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Church attendance is on the decline. In 2000, 58% of adults had attended church in the last month. In 2015, only 46% of adults had attended church in the last month - a change of 12% in just 15 years! Why spend so much time talking about numbers? Jesus left a clear command. His last words were “Go and make disciples.” - Matthew 28. To understand the impact on your community, you’ll want to understand the numbers that measure success and engagement. The same process won’t work for every church, but each church can take best practices and implement them in ways that fit their context. There are several necessary stages to attract visitors, connect, disciple and engage them into your church community. Here are 7 areas to give attention as you reach and grow disciples.
Research shows that the average church has a 15% attrition rate - meaning, 15% of your current attendance will move away, leave your church or pass away. Even with the best processes, most churches are able to get 20% of their first-time visitors to get plugged into their church. What does that mean for you? It means that you need the same number of first-time visitors to come to your church as your current attendance….just to maintain your current numbers.
Your website is your new front door. Over 90% of people visit your website before visiting your church in-person. It’s important that your website is easy to understand and provides easy-to-find information for your guests and visitors. Be sure to include these items CLEARLY on your homepage:
1. Services Times - include whether you provide children’s ministry or nursery at each service.
2. Location - include the address, at minimum, or a link to Google maps.
3. What to Expect - explain how long your service is, what people wear, when are children’s services available (each service?), and take an opportunity to share your mission & vision. If you want to get into details of your theological beliefs, there can be another page devoted to that - it doesn’t need to be on the homepage.
4. Information on Kids' ministry - do you have the ability to check-in online, do you provide safe areas for their kids to learn, how do you break up your kids classes, where do families need to go once they arrive at your building?
5. Contact Information - phone number and a monitored email is sufficient.
6. Have the “why” behind your Church and culture easily viewable.
Like what you're reading? Take it with you.Including these six important areas of information will help people be more confident in their decision to come to your church. Be sure you do NOT make online giving a focal point - that’s for your internal people, right?
75% of searches begin on Google. Optimizing your church website so it will appear in Google searches is arguably as important as social media. And keeping this contact information up to date is necessary. Anytime you change your service times, email addresses, phone numbers be sure to change them here, too!
PRO TIP: Make sure your homepage has your church name in multiple places. This will help it rank higher in Google, and be careful you don’t write your Church name in multiple places on other pages. Think of it like a classroom of 20 kids, if one kid is named Annie they’ll respond when you call on them. If all the kids are named Annie it’s going to be chaos. This is why it’s good to focus on the main page you want to rank on Google.
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