Goals – engaging current members, reaching out to the unchurched, etc.
  • How often you’ll post and on which networks
  • What type of posts are appropriate
  • How to deal with negative feedback
  • What social media management tools to use
  • Who’ll manage the accounts and who has access to post
  • Social media etiquette for your church

A comprehensive strategy is vital to making social media work for your church.

5. Being Everywhere Or Nowhere

While you might want to reach everyone possible, it’s just not realistic to try to be on every social media network at once. At the same time, picking just one or none at all isn’t going to help your church either. Large churches are likely on numerous social media networks, but remember, they have dedicated social media teams to handle posting and responding.

For smaller churches, limit how many social networks you’re on, but strive for at least two. Take a poll at your church to see which networks are the most popular. At the time of writing, Facebook and YouTube are the top two social networks, with Instagram and Twitter coming in third and fourth.

Pick a couple to start with and adjust your strategy to meet that network’s audience. For instance, you might post three or four times a day on Facebook, but if you choose to use YouTube, you might only post once a week.

Want to avoid even more social media mistakes? Make sure you’ve got a church website to complement your social media strategy.

Church Leadership Is A Tough Gig

One of the most difficult leadership roles is a church leader. In fact, church leadership ranks as number five out of nine on Forbes for toughest leadership positions.

Of course, this doesn’t mean church leaders don’t love their jobs. Whether they’re being paid or they’re volunteering, being a leader in a church is fulfilling.

From the outside, it might not seem quite so hard, but it’s important to think about all the responsibilities and how different church leaders are from other types of leaders.

Leaders Aren’t Perfect

Most people don’t expect leaders to be absolutely perfect, but when it comes to church leaders, every action is scrutinized. It’s important for church members to remember that church leaders aren’t perfect. They’re sinners just like everyone else. However, they face the pressure to be perfect all the time. The best way to prevent this is to go ahead and talk about your flaws and mistakes. It makes you easier to relate to and shows members that it’s okay to make mistakes in life.

Leading By Example Is Your Only Option

In most cases, church leaders are leading people who aren’t getting paid. You’re working with volunteers who have the option to just quit without consequence if they don’t want to do the job. It’s up to church leaders to motivate and encourage members to volunteer and give their all. The only way to do this is to lead by example. Even when you don’t feel motivated yourself, it’s up to you to still find ways to motivate your members and volunteers.

Finding Enough Time Is Difficult

As with any leadership role, finding enough time to devote to all your various responsibilities is hard. Church leaders don’t just work on Sundays. You have to attend meetings throughout the week, visit members at hospitals and their homes, coordinate with volunteers and do work in the community. This is why it’s so important for leaders to not micromanage. By leading and guiding volunteers, you’re able to let them take on much of the extra work and avoid burning out.

Every Member Wants Something Different

It’d be great if all your church members were on the same page, but most of the time everyone wants something different. Members might disagree on music choices, preaching styles, volunteer opportunities, community events and more. It’s up to church leaders to try to find the perfect compromises. That alone is a seemingly impossible task. However, finding ways to engage members helps make compromising much easier. Remember that you can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t feel bad if some members aren’t satisfied.

Sometimes It’s A Thankless Job

It’s not that your church family isn’t thankful for all that you do. However, they might not always say it. In a job that’s as hard as church leadership, you need words of thanks and encouragement. After all, church leaders need motivation too. One of the best ways to feel like you’re appreciated is to show appreciation to your members and volunteers. Of course, it’s also important to look at all the positive ways you’re helping to change your community and your members’ lives.

Adapting To Changes Isn’t Easy

Most people aren’t thrilled with change, but it’s crucial for keeping a church growing and thriving. Church leaders are the ones who have to make the final choice about changes, such as building a digital presence or adding more modern elements to services. Long before you present changes to members, you have to adapt to them. It’s not easy to change the way you’ve always done things.

Remember that change is a good thing. When leadership is positive about change and is able to embrace it, it’s much easier for members to embrace change too. The result is a church that continues to adapt and bring in new members. While change might be hard, the benefits make it worth it.

Church leadership is hard, but there are ways to make your job easier. Contact Reach Right Studios today to learn how an online presence helps you connect better with current and future members.

Why People Leave The Church

When you notice people starting to leave the church, it’s worrisome. You may wonder what happened or if there was any way to prevent it.

First of all, it’s not always related to the church. Second, it is possible to prevent some church members from making the decision to leave.

The most important thing to do is to remember to listen to the needs of all your members. It’s that feeling of community that keeps a church growing and thriving.

They’ve Simply Burned Out

custom church website buttonIt’s far too common to have members leave the church due to burnout. These aren’t the members who just show up for services. These are your members who regularly volunteer, lead groups and help out any way they can. As with anything in life, too much of a good thing is sometimes bad. In fact, it could lead to serious burnout. The result is they leave to take a break. Even some pastors experience burnout, but not nearly as many as statistics lead you to believe.

Limiting how many areas a member is involved in and making sure to show appreciation are two ways to prevent this issue.

They’ve Went Through A Major Life Change

This is one might not be preventable. For instance, when church members get new jobs and have to move away. It’s a legitimate reason to leave the church, but that doesn’t mean they won’t start attending a new church soon. You may find married couples going through a divorce either both leave or one leaves to avoid seeing each other. In instances like this, there’s not much you can do, but for members grieving over a loss, take time out to talk to them and let them know they’re always welcome back whenever they feel like attending again.

They Didn’t Feel The Church Met Their Needs

Everyone attends church to meet specific needs. Spiritual guidance is an obvious need, but other needs might include a feeling of community, helping around their local area, meeting new friends and feeling appreciated for helping out. Sometimes this is the fault of the member and sometimes the church itself. For instance, if someone wants to volunteer, but always waits to be asked instead of coming forward, there isn’t much church leaders can do.

It’s a good idea to talk to members regularly to determine if needs are being met and if not, what problems might exist.

They Didn’t Feel Like A Part Of The Church Family

Have you noticed how more and more churches seem to be being built almost on top of each other? Part of that is due to this reason why people leave the church. No church is perfect and neither is the church family. Like any family, there are going to be those who don’t feel like they fit in. You may have members who constantly stir up drama or gossip about others. All of this leads to members who don’t feel like a part of the family anymore and go off in search of another church.

They Think Newer And Bigger Must Be Better

Along the same lines, when a new church comes into the area, the idea that newer or bigger is better may blind your members to what’s truly important – God’s word. When Andy Stanley stirred up controversy that bigger churches are better, many rightfully disagreed. Big or small doesn’t matter. It’s about the community within the church. The key is to continue to bring members closer together, talk with them and create a true family so members aren’t distracted by the latest and greatest.

They May Not Like New Changes

Music choices, decorations and even changes in leadership are all potential reason why people leave the church. This is a growing issue in churches that are trying to create a more modern worship service that appeals to members of all ages. It’s important to discuss changes with your members before implementing them. Through discussion, you may be able to find compromises that keep more members in the church.grow your church button

They Just Want To Worship, Not Watch A Production

It seems to be a common myth that churches need loud music, a light show, big screens and more to get members’ attention. While that does get attention, it also distracts. Members come to church to learn more about their faith. Investing in a good sound system for a larger church is a good idea, but you don’t need speakers that have color-changing lights. Moderation is key here. Simple and elegant is sometimes better. Talk with your members to see if things are going overboard or if there are some changes you can make to have a more engaging service.

Want an easy way to connect with your members, even when they’re not in church? See how valuable a church website is to helping you build your church.

What Teen Ministry Attenders Wish Their Parents Knew

It’s not uncommon for parents to rely on teen ministry groups to take care of their teen’s spiritual needs.

What parents may not realize is that their teens need their parents more now than ever. In fact, most teens talk about issues that they wish their parents knew more about.

While teen ministry groups feel like a safe place, they’d love to share more with their parents. Most importantly, they want their parents to understand them.

It’s Okay To Be Involved

A common misunderstanding about teens is they don’t want their parents involved in their lives. Yes, teens tend to be more secretive, but it’s up to the parents to take interest in what their teen is doing. Believe it or not, teen ministry members wish their parents were more involved in their lives and interests. While you don’t need to hover, you should make a point of being involved, talking to them and learning about what they like and don’t like.

Understand How Things Are Different

Every new generation of teens experiences different issues than their parents. For instance, today’s teens deal with cyberbullying, whereas their parents never had to worry about that. Self-esteem issues and depression are common problems teen ministry members face. Teens want their parents to understand the struggles they face today, such as the pressure to be involved in school, church and even hold down a job while still being social with friends.

Even if parents can’t relate exactly, teens want their parents to listen without judgment. It’s one of the reasons teens open up more in ministry groups. They feel safer, but they still want their parents to better understand them.

Give Space, But Enforce Boundaries

Yes, teens do need space to explore their world, but what they wish their parents knew is that they still need boundaries. It’s not enough to just rely on teen ministry groups to teach teens right and wrong. Teens wish that parents would talk to them, ask questions and enforce boundaries. Having consequences helps teens stay on the right path.

All teens act out at some point, even those that seem 100% perfect. Teens just want their parents to give them space to make mistakes, but help them avoid making major mistakes. Instead of just getting angry, it’s important to talk things out, much like teen ministry leaders do.

Spiritual Guidance Goes Beyond Teen Ministry

Usually, teens attend a ministry group an hour or two a week. However, spiritual guidance doesn’t stop with church. Teens wish their parents knew how badly they need guidance throughout the week too. Whether it’s a question about their faith or how to best deal with someone who’s treating them badly, they need parents to guide them.

The old saying that it takes a village to raise a child is true. Spiritual development goes beyond church and teen ministry groups. Teens look to their parents for guidance and as influences. For instance, if you want your teens involved more in the church, get involved too.

They Interact At Church Differently But Still Believe

It’s easy for parents to just assume their teens don’t truly believe just because they interact differently. For instance, a busy teen might need Sunday to wind down after a particularly stressful week at school. Instead of going to church, they listen to a religious podcast online.

Teen ministry members wish their parents knew that their faith is strong, even if they worship differently. They’re more likely to interact online, such as reading church blog posts, listening to sermons online and even talking to their fellow ministry members in special forums or on social networks.

Today’s teens may not worship the same as their parents or grandparents, but they still believe. Their worship style does involve more technology and modern music because that’s what they relate to and they wish their parents understood that.

Want to make your church more teen friendly? Start with a church website to help teens, parents and other members connect in a digital era.

 

Build Your Church For The Unchurched

When you want to reach the unchurched, you have to do more than just have a program to bring in the unchurched.

Instead, you must build your church for the unchurched. This involves everything from the actual church itself to the mindset of your members.

The entire purpose is to seamlessly integrate the unchurched into your church family. From the moment they walk in, your church will feel like home to them.

Build Passion With Your Members

custom church website buttonDid you realize that almost 70% of first-time guests come to your church because they were invited by a member? If your members aren’t passionate about the church, why would they invite someone else? The idea is to find ways to better engage your current members so they’re more likely to want to bring along friends and relatives.

Many members never invite anyone because they don’t feel like services and events are engaging enough. Build passion within your church and you’ll reach more of the unchurched.

Speak About What Brings People Together

It’s tempting to try and bring everyone together via theology, but it might not be the most effective way to build your church for the unchurched. Part of the reason people join a church is for the sense of community and understanding. Reach both your members and the unchurched by focusing on things that people have in common.

Pastor Andy Stanley from North Point Community Church says that people “are on a happiness quest.” Make services more engaging and relatable by focusing on common fears, challenges, joys and more. This creates a happier experience that will make the unchurched feel more like part of the church family.

Create A Culture Than Embraces Differences

Everyone has their own opinions, but to build a church for the unchurched, you must create a culture within your church that embraces differences. For instance, you might use a wide variety of music to appeal to all ages. You might have different worship groups that talk about the challenges that different ages or types of people (singles vs. families for instance) face.

The more diverse your church is, the more welcoming it is to the unchurched.

Get Involved Outside The Church

The unchurched are more likely to get involved with your church when opportunities exist outside the church walls. In fact, in one survey, 47% of the unchurched said they were likely to attend a church event that involved neighborhood safety, while 43% said they’d be likely to attend a church sponsored community service event.

Building your church for the unchurched means you’ll have to step outside of the church sometimes. This is a way to introduce yourself and your members to those who may be looking for a new church. It also shows the unchurched that you care about the community.

Set A Time To Answer Questions From The Unchurched

Sometimes it’s assumed that the unchurched already understand everything, from basic beliefs to how your church works. Never assume anything. In fact, let the unchurched know that you’re available to talk to them. Church leaders or even member volunteers can set aside time each week and online (if you have an online presence) to get their questions answered. This shows that the church is invested in their needs and that the church is welcoming home for them.

Create A New Visitor Welcome Plan

When the unchurched walk in, is it obvious where they should go? Are church hours clearly posted? What about any worship groups or special events? It’s overwhelming sometimes for the unchurched to walk in. Have a few members ready to greet new visitors and help guide them. It’s also a good idea to place information on your website to help the unchurched learn more about your church before they visit.grow your church button

Ensure Your Church Is Modern And Welcoming

Finally, it might be time for a church renovation. For instance, if the carpet is still a bland yellow or green from the 60s, it might be too outdated for the unchurched. Consider adding a little padding to pews, updating the carpet, repainting the walls, adding navigational elements (such as signs) and anything else that helps to modernize your church.

Remember, you don’t have to go big. The idea is to just create a more modern, welcoming atmosphere. Think about if your new in-laws were visiting your home, you’d want everything to look perfect. The same goes with building your church for the unchurched.

Want to help the unchurched learn more about you before their first visit? Find out how a church website provides a welcome mat online.

How To Engage The Youth Of Today

When you look around at your church, how many younger members come every week? It’s important to learn how to engage the youth of today so you have regular members in the future.

Churches often struggle to connect with kids and teens. It’s kind of like trying to be the cool parent but still not fully understanding what these younger members truly need from you.

You don’t have to give up on them. They still need guidance from church leaders and members. It’s just learning the right ways to engage them.

Problems Connecting With Younger Members

custom church website buttonOne of the biggest problems pastors and adult members have when trying to engage the youth of today is trying to make church cool. It’s no big surprise that church isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. In fact, up to half of kids and teens that are part of youth groups growing up don’t stick with their faith as they move on to college.

Your younger members do enjoy a more upbeat worship style, but the focus still needs to be on God and the reasons why a Christian lifestyle is important. Most importantly, it needs to feel like a real conversation with the youth of today instead of just trying to sound like you’re one of them.

Focus On Engaging Storytelling

God’s word isn’t always the easiest to understand. Plus, as it’s written, it doesn’t exactly connect with the youth of today. One thing that does engage them is storytelling. In a world where everyone is constantly sharing their stories on social media, younger members relate more to that method of teaching. When trying to get a point across, use a storytelling approach and don’t forget to involve them in the process as much as possible.

Invest Time In Them

Outside of youth groups, many younger members don’t feel noticed. They may feel like they’re just supposed to blend in, which goes against everything they know. In fact, feeling disconnected from church members is one of the top reasons teens leave the church. It’s important for church leaders and adult church members to make time to talk to them, answer questions, listen to their ideas and more. The easiest way to engage the youth of today is to make them feel like a valued part of the church family.

Give Them A Chance To Get Involved

As with every generation, the youth of today get antsy when they just have to sit and listen. They don’t feel like there’s any point in them being there. Give them the opportunity to help make a difference in their community and in the church. Let older teens lead volunteer projects with younger members. Listen to their concerns and try to get involved in areas that matter to them. This gives them a chance to practice what they’ve been taught, which provides a stronger connection to their faith.

Offer Chances For Them To Talk Freely

grow your church buttonNo one likes feeling judged and younger members are more sensitive to judgment than your adult members. Engage the youth of today by offering them a place to talk freely. When they’re facing difficult choices in their lives, discuss it with them instead of just telling them what to do.

It’s a good idea to make time during youth group to talk freely with each other. This ensures your young members don’t feel alone and they’ll actually come to youth leaders when they do have a problem. This helps build the sense of community and family that young members want as they transition into adults.

Get Involved On Their Level

Finally, it’s important to remember that to engage the youth of today, you have to get involved on their level. Today’s youth are digital natives. Most of them have had smartphones in their hands since elementary school. On the other hand, many of your adult members are still trying to figure out theirs.

If your church seems outdated, it’s not going to be very engaging. Instead, get your younger members together to help provide tips or even manage social media and your website. Text them to remind them of upcoming events, post messages related to current events to social media, add in some fun Christian humor for them share and even create an online message board for them to interact online.

Ready to engage the youth of today? Start with a website that’s filled with great content for them to interact with and share.

7 Tips To Increase Engagement To Improve Church Attendance

Church leaders are always looking for ways to improve church attendance. Most of the time, it all comes down to finding ways to increase engagement.

Even the most devout members may not want to attend if they feel bored or seem to have no purpose within the church.

This doesn’t mean you have to give up. This means your members need you more now than ever. They need church leaders to engage them and make church something to look forward to every week.

1. Ask What Members Enjoy/Want Most

While 40% of Americans say they attend church weekly, the real number is closer to 20%, at least according to one study. No matter what your numbers are, your members are your greatest asset when it comes to improving engagement and attendance.

You don’t have to be a mind reader or look to other churches to get ideas. Instead, talk with your members to see what they enjoy or look forward to the most. Also, ask them what they want from church. Perhaps you’re starting to get a majority of younger members and they prefer modern Christian music versus traditional hymns. Learn from your church family in order to give them the best worship service possible.

custom church website button2. Create More Ways To Get Involved

One of the most common reasons people give for not attending church regularly is they’re too busy. By the time Sunday rolls around, they just want to relax instead of sitting and listening to someone talk. Improve church attendance by creating more ways for members to be involved. A more active approach creates more of a social community that everyone enjoys.

Create more volunteer opportunities, have trivia at the end of each sermon (suddenly, everyone will be listening), have study groups that mix up each week (mix up members and leaders) and anything else you can think of. Involvement is engaging.

3. Talk With Members Versus At Them

People are talked at enough by their bosses at work. When they feel like they’re just a nameless face in a crowd being talked or preached at, they’re not going to want to attend regularly. This is one area where small churches can truly shine. As you get to know your members, you’re able to add in messages that truly speak to them.

Make eye contact, bring up a funny anecdote that happened between you and a member, have members ask questions and ask them about their thoughts on a topic. It’ll feel more like a conversation than a sermon.

4. Build Excitement Throughout The Week

No one can deny that a long week of working eight hours a day, commuting for an hour or more each day, going to kids’ sporting events and helping kids with their homework wears people out. This is why you have to build excitement during the week. Think of it like the latest Apple product release. There’s this massive build-up as the release date gets closer and it makes everyone feel like they have to have whatever it is.

Improve church attendance by doing the same thing. Put up teasers about your upcoming sermon, post inspiration messages on social media and put riddles on your blog related to the coming weekend’s message. The idea is to get members eager to hear what you have to say.

grow your church button5. Add In A Little Humor

Church isn’t mean to be entertaining. It’s actually quite serious, but it’s even easier to get your point across with a little humor thrown in. For instance, listen to how Ken Davis uses funny stories to teach God’s word. While listeners are laughing, they’re also learning. It’s an engaging way to preach and makes church more entertaining. If comedy doesn’t come easily, let members volunteer to tell family friendly funny stories themselves. After all, everyone has that one story to share.

6. Tie In Sermons To Real Issues

If you truly want to engage members, tackle real issues with your sermons. Don’t just talk about a few verses. Instead, tie those verses into something that’s currently going on. When a sermon is relevant to what members are dealing with, they’ll pay more attention. They’ll also come back more because they feel like church leaders truly understand them and their needs.

7. Use Sermons To Motivate And Call Members To Action

Finally, use sermons to motivate and get members to take action. Inspire members to do something kind for a neighbor this week or explain how even that first little step could change someone’s life forever. Members want to feel uplifted and find direction in their lives. Weekly sermons can do just that. While it might be the hardest thing on this list, it could be exactly what you need to improve church attendance.

Looking for ways to engage members all week long? Contact us today to find out how our team can help you reach members online.

How To Encourage Millennials To Be Active In Your Congregation

Getting millennials into your church is only half the battle. The second part is trying to encourage millennials to be active members.

You may find that they attend services, but rarely volunteer or become a part of smaller worship groups. This doesn’t mean they’re not interested, though.

The key is learning what millennials want and how to appeal to their interests. When you do that, you’ll have active Millennials in your church.

Find Things They’re Interested In

Honestly, this applies to all generations. Think about school for a moment. You were probably far more active in classes you were interested in. The same goes with church programs. Send out a survey either within the church, on your website or on social media. Ask millennials what their interests are and what types of things they’d be most interested in helping with.

Offer Opportunities That Make A Difference In The Community

If you want to encourage millennials to be active, offer them opportunities that matter to their community. Millennials want to make a positive difference and that means going out and doing things in the community versus just asking people to come to the church. Ask about causes close to their hearts and find ways to get the church involved. When millennials feel like they’re making a difference, they’re far more likely to not only be active, but stay active.grow your church button

Give Them The Chance To Lead

Millennials don’t just want to be part of a team. They also want the opportunity to lead sometimes. For instance, if you’re starting a church Facebook page, it might be beneficial to ask a millennial to head up the social media team. If they have a cause that’s important to them, let them lead a team of volunteers. This shows millennials that you see them as equals and not too young or inexperienced. Plus, it gives church leaders a great opportunity to mentor these growing leaders.

Get More High Tech

While millennials aren’t interested a flashy environment, they do want some tech tie-ins. For instance, offer the opportunity to use Bible apps, have an active social media page and upload content regularly to your blog. You can even offer digital tithing to encourage more active tithing among millennials. Mixing some of the things Millennials love into your church shows them they’re more welcome and encourages them to be more active.

Consider asking your members what types of tech they want to incorporate. After all, if the majority of your members are on Facebook versus Twitter, it’s best to skip Twitter and use Facebook instead.

custom church website buttonAdd Millennial Church Leaders

One of the best ways to encourage millennials to be active is to have millennial church leaders. It’s easier for millennial to relate to leaders from their generation. These leaders also know what’s important to their fellow millennials and can encourage them better than older leaders can. While you don’t have to replace your current leadership with millennials, adding one or two is a good idea. Another option is to create smaller groups with millennial leaders.

Make Communication Easy

Finally, millennials want a church that communicates well. They want to feel like part of a family versus being preached to on Sunday. They want communication throughout the week. This is a generation that craves immediate satisfaction. Their faith is no different. When they’re struggling, they want to know they can talk to other members in their church family. Having more contact with members and leaders during the week keeps Millennials not only interested, but makes them more likely to be active.

When it comes to being more active, make it easy for millennials to check out the latest programs, leadership opportunities, and volunteer opportunities. Social media and forums on your church’s website both work well for millennials. You could also have a text or SMS tree to get the word out.

Ready to start encouraging millennials today? Start with a church website to stay in contact with millennials all week long.

6 Ways You Can Grow Your Church This Year

Would you like to see more members in your church each week? Maybe you want to have a bigger variety of ages. If growth has plateaued or decreased, don’t give up hope. You can grow your church this year by employing a few simple strategies. Let your church family help you and together you’ll be able to increase growth and reach far more people in your community.

1. Focus On Your Website Content

First off, if you don’t have a website, you need one. Many people research churches online before ever walking through the doors. If you’re not online, your church might not even be an option for those looking for a new place to worship. Now that you have a site, focus on adding new content regularly. Creating and maintaining a church blog helps to boost your visibility online. Focus on things going on with the church, issues affecting people right now and inspiring stories. You’ll be amazed at how many more people you’ll reach this way.custom church website button

2. Boost Engagement Within The Church

Your members are the spokespeople for your church. If they’re not happy, they probably won’t recommend the church to others. Work on getting your members excited about attending. Talk with them to see if there are things you don’t like about current services or programs. Ask them about things they’d love to see the church involved with. The better your understand what your church family wants and needs, the easier it is to boost engagement and of course, recommendations.

3. Get More Social Online

Whether you love it or hate it, social media is a valuable tool to help you grow your church this year. Many of your members likely already have an account on Facebook or Twitter. By sharing blog posts (your own and others), interacting with members and non-members and sharing motivational scripture, you’re able to reach a wider audience than you could offline. Plus, people who like what you post can share it with all of their friends and family too. Even if your page only has 100 followers, that’s 100 people who could be sharing your posts with hundreds of more people.

4. Host Community Events

While over half of all American churches have less than 100 people in church each week, this doesn’t mean there’s a problem. It just means that it’s time to get more involved in the local community. A problem many churches face is a lack of any real presence outside the church itself. Host community dinners, have open house nights (less pressure for those looking for a new church) and volunteer at non-church events such as local fairs and festivals. The idea is to get non-members to start interacting with the church. Plus, this shows your community that your church does more than just preach the gospel, they also practice it.

grow your church button5. Offer Various Small Groups

Different groups, such as seniors and millennials, may prefer different types of worship experiences. For instance, seniors might like more traditional hymns while millennials might love modern Christian music. Offer smaller worship groups to make everyone feel more comfortable at church. This is also a great way to grow your church. During an open house night for the community, have the leaders from each group available to talk to potential members about what their groups do. This shows that it’s not a one way or the highway type of deal.

6. Use Motivation Instead Of Guilt

It’s a common myth that small churches either have to drastically increase their numbers or close their doors. If you want to grow your church, don’t use this gloom and doom approach. You don’t need a massive church to effectively reach your church family. Instead of trying to guilt members into attending regularly (which turns them off from church completely), try motivating them instead. Ask what church leaders could do to make church more interesting and engaging. Remember, the happier your church family is, the more they’ll talk about the church to friends and family. This helps to grow your church far better than guilt.

Looking for ways to grow your church this year? See how a church website will help boost your efforts in 2017.

How To Motivate Attendees Into Volunteering

How often do you struggle with getting volunteers for various projects in your church? Despite having ample members, no one seems to want to help out.

This doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself. Instead, you have to learn how to motivate attendees into volunteering. Believe it or not, most attendees want to be involved in some way.

All it takes is a few simple tweaks to appealing to volunteers to boost your numbers and create effective teams for your church projects and events.

custom church website buttonHave Volunteer Periods

Your attendees already have busy schedules, so they are naturally hesitant to commit to indefinite projects. Make it easier on potential volunteers by having short volunteer periods. When asking for people to volunteer, make it clear that project has an end date. It’s much easier for someone to commit. Often times, people hold back because they don’t want to have to quit before the work is done, simply due to other commitments in their lives, such as work and children.

Provide Details Online

No one wants to feel pressured to volunteer. If you want to motivate attendees into volunteering, give them an easier way to find out all the details at their leisure. Having a section on your website dedicated to volunteer opportunities serves as a 24/7 bulletin. Members can send in questions or sign up for a set period of time. They can even see what types of responsibilities are required to make sure they’re a good fit.

Make Volunteers Feel Appreciated

The way volunteers are treated determines how many future volunteers you’ll have. If past volunteers say they always felt unappreciated or micromanaged, you’ll have a difficult time motivating anyone else to join a team. Volunteers want to feel like they’re making a difference and enjoy getting positive feedback.

Give your volunteers positive feedback during projects and even host special dinners each month for volunteers. The key is to just do something to make them feel like you appreciate all they’re doing for their church and fellow members.

Offer Reasonable Schedules

Most of your members have careers and families. This means they don’t have dozens of free hours each week to volunteer. Those with jobs might not be able to attend meetings during the day and those with children might be busy with extracurricular activities during the evenings.

It’s important to offer flexible schedules that allow volunteers to offer as many or as few hours as they have available. If a person can only offer a few hours on a Saturday, let them help. Skip lengthy meetings and instead of forums on your website or quick 10-15 minute meetings after services. This shows that you value volunteers’ time and makes them more likely to offer up any free time they have.

Cater Opportunities To Attendees’ Strengths

If you want to motivate attendees into volunteering, offer opportunities based on their strengths. If you’re asking for daycare volunteers, for instance, no one may offer to help because they don’t know how to manage a dozen or so small children at a time.

Ask attendees to write down their strengths and passions. When coming up with programs, base them around things your volunteers are good at. You’re guaranteed to get more volunteers this way.

Ask For Feedback On Volunteering Opportunities

Attendees are more likely to volunteer for things they believe in. For instance, charity events that benefit local areas sometimes get more volunteers than those in areas your attendees have never heard about. Survey your attendees about what types of things they would be more likely to volunteer for and why.grow your church button

Recruit Based On Passion, Not Guilt

One of the worst ways to motivate attendees into volunteering is to guilt trip them. Not only is this ineffective, the volunteers you do get feel miserable and may drop out at a moment’s notice. Church leaders have to inspire and motivate, not make members feel guilty for not being able to fit in volunteering.

Make Volunteering An Easy Process

Finally, make it quick and easy to for attendees to volunteer. Having a lengthy process makes it seem like a waste of time. When people hardly have time to volunteer, they don’t have hours to spend on background checks, interviews and special meetings. Unless absolutely necessary, make it a few minute process to volunteer. Removing obstacles encourages more volunteers.

Want to offer an easier way for attendees to volunteer? Start with a church website with an easy to use signup form.