HomeDigital MinistryCommunicationConnecting Your Church's Digital Presence to Ministry Effectiveness

Connecting Your Church’s Digital Presence to Ministry Effectiveness

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As someone who works in ministry but also values technology, you understand why having an effective digital presence is critical for churches. However, there are probably people in your church who don’t understand why your church’s website is so important.

the-numbers-game_croppedDespite the fact that 70 percent of your church’s first-time guests will visit your website before they decide to attend, some church leaders can’t make the connection between your digital presence and ministry effectiveness. This can be a tough change for some leaders because they remember a day when churches didn’t have websites and dynamic online content.

Tracking your church’s digital presence offers great insights into the metrics that matter for ministry. Today, churches are using technology to create opportunities for people to worship, give, and study the Bible. Most people use and appreciate online resources and the access to information it affords.

How to Leverage Online Analytics to Measure Ministry Effectiveness

The availability of analytics for your website makes it easy to know what the people in your church community are viewing and what they are missing. If you don’t know what people are doing online, you can’t adequately plan your online presence. If you have web pages people aren’t visiting, you need to know why.

Are you answering questions no one is asking? Do you need to find a way to make important information more important to your community? Are people updating their online profiles and regularly returning to the member portal? For today’s digital generation, this is the same as involvement.

For potential church visitors, the Web is often their initial interaction with your community. If visitors find your online community difficult to navigate, they may choose to not visit in person. Your web presence should be as friendly as your physical building.

Your Church’s Website is Like an Onion

If you want to be able to identify how your website is making a tangible difference in the lives of people in your church, you need to think of your web presence like an onion. It must be layered so people encounter the most important messages or ministries first. The secondary messages require a click.

By monitoring online activity and providing a friendly online gathering space, you can gain valuable information about your retention efforts. For more insights on things you can measure to increase your church’s ministry effectiveness, download our resource “The Numbers Game” today.

How would you rate the effectiveness of your church’s online presence? What can you do to improve it?

Steve Caton
Steve Caton
Steve Caton has been building teams and nurturing innovative growing organizations for over 30 years, successfully expanding a variety of companies such as The Giving Crowd, Newdea and Christianity.com. Steve is most recognized for his work at Church Community Builder where he assisted in catalyzing an eight-year period of double-digit growth and service to over 4,800 churches. Steve is passionate about Kingdom causes and has authored hundreds of articles and ebooks about effective leadership and organizational health. Currently, Steve is the Chief Growth Officer at Generis where he works alongside a team of over 45 generosity and leadership experts to increase their reach and impact.  

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Alan! Lauren is correct about standard increases in donations as a result of the addition of online giving. The truth is that every organization has a different experience. Some see exponential increases, others more incremental. However, I have never heard from a Pastor who did NOT experience growth. More importantly, every one I’ve talked to about it admits that new givers surfaced who were part of the church but not giving. This highlights studies which have shown that when you offer people more choices to give, new people start giving.

    It’s all about preferences these days and when we don’t offer multiple choices for people to give, we communicate to them that their generosity only matters to us when it is on our terms. Many people simply don’t give as a result. We can argue with that or we can accept it and try to meet people where they are.

    Here are a couple of articles that might provide some additional insight to help guide your decision.

    http://www.rustylewis.net/blog/removing-hurdles-online-giving-02262014

    http://www.churchcommunitybuilder.com/why-most-churches-miss-the-opportunity-to-cultivate-online-giving/

    Hope that helps!

  2. Hello. Our church is looking at adding an online donation ability and possibly expansion of mobile services. Is there a standard percentage range of increase in donations anticipated by adding these online services?

    • Hi Alan, Thanks for your comment! I don’t think any company can guarantee a specific rate of increase when you add online giving services, but many churches do experience an increase in giving by 10-20% – so much has to do with how the new giving methods are communicated and promoted to the congregation (via announcements, email, videos, website, social media). I would recommend your church think through a solid giving communications plan to make the most of the online offering options. Here’s an interesting article from Forbes about the increase in giving post-recession: http://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthasharf/2014/02/05/charitable-giving-grew-in-2013-as-online-giving-picked-up/

      I’ll ask Steve Caton to chime in as well.

      Blessings,
      Lauren Hunter

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