Many churches in America have been dealing with low attendance levels in the past years, and the causes are extremely varied: cultural shifts, people working during worship times, not emphasizing the meaning of membership enough, and people not prioritizing their relationship with God.
Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for pastors to blame the lack of interest for attending service on today’s society and its attractions, including the Internet. But why reject modern technology when it could be used to achieve and promote church growth?
Here are some advantages that online tools, including social media, can bring to your church and its members’ participation.
How to improve your church attendance levels using online tools
Using nonintrusive reminders
A method that some churches use whenever they notice someone missing service several weeks in a row is contacting them and asking why they didn’t come and if they have any discontents. Phone calls can be bothersome for some church members, and are often perceived as an unpleasant surprise. An email where you politely remind them about Sunday mass and ask for feedback is often more welcome.
Being able to pay more attention to groups
Groups are more active than churchgoers who attend worship services alone, and online tools allow you to target multiple people at the same time. Communicating your messages on a Facebook group or to a virtual community is more efficient than focusing on individuals.
Using online worship services
Online services are increasingly popular and at the first sight, you may fear that people will prefer to watch your service online instead of coming to your brick-and-mortar church. On the other hand, it’s also worth considering the following scenario: someone who is genuinely interested in attending mass at your church cannot participate for a couple of weeks. By offering them the alternative of attending online, you will avoid losing contact with them and they will be more likely to attend in person again.
Creating events on Facebook
Use Facebook’s Events feature to promote your church’s activity to fans. There are various events you can organize and promote on social networks aside from worship services: picnics, week-end trips, movie nights, bake sales, or fundraising events.
Improving your church’s website
Updating your website is not exactly the first thing that comes into your head when you think about improving church attendance. The fact is that people look for churches online and the impression that your website leaves will influence their attitude on your church. Take advantage of all the features that a website can offer: posting news, offering information about your community, blog articles, coming up high in search results, integration with social media outlets, online tithing and so on. A strong online presence will contribute to church growth and indirectly increase attendance.
What to do next?
What all these online marketing ideas and tools have in common is increasing your church members’ engagement levels and reaching them in a medium where almost everyone is present – the Internet. There is an old saying, “You attract more flies with honey than vinegar”, and adopting the latest technologies that everyone is using will hit the sweet spot and definitely help you improve attendance.
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