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.

The Ultimate Online Technology Strategy For Smaller Churches

Smaller churches are sometimes reluctant to embrace technology and take their churches online. However, having an online technology strategy helps boost member engagement and new church visitors.

Odds are, at least part of your church family uses social media and mobile devices often. This means that part of your potential visitors are online too.

Connect on a wider scale by getting your church online. It’s easier than you might think and the rewards are well worth the effort.

Keep Consistent Branding

One thing to always remember throughout your online technology strategy is to keep consistent branding. From having the same logo to maintaining the same personality, a church’s brand is what people connect with. If you’re always serious on Facebook but humorous on Twitter, people might not be able to get a good sense about your church.

Start With A Websitecustom church website button

Your church’s online strategy has to begin with one key ingredient – a website. Think of it as your virtual home online that happens to have its doors open 24/7. A few elements to include on your site are:

  • Images/videos of your church
  • Short description and mission statement
  • Service hours
  • Contact information
  • Blog
  • Calendar of events
  • Forum for members to interact
  • Social media channels

Obviously, your site can as big or small as you want. Some churches upload their services online, while others only upload a video now and then. The key is to have a place for visitors to learn more about your church.

Plan A Website Content Strategy

With a website comes the need for a content strategy. A church website helps people find your church through search engines, but to rank higher online, you need to keep your site current. This is where a blog comes in handy. To keep visitors coming back, create a content schedule to ensure you’re posting regularly. Even if it’s only one blog per week, it’s enough to stay current in search engines.

Also, plan what types of content you’ll upload. Will you use text, video, images or a mix (which works best)? Will you talk more about church activities, tackle current issues or answer questions from members and site visitors? Having a content strategy in place will make maintaining your blog much easier.

Choose At Least Two Social Networks

It might seem like there is a new social network every week, but your church doesn’t have to maintain a presence on every network. However, your online technology strategy should include at least two social networks. Facebook and Twitter are often the most popular choices because of their large user bases, but you could also choose from sites like Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. You could even get creative and use Medium since it’s part blogging platform and part social network. No matter which two you use, stay active to help build your church.

Get Members Involved Online

grow your church buttonIf you want your online technology strategy to actually be successful, you’re going to need some help. Get your members as involved as possible. For instance, ask them to connect with the church on social media and share their favorite posts. At one small church, the pastor encourages members to use tag the church on Twitter when mentioning events to drive more people to the church’s social media profile. This same church even encourages members to use Bible apps on their phones if they want.

The lesson is to embrace technology, even in a small church. It’s an easy way to better engage members and bring in new members.

Offer E-Giving On Your Site

If tithing is down at your church, make e-giving a part of your online strategy. Online giving providers serve as a modern way for members and even non-members to tithe. Incorporate a giving form on your site or as a mobile app. In an age where many people only have credit cards on them, it’s easier to set up payments online versus remembering to get cash before church.

Utilize Volunteers

While getting a professional service to design your website is a good idea, you’re still left with maintaining it, uploading content and managing social media. Ask for volunteers to help manage it all. Meet with them weekly to discuss strategy and review what they’ve been doing. After all, it’s overwhelming for just one person to do everything.

Follow The Lead Of Other Churches

Not sure where to start? Search for other churches online and see what they’re currently doing. You can even learn from large churches. Don’t be afraid to send a message to any church you admire to ask questions or see how well their strategy is working for them.

Are you ready to get started on your own online technology strategy? See how our church web design services get you off to the right start.

Why Leadership In Churches Matters

One of the most important things that church members and visitors are looking for is effective and engaging leadership in a church.

Leadership in churches is about far more than just a title. It’s about how leaders engage with the church community.

It’s the leaders that inspire members to keep coming back and help grow the church. Without the right leaders, it’s difficult for a church to continue to thrive for generations.

custom church website buttonGuide The Community Through Changes

Church isn’t the same as it was 100 years ago. As times change, so do churches. However, there is always some hesitance from long-term members. For instance, taking your church online isn’t always going to be well-received by older members of your church family that may not even have a computer or smartphone.

Leadership in churches is crucial for effectively guiding the community through changes. Leaders help explain the what, why and how in a way that eases the transition and involves everyone in the process.

Provide Encouragement And Motivation

One of the most important jobs of church leaders is to encourage and motivate members, staff and visitors. Leaders keep everyone focused, encourage conversation, explain why things happen and build excitement. When a member is feeling lost, leaders are able to understand their concerns and inspire them. It’s not always an easy task, but it’s one of the traits of a highly effective church leader.

Work To Understand What The Community Needs

Some people are leaving the church because they don’t feel it meets their spiritual needs. Leadership in churches means paying close attention to church members and noticing when they don’t seem engaged. It’s up to leaders to question what’s wrong and talk to members, other leaders, and first-time visitors to see where they can improve. Without the right leadership, the community doesn’t get what it truly needs and that’s key to keeping members and increasing membership.

Create Meaningful Ministry All Week

Church isn’t just a weekend activity. It’s the job of church leaders to continue with ministry throughout the week. This keeps the church family focused and engaged. From visiting the sick to posting messages on social media, it’s important for leaders to show their members that church doesn’t have to be just something that happens on Sundays.

Effective leadership also inspires volunteers to help out. From writing blog posts and responding to questions on the church’s website to being a shoulder to cry on during difficult times, these motivated volunteers continue the work of church leaders, allowing for a wider reach all week long.

Engage And Bring In New Membersgrow your church button

Bringing in and engaging new visitors isn’t always easy. Leadership in churches means bringing current members together to be a welcoming presence while making an effort to speak with new visitors about their needs. The right leadership works with existing members to create a more effective strategy for encouraging new visitors. Leaders also have to understand emerging and current trends, such as marketing the church online, in order to stay in contact with potential members.

Bring Everyone Together As One

By far, the most important reason for leadership in churches is to bring the entire church family together as one. When members, staff, and random visitors aren’t all on the same page, it’s nearly impossible to keep everyone engaged and active. Instead, you notice membership becoming more random, members unable to get along and more members questioning their own faith. It takes strong leadership to bring so many different people together.

Even with a small ministry, you have dozens of people from varying backgrounds. Getting them all to come together under one roof to explore their faith isn’t easy. Effective leadership is what keeps a church together and working as a single community.

Want to lead your members all week and grow your community at the same time? Find out how a church website can help.

How Your Website Can Turn Church Visitors Into Engaged Members

how your website can turn your church into engaged members

Your church website isn’t just a static page with a picture of your church and worship hours. It can be one of the most powerful tools you have in turning those first time and sporadic church visitors into highly engaged members.

It’s always difficult to know exactly what visitors are looking for in a church. One or two visits isn’t nearly enough for them to get to know the family and community they could be joining.

With so many people relying on the Internet to help them make important decisions, including where to worship, it’s time to let your website help your church bring in more regular, engaged members.

Showcase Activities, Events And Worship Hourscustom church website button

One of the top things that ruins how a new visitor sees your church is a bad website. Visitors want to visit your church’s site and get more details on worship hours, regular activities, charitable associations, and any upcoming events. If the site is poorly designed and doesn’t make this type of information available, visitors might think your church isn’t that interested in retaining members. A better site with all relevant information easily accessible could make a major difference in church attendance.

Offer An Email Newsletter

Some churches ask new visitors to sign up for an email newsletter during their first visit. Odds are, you’re probably going to miss a few people or new visitors might be too shy to draw attention to themselves right away. After all, they’re still on the fence about whether to join or not.

The solution is to offer an email newsletter on your website. This could be a once or twice a week newsletter filled with inspiring content and a calendar of events. Ask visitors and even current members to please sign up on the website. It’s less pressure and allows you to stay in contact with anyone who signs up, leading to more engaged members.

Include A Welcome Forum On Your Site

It’s vital to start bringing in more millennials to your church. This is the generation that know show to spread the word on social media and connect with the digital generation. The sad thing is 44% of millennials see church as an exclusive club.

Keep them coming back by offering a welcome forum on your site. Ask members to check in to the forums throughout the week to talk with visitors online. Visitors can introduce themselves, ask members questions about the church and get a better idea of the community. The idea is to make everyone feel welcome.

Provide Regular Useful Content

Your church website needs to be updated frequently. When someone visits your church, they’re probably looking for a new place to worship. Either before or after their visit, they’ll likely look for your website to learn more. What will they find?

If you want to be seen as an active church family, your site needs to reflect that. Show visitors what your church has to offer with regular blog posts, inspiring messages, personal thoughts on current events and even fun activities outside the church that are family friendly. A church that connects with members online is a church that connects in person too. This is vital to having more engaged members.

grow your church buttonAdd In Personal Stories From Members

No matter what a pastor might say, the truth about a church comes out in what members have to say about it. Add a section to your site with personal stories from members. Encourage members to submit their own stories about what they like and even dislike. Honesty is vital as it’ll make your church seem like a true family and not a fake community.

Offer Interactive Resources

One of the best ways for your website to turn church visitors into engaged members is through interactive resources. When visitors were looking for a new church, 83% said sermon quality was most important, while 74% said worship style was important.

Show them what they need to know by offering podcasts, online sermons, live chats throughout the week, downloadable ebooks for study or motivation and other digital resources. These allow visitors to connect with the church on their own terms. Before you know it, those visitors are becoming new church members.

Engaged Members Are Just A Few Clicks Away

The distance between visitors and engaged members could be just a few clicks of a mouse or taps of a finger. Help visitors get to know your church and your church family by making your website a one-stop shop filled with information and resources.

Want to turn your site into a valuable resource for bringing in new members? See how our custom church web design services help give visitors exactly what they’re looking for.