You may be measuring church consumption when you’re trying to measure member engagement. Here’s how to focus your metrics.
When it comes to engagement, churches have a lot of data at their disposal and a slew of metrics to choose from. As Harvard Business Review* puts it, “Metrics are what you measure. And what you measure is what you manage too.” That’s why it’s so important to stop and ask yourself: What metrics will help us more deeply connect + minister our people?
If the goal is to measure + facilitate church member engagement, connection, and spiritual growth, then we can’t just measure things like sermon views, attendance numbers, and Facebook likes. These kinds of metrics are only the tip of the iceberg–it’s helpful to see them but to get to the really substantial, meaningful stuff, you have to go deeper.
Afterall, we know that not every church member who tunes in or likes a social post is truly engaged, so how do we shift our metrics to tell us what we really want to know? Things like:
What church members are (or aren’t) actively participating? What members are showing interest in a small group? What types of sermon topics does my congregation need right now?
Here are 5 ways to focus your metrics + deepen engagement:
#1. Centralize for a more complete picture
If you’re streaming from one place, communicating from another, and offering spiritual resources all over the place, it’s nearly impossible to get a full picture of engagement at your church. Centralizing your software not only makes it easier for your members to get everything they need in one place, it also puts all that data in one place, allowing you to “connect the dots” of engagement quickly and easily.
“People can get everything they need all in one place — info about events, livestream, Bible app, sermon notes — and it’s really great to have the data online about how people interact on our app so we know what works and how to tailor how we are doing things on the management side.” –Mollie Street, Volunteer @ Living Hope Church
#2. Try Advanced Filtering
Sometimes one metric alone is helpful, but other times it’s not quite enough. Having a system that provides advanced data collecting and filtering will help you dig deeper and answer those tougher, more specific questions.
Together+ powered by aware3 is a totally connected engagement platform that enables you to do just that. Specifically, the platform feature, Advanced People Filtering lets you see where different metrics overlap to get a more complete picture of where your people are and pinpoint opportunities for engagement. For example, if you’re looking to get more people signed up for the next new members class, you might combine these filters together:
Non-members + who has given + opened the “become a member” button in your app
And just like that, you have a list of people perfect for a new members class.
#3. Ask for feedback
Whether you want to get feedback from first-time visitors, do a mental health check in, or gauge interest in an upcoming volunteer opportunity, surveys and polls are a fast and easy way to collect valuable feedback and really focus your metrics (Ask the questions you really want to know!)
Send out an engagement survey like this:
members vote on a sermon topic:
For more ways to strengthen church health, grab our free workbook.
“[We are] loving the immediate response with the Live Polls feature — the feedback has given us great information.” Amy Egar, Financial & Stewardship Coordinator @ All Saints Parish
#4. Get a visual of your data
Dashboards are a great way to visualize your data. They allow you to SEE breakdowns, key analytics, insights, and trends about a specific area of your church from one place. So instead of just seeing total giving numbers for the month, you can see giving trends over time, one-time or recurring giving trends, monthly giving breakdowns to see where people are engaging in giving, and more.
#5 Create digital pathways
If you want people to do more than consume your content, if you want them to connect with each other, participate and take meaningful steps forward, you have to give them a clear pathway to do so.
Our church partner, Pastor Paul Little shares how his church uses text messaging to do just that. He says, “We use Text-to-act for what we call direct engagement. A website is something a little bit more secondary. You have to go to a particular site, click a button, search here, scroll here.
But, if we say, text the word “conference” to sign up for our Virtual Leadership Conference then you could send that text message in your own time at your own convenience and all the information is right there in your hands. Again, that takes engagement to a whole new level, because it is more convenient. It is more efficient. It limits me having to go through 2 or 3 steps to do 1 thing. Eliminating the steps really does help people to engage more. We’ve seen that in our congregation. We’ve seen that in other congregations and nonprofits and schools that we work with throughout the US. It’s the same conversation regardless of who you talk to.”
We know measuring + facilitating engagement is no easy feat. You don’t always get the face-to-face time with your people that you’d like, resources are tight, and many metrics lead to dead ends. Having the right platform and team to help you through it can make all the difference. If you’d like to talk through specific ways to deepen engagement at your church and see how Together+ can help, we’d love to chat with you.