12 Church Growth Strategies That Work Today

Thomas CostelloUncategorized 1 Comment

We are all enmeshed in a digital era where technology and communication are an integral part of daily life. And this includes the church…but are you using cutting-edge church growth strategies that actually reach people?

Or are you using outdated techniques, assuming people will eventually come to you?

People are spending their free time differently. And they’re used to communicating and gathering information online. So, this blog post discusses twelve vital church growth strategies you need to reach people in the digital age.

Let’s jump in.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

Why is Church Growth Important?

Why is Church Growth Important?

Church growth is a vital aspect of a thriving Christian community. It encompasses not only the numerical increase in church members but also the deepening of spiritual commitment and the expansion of the church’s influence in society.

Let’s delve into why church growth matters and how it impacts the fulfillment of the church’s mission.

Strengthening the Church Family

As church leadership, we are called to support and encourage one another in our faith journey. A growing congregation provides a larger pool of individuals who can offer diverse perspectives, talents, and resources to enrich the communal life of the church. When a new church member joins our community, they bring unique experiences and gifts that contribute to the vibrancy and vitality of our gatherings.

Moreover, as the church family expands, opportunities for fellowship, discipleship, and service multiply. Each new member adds to the fabric of our spiritual tapestry, fostering deeper connections and stronger bonds among believers.

Through shared experiences and mutual support, we grow together in love and unity, reflecting the essence of Christ’s teachings in our interactions and relationships.

Advancing the Church’s Mission

At the heart of many churches lies a mission to proclaim the Gospel and embody Christ’s love in the world. Church growth plays a pivotal role in advancing this mission by widening the reach of our outreach efforts and amplifying our impact on society.

As more individuals come to know Christ and join their local church, the scope of our collective ministry expands, enabling us to address a broader range of spiritual, social, and humanitarian needs.

A growing congregation equips the church with greater resources and manpower to engage in evangelism, discipleship, and compassionate outreach initiatives. Whether through evangelistic events, community service projects, or mission trips, expanding our membership base empowers us to spread the message of salvation and extend God’s grace to those in need.

By embodying the values of compassion, justice, and reconciliation, we become beacons of hope and agents of transformation in our neighborhoods and beyond.

Utilizing Modern Tools and Spaces

In today’s digital age, the church must adapt to new methods of communication and outreach to remain relevant and accessible to the wider community. A robust online presence, including a dynamic church website and active social media platforms, serves as a vital tool for connecting with seekers, sharing resources, and facilitating meaningful engagement with both members and visitors.

Furthermore, the physical church building serves as a sacred space where believers gather for worship, fellowship, and spiritual growth. As the congregation grows, there arises a need for adequate facilities and resources to accommodate the evolving needs of the community.

In the next section, we’ll explore more about navigating the digital landscape to grow your church.

Church Growth

Church growth is essential for nurturing a thriving and dynamic Christian community that is grounded in love, rooted in faith, and committed to fulfilling the Great Commission. Higher church attendance means more small groups, more church activities, more church services, and more opportunities to reach His children.

By embracing the principles of inclusivity, mission, and innovation, we can cultivate an environment where individuals encounter the transformative power of God’s grace and find belonging within the body of Christ.

Digital Marketing for Church Growth

Digital Marketing for Church Growth

In today’s digital age, leveraging online platforms is crucial for churches seeking to expand their reach and impact. Digital marketing strategies can effectively engage both existing members and potential newcomers, facilitating church growth and community outreach.

Here, we explore key methods and benefits of digital marketing for churches.

Online Presence and Visibility

Establishing a strong online presence is the cornerstone of effective church marketing in the digital realm. A well-designed and user-friendly church website serves as a virtual hub where visitors can learn about the church’s mission, values, and upcoming events.

Additionally, maintaining active profiles on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter enables churches to connect with diverse audiences and share inspirational content in real-time.

Here are some key elements of an effective online presence:

  • Engaging website layout with clear navigation and compelling visuals.
  • Relevant and regularly updated content, including sermons, blog posts, and event announcements.
  • Integration of multimedia elements such as videos, podcasts, and livestreams to enhance engagement and accessibility.
  • Seamless integration with social media platforms to facilitate content sharing and community interaction.

Targeted Outreach and Engagement

Digital marketing allows churches to tailor their messaging and outreach efforts to specific demographics and interests, fostering meaningful connections with both local communities and online audiences. By leveraging targeted advertising campaigns, email newsletters, and interactive content, churches can effectively engage with individuals who may be searching for spiritual guidance or seeking a sense of belonging.

Moreover, social media platforms offer unique opportunities for churches to initiate conversations, share personal testimonies, and respond to inquiries in real-time.

When you cultivate a vibrant online community, your church can create spaces where individuals feel valued, supported, and inspired to explore their faith journey further.

Collaboration and Learning from Other Churches

In the realm of digital marketing, collaboration and knowledge-sharing among churches can yield valuable insights and best practices for maximizing outreach and engagement. By participating in online forums, webinars, and networking events, church leaders can exchange ideas, strategies, and resources with peers from diverse backgrounds and denominations.

Furthermore, studying successful case studies and benchmarking against other churches can inform churches’ digital marketing strategies and inspire innovative approaches to community outreach and discipleship.

By staying abreast of emerging trends and technological advancements, churches can adapt their digital marketing efforts to meet the evolving needs and preferences of their target audience.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing presents churches with unprecedented opportunities to amplify their message, connect with diverse audiences, and foster meaningful relationships both online and offline.

When you embrace digital platforms and adopt a strategic approach to church marketing, your church can effectively engage with individuals and inspire spiritual growth. All of this in order to contribute to the broader mission of building God’s kingdom on earth.

12 Church Growth Strategies

How to Use Digital Marketing in Church Growth Strategies

Most church growth strategies are timeless at the core. Churches grow because they reach hurting people, bring them into a relationship with Jesus Christ, and build community.

As you read through the list below, keep that in mind. The gospel message hasn’t changed, but we have new methods and channels to communicate it.

1. Define your church growth strategy and goals

What does growth mean for your church? Is it more people in seats on the weekend… or do you measure the degree of life transformation?

To put it simply, are you focused on growing in breadth or growing in depth?

Of course, you want both. And thankfully, these goals aren’t in opposition; they work together. But you do need to bring some clear definition to your plans.

When you’re measuring growth and impact, be clear on your priority goals, key performance indicators (KPIs), and metrics.

Don’t be scared off or offended by these corporate-sounding terms.

A church isn’t a business, but you do need to understand where you’re going and how to know if your efforts are fruitful. That’s good stewardship, and it’s a leadership responsibility – especially if budget dollars are involved.

Once you have clarity on what to achieve and how you’ll measure it, you can start to develop and implement growth strategies.

2. Try to appeal to everyone

Try to appeal to everyone

How could you possibly appeal to everyone? Isn’t this a ridiculous goal?

Actually, it’s a more effective communication style if you understand what we mean.

Everyone isn’t in the same place regarding their interest in church. So, you need to appeal to people at different stages with unique communication.

If you understand how marketing and communication funnels work, you can craft appealing content for people at different places in their spiritual walk.

Let’s dive deeper into this idea.

Marketing Funnel Stages to Grow Your Church

Although marketing and sales funnels were created with for-profit products and the customers who buy them in mind, the concept will help you visualize your church communication strategy.

Here are the five stages in a marketing funnel and how they apply to church:

  1. Awareness: People who were oblivious to your existence discover your church for the first time, usually through some kind of advertising or word-of-mouth.
  2. Interest: People are interested in what your church offers and curious to learn more.
  3. Consideration: People are evaluating whether or not your church is the right fit for them.
  4. Action: People make the decision to visit your church.
  5. Loyalty/Advocacy: People are bought in and committed to your church and are passionate about its mission and vision.

Content Goals Based on the Marketing Funnel

As people move through these stages, different types of content will be appealing. Most people won’t see an ad for your church for the first time and sign up to attend your membership class the next day.

Your goal is to move each individual to the next step on their discovery journey. Understanding that principle will help you measure your marketing goals more accurately.

  1. Awareness Stage: In this stage, you want to get people’s attention with eye-catching content such as a creative social media ad or a useful blog post.
  2. Interest Stage: Now that you have their attention, it’s time to start building interest. You can provide more information about your church and its mission by sharing your story.
  3. Consideration Stage: People are starting to think about whether or not your church is right for them. They may visit your website, read your blog, or watch an online service. In this stage, they’re seeking answers and information.
  4. Action Stage: People are ready to take action. Invite them to visit your church, sign up for a class, or join a small group. Make the call to action clear and obvious.
  5. Loyalty/Advocacy Stage: People are bought-in at this state. They’re your church’s biggest fans and want to tell everyone about it. Provide them with content that they can share with their friends and family, like testimonials, blog posts, or social media graphics. Also, find ways to speak to them directly and help them grow and stay excited.

So, map out your typical church member’s pathway from “don’t know your church exists” to being an active, engaged member.

Then, you can create tailored content and experiences for each stage and measure the right goals and KPIs.

3. Create scroll-stopping digital content for your church

Traditional advertising includes billboards, mailers, and radio ads, among other things. While these are fantastic marketing church growth strategies, they’re also expensive.

Whether you use traditional marketing or not, digital content is a must. Digital content includes anything people can consume online, like a blog post, video, social media update, or even an email.

Here are some digital content essentials to include in your church growth strategies:

  • Blog posts: Blogs serve people by sharing practical and inspiring information. Write blog posts that appeal to people at different funnel stages. For example, you could write a post about why belonging to a church is vital for spiritual health for the awareness stage. Or, people in the loyalty stage would benefit from a post about how to lead a fantastic small group.
  • Social media posts: Social media is a way to interact, entertain, inform, and inspire. Create social media posts that link back to your blog and website. Social media is ideal for top-of-funnel (awareness and interest) activity that catches peoples’ attention.
  • Videos: Videos connect with people in a powerful way. You could create a video tour of your church for first-time guests, so they know what to expect. Or, you could create a video series on a specific topic or area of struggle, like “how to have a better marriage” or “how to parent teenagers.” You can also create video Bible studies or teaching moments to share as short-form content.
  • Email newsletters: Email newsletters should be consistent and keep people updated on church news and events. They are a practical way to keep everyone on the same page and direct people to take action. You could also include links to blog posts or videos in your email newsletter for inspiration and spiritual growth.

There are endless possibilities for digital content. And the best part is that most are free or low-cost to create.

4. Engage with your community

Engage with your community

Engaging with your community is vital for church growth as it builds bridges of connection and demonstrates your church’s commitment to the well-being of its neighbors. Through community events, a church becomes an active participant in the lives of those around it.

These events provide a platform to address local needs, offer support, and create a positive impact, fostering a sense of shared purpose.

By genuinely engaging with the community, a church becomes more than a place of worship; it becomes a valuable resource and a beacon of compassion. Attending to the practical needs of the neighborhood not only meets immediate concerns but also opens doors for deeper conversations about faith and spirituality. People are more likely to be curious about a church that actively contributes to the betterment of the community.

Moreover, community engagement fosters trust and goodwill, making individuals more receptive to exploring the values and teachings the church represents.

In this reciprocal relationship, the church not only grows in numbers but also becomes a positive force, positively influencing the community it serves.

5. Use paid advertising wisely

Organic growth strategies are essential, but it takes time to see results. It’s also difficult to stand out with 1.6-1.9 billion websites on the internet. But if you need traffic now, paid advertising gets your church’s online content in front of your target audience immediately.

Paid advertising can target the individuals most likely to be interested in your church based on their online behavior and interests. When your content is seen by the right people, it gets higher engagement and conversions.

Paid advertising opportunities include

  • Google Ads: Google Ads allows you to place ads on Google search results pages and partner websites. Non-profits are also eligible for Google Ad Grants, up to $10,000 a month in free advertising.
  • Social Media Ads: You can place ads on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
  • Online Publications: You can run digital ads on local websites or community papers. They often offer opportunities for banner ads on websites and in email newsletters.

Your goal with running a digital ad is to pique interest so that people want to learn more. If you can get them to click to a landing page or your church website and sign up for a free resource–and give you their email address–then you can continue to follow up.

6. Create genuine personal connections

Create genuine personal connections

Getting more clicks to your website or subscribers to your social media or email list is a start, but that’s not the end goal of church growth strategies. Ultimately, you care about people.

And there’s no substitute for a real, human connection.

People seek church communities where they feel accepted and valued. They’re looking for a place where they can belong and grow.

Healthy church growth strategies focus on building people and helping them build relationships with God and others.

Here are some tips to make your church growth strategies more personal:

  • Pray with people. You can do this through live chat, live social media broadcast, email, text, or phone calls.
  • Create opportunities for small groups. Groups can be virtual or in person.
  • Encourage church members to invite their friends. Equip them with resources like digital invitations, social media posts, and email templates.
  • Create a personalized “plan your visit” experience for first-time guests. This can include a personal email from someone before their visit, meeting a team member in the lobby on the first day to show them around and help them check kids in, and a personal follow-up after the first visit.

The bottom line for making things more personal is that you create a two-way street in communication. You’re not just broadcasting content, you’re also inviting conversation.

7. Set flexible service times

Flexible service times are essential for accommodating the diverse schedules of church members. By setting flexible service times, church leaders can make worship accessible to a broad range of individuals, recognizing the varied commitments and routines of its members.

This approach fosters inclusivity, allowing people with different work, family, or personal obligations to participate in the spiritual community. This is especially helpful to millennials, who are more likely to be busy on Sunday mornings than people from other generations.

Whether early morning, midday, or evening, flexible service times acknowledge that not everyone follows a conventional timetable.

This adaptability is especially crucial in the modern, fast-paced world, where individuals juggle multiple responsibilities. It ensures that the church remains a welcoming space for both regular attendees and newcomers, facilitating greater attendance and participation.

Additionally, flexible service times cater to different preferences and comfort levels, recognizing that some may find certain times more conducive to worship and reflection. This thoughtful consideration for the diverse needs of the congregation contributes to a more dynamic and supportive spiritual environment, reinforcing the church’s commitment to meeting people where they are in their faith journey.

8. Use keywords and SEO to help solve peoples’ problems

Use keywords and SEO to help solve peoples' problems

People are going through extreme challenges, and they’re looking for answers.

And they can tell whether you actually care or you’re only concerned about getting people to come to your church. Are you willing to reach out and meet them where they are? To serve first before you ask?

People typically search Google or YouTube when they need help.

First, it’s how they’re accustomed to finding “how to” problem-solving information. Second, many issues such as anxiety or addiction can be difficult to discuss, especially with a stranger. The internet provides a safe place to explore solutions while staying anonymous.

You can use keywords and SEO (search engine optimization) strategies to create content that will minister to people.

Here are a few tips:

  • Use keyword research tools
  • Optimize your website for SEO by using keyword-rich titles and descriptions, as well as alt tags on images.
  • Focus on helping people with problems
  • Think about questions people will type into search engines

Use keywords and SEO best practices to ensure that your church’s website appears in search results when people seek help.

This means you don’t shy away from complex topics like depression, addiction, and marital infidelity. Instead, you focus on creating content that will help those who are struggling in these areas.

When you do this, you’ll be surprised at how many people will find your church online and reach out for help.

9. Invest in your church leaders

Investing in church leaders is like planting seeds for growth. These leaders serve as the backbone, guiding the congregation and inspiring others. When your church invests in their development, it’s like providing nourishment for the entire community.

Effective leaders impact the overall health of the church. They bring vision, passion, and a sense of purpose that resonates with the congregation.

By offering training, mentorship, and resources, the church ensures its leaders are equipped to navigate challenges and inspire others to actively participate.

Investing in leaders is an investment in the future. As these leaders grow in their roles, they empower others, creating a ripple effect of positive influence.

Strong leadership also attracts new members, as people are drawn to communities led by individuals who embody the values they seek.

Furthermore, investing in church leaders fosters unity. When leaders feel supported and valued, they can better guide the congregation with a unified vision. This cohesion creates a welcoming environment where individuals feel connected and motivated to contribute, ultimately contributing to the overall growth and vitality of the church community.

10. Make disciples and leaders, not just consumers

Make disciples and leaders, not just consumers

If your church growth strategies are built solely on marketing initiatives pushed out from your church staff, you’ll be limited. Having a top-down strategy creates a church full of passive consumers.

Part of the strategy is activating peoples’ gifts and sending them out.

When people come to church, they should be able to foster lifelong relationships and serve purposefully in a common mission; not just attend occasional services. This transforms individuals, communities, and the world.

There’s simply no way to fulfill the Great Commission unless we make disciples. Jesus gave us this charge thousands of years ago, and it’s still true today.

The best church growth strategy of all time is word of mouth: go and tell!

  • Equip people to share and invite
  • Empower people to lead
  • Encourage church members to be on mission in their everyday lives

When you focus on growing people in their faith, connecting them in relationships, and equipping them to share their faith, you will see healthy growth.

11. Build relationships with small groups

Building relationships through small groups is a key ingredient for church growth. Small groups create a space where members can connect on a personal level, fostering a sense of belonging and community.

In these intimate settings, individuals are more likely to open up, share experiences, and support one another in their faith journey.

There are plenty of reasons why small groups can be great for building relaitonships:

  • Intimacy: Small groups create an intimate setting, fostering genuine connections and a sense of community.
  • Active Participation: With fewer members, everyone has the opportunity to actively engage in discussions, promoting a more involved and participatory atmosphere.
  • Personal Sharing: The smaller, more comfortable setting encourages members to share personal experiences, building trust and deeper connections.
  • Supportive Environment: Small groups provide a supportive space where members can offer encouragement, share challenges, and celebrate successes in a more personal manner.
  • Diversity of Perspectives: Bringing together individuals with diverse backgrounds enriches discussions, offering varied perspectives and broadening the overall understanding within the group.

In essence, building relationships through small groups is not just about growing a church numerically; it’s about cultivating a supportive family where individuals flourish in their faith and bring others along for the journey.

12. Don’t forget to put Jesus first

Putting Jesus first is the compass that guides a church on its growth journey. It’s not just a tradition but the heartbeat that sustains the community. When Jesus is at the center, everything falls into place.

Firstly, focusing on Jesus fosters a genuine and vibrant faith. It keeps the church rooted in the teachings of love, compassion, and service, creating an environment where individuals can deepen their spiritual connection.

Secondly, putting Jesus first strengthens the sense of unity among the congregation. Regardless of differences, a shared commitment to Jesus unites the community in a common purpose. This unity is magnetic, drawing others who are seeking a supportive and spiritually rich environment.

Additionally, prioritizing Jesus cultivates humility among church members. It reminds everyone that the church exists not for its own glory but to reflect the light of Christ. This humility creates a welcoming atmosphere where people feel accepted and valued.

Lastly, keeping Jesus at the forefront ensures that growth aligns with spiritual values. It’s a reminder that numbers alone don’t define success; it’s about the transformation of lives and the faithful journey together.

When Jesus is the priority, the church not only grows numerically but also flourishes in its mission to share the love and grace of Christ with the world.

Church Growth Strategies You Need Now

Church Growth Strategies You Need Now

Church growth strategies come in all shapes and sizes. The most effective will focus on using effective technologies and communication, meeting people where they are, serving others, and making disciples. All while using the latest digital tools without forgoing personal invitation.

What has been the most effective way for you to grow your church in the digital age? Let us know in the comments below.

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