As a leader, pastor or elder in your church, the growth of your church is probably a topic that keeps you up at night. Monitoring church growth is only as effective as a church’s ability to track where you have been and where you are going next. Tracking your growth not only serves the purposes of growth metrics, but it also tells the story of your church. This story is often a connecting point for members and regular attendees. We have found that churches grow by giving members a variety of ways to engage and making communication easy.
It’s no secret that tracking growth by attendance and generosity numbers is a time-honored tradition. Do you remember the church attendance board that was updated every week? Maybe your church still has one, but there is more to the growth story than what’s on that board every week. An accurate count of how many people are attending church each weekend is important, because reporting these numbers regularly shows transparency, but there is more to consider when it comes to growth. It is even more significant to know who is sitting in your seats every single week. Knowing the who behind an attendance number allows church leaders to be aware of the people who make up their church community.
Tracking who is in your church community, their level of involvement, contact information, family members, and giving history is not easy. There has to be a better way to track growth metrics that give more accurate indication of people’s involvement. Thankfully it’s 2017, and the world is at our fingertips with smartphones. As the world has grown to adopt technological solutions for everyday problems, your church should be no exception to this trend.
In fact, your church members and attendees are adopting their faith and the way they live it out in the technological age. Consider these facts:
- 38% of people increased their Bible readership last year by downloading a Bible app or by listening to religious podcasts and streaming services.
- In the past 30 days, about 21.5 million adults will have visited the website of their own place of worship.
- 42% of churches now have online giving.
As these statistics show, technology is integrated into how people engage with the church. Working with many churches over the years, we have been able to identify a few ways that technology solutions have successfully helped churches build engagement, and as a result, experience significant growth.
Here are 5 ways your church can grow through technology:
The Guest Experience
It only takes seven minutes for a guest to form a first impression of your church. Why not engage them not only in your physical building, but also through technology. Have your church app, your church website, social media channels and next points of engagement advertised around your campus (at the guest center, through your volunteers, and the announcements, etc.). With all the opportunities to connect, people are likely to engage in all these ways, and they will notice that you value a connection with your audience beyond the first interaction.
Train and Coordinate Volunteers
Volunteers who understand the importance of their role and are equipped and essential for effective ministry in your church. Technology not only helps you train volunteers with video’s and interactive tools, it helps you manage and communicate with volunteers more effectively. Utilizing specific chat features or group pages that are all within the same platform makes it convenient for volunteers to find information easily.
Track Members, Regular Attenders, and First Time Guests
With an integrated and actively updated database, each person who sets foot in your church can have a profile by volunteering minimal personal information. Information can be captured through church online giving and saved to a profile, and through an online interactive form that can be accessed through a church app or through a link sent via a text message. Whatever you do, gathering information about who is in your church is vital. Technology ensures you will not lose track of people by putting the information you gathered into one place.
Improve Follow-Up with Guests and Communication
You can record a first-time guest’s personal communication preferences on an online form and follow up in a way that’s most appealing to them (email, phone call, text message). Online forms can also help your regular attendees and members easily submit prayer requests, concerns, or praise reports anonymously to church staff during the week without feeling like they are “bothering” them with a phone call or lengthy text message.
Technology Supports the Goal of Growth
Technology improves engagement and retention by making it easier for everyone to find and get involved with a group or connect with your church. Once someone has established relationships with others in your community, technology helps guide them toward taking responsibility for their own spiritual development and for a portion of one of the ministries within the church.
Your church is growing beyond numbers on a Sunday morning attendance board. All it takes is adjusting the medium and mindset of what growth actually looks like. Plus, growth is vital to reaching the lost about the Gospel or good news of Jesus. If we have growing, healthy, and thriving churches, then the message of Christ has no limit. With technology here to stay, it’s invaluable to know how your church has grown in the past and where it’s currently growing. Embracing what church mobile apps, church websites, church online giving, and mobile technologies have to offer can grow our churches and the message of Jesus.