How to transform your church this year.
“Congregations with engaged members are spiritually healthier, are better able to carry out their missions, attract more new people, are better able to fund new ventures, and have a higher percentage of spiritually committed individuals.” -Albert Winseman, “Growing an Engaged Church”
Who doesn’t want a congregation that looks like that? Engaged members are the lifeblood of their churches and move congregations forward. That’s why we’re encouraging you to make engagement a resolution in 2020. Whether 5% or 50% of your members are actively engaged, you have a tremendous opportunity at your church. Every non-engaged person you engage, every person you simply engage on a deeper level will make your church stronger, healthier, and more impactful.
To help make your resolution a reality, we’ve pulled together our most transformative tips and resources along with plenty of inspiration.
Don’t make your members guess what it means to be an engaged member of your church, tell them. We believe that the best way to take a person from first-time visitor to engaged member is with an engagement strategy that clearly communicates expectations and makes it easy for them to engage with things like:
- New member classes
- Available volunteer opportunities
- Small groups
- Church events
Visitors and members alike need a clear path to get involved as well as an easy way to take those next steps. Your branded church app is a game-changer here. We like to think of your app as a bridge that guides your members and future members to everything they need at your church. Visitors come in? Have them fill out a digital connect card. Once they download the app, they can explore all your church as to offer with any barriers or frustrating logins.
As your members continue along on their engagement journey, one of your goals should be to help them find opportunities that fit their strengths and interests. Your church engagement strategy should take personal interests into account and communicate opportunities in real-time. Have members fill out a profile and select their interests to get linked with the right opportunities.
“Engaged members who are serving in the roles they love do not get burned out. They only get stronger and more energized.” -Albert L. Winseman (Growing an Engaged Church)
Deep connections at church are the foundation for creating & keeping engaged members. The best place for your members to build those relationships is through Small Group Ministry. Promoting small groups both verbally and electronically is critical. Help them discover and jump into a small group.
These groups give members a chance to grow in their faith and go beyond surface-level interactions.
Send a survey using aware3 forms to get feedback from your members. Are they confused about anything? Do they have questions? On top of that, you can leverage your user data to see what’s resonating and what’s not. What resources or sermons got a lot of activity? What time of day do your members engage with you?
Use the feedback to continue progressing or try a new direction. Engagement isn’t a straight line, it’s a journey so be sure to consistently check-in with your staff and congregants and pivot when necessary.
What works in their church:
A little inspiration from fellow church leaders.
“[At the beginning of service] We will prompt people to fill out a communication card. At that point, we will also reference our mobile app–here’s how you download it etc. Then, via the mobile app, there is a connect card as well (think of it as an electronic communication card). Thanks to the ability of aware’s app to interface with our church management software, that button leads to a form in our CHMS and then that flags the right pastor on our staff to then follow-up with that first-time person. That’s been a huge for us. We get a significant amount of interest electronically. In fact, in some cases more than the actual piece of paper that’s in the program. That leads to follow-up and further engagement like getting invited to Starting Point or an upcoming retreat.
We have a number of other buttons as well. There’s “groups” with a whole list of all of our groups. They can click on a button to email that group leader right then and there. There have been a number of people who get engaged in our small groups via the app. There’s a prayer button so they can click right there and then that flags another pastor about that prayer request.
Every single button (with maybe one or two exceptions like our map etc.) is some form of engagement in our church, including giving.”
“If a member happens to be out of town for Sunday, they still have the ability to hear the sermon and to know what’s going on. Nothing is going to take the place of being in sermon and being present during worship, that’s what God calls us to do. But during the week our members will have family groups and in some of those family groups the leaders will take time to say let’s discuss the sermon and so if someone’s going to be gone or out of town, you can still stay on track and keep up with the rest of your group.”
“We noticed that emails are really good for creating awareness but they’re not a very timely thing. People have gotten in the habit of checking our emails maybe once a week, so if you’re depending on that to move people to action, it just doesn’t seem to help a whole lot.
A lot of times it’s the day before, like you may need to register your kids for camp or something, so having a push notification that they can click on and it immediately take them to the registration link is much more effective. It cuts down on so much work and provides a real service for the people within our church. They can say, “Yes, I got it. Boom, click. That was easy.”
You got this!
We believe in the power of your community and the critical role engagement plays in that. We’re 1000% committed to helping you reach your engagement resolution. With the right resources and a solid engagement plan, 2020 will be your best year yet!
We think you’ll love these engagement resources too: