Church growth tools are multi-faceted. They range from editing to streaming and everything in between. In fact, the market for digital technology is exploding.
Are you looking to elevate your ministry? Can your church benefit from ideas and tools for church growth? Keep reading to learn more about 12 ways to grow your church.
Church Growth Tools Are Instrumental to Your Church's Success
Church growth statistics show only 42% of Millennials identify as being a member of a church. These numbers are a very important statistic because Millennials are the future of the church.
In terms of stewardship and giving, the loss of faithful seniors can become a blindspot in your ministry. It can take up to five new members to equal that level of commitment to giving and serving in some instances.
If you believe your church is susceptible to frailties in membership, it's time to perform a church growth analysis. The findings may surprise you. Now more than ever is the time to invest in growing your ministry.
To do this, you'll need a team to put these church growth tools and ideas to work for your ministry.
1. Create a Strong Social Media Presence
Social media was once seen as a negative in the church. Pastors delivered sermons on how social media was a distraction. Today it is being harnessed as one of the greatest church growth tools available to ministries, large and small.
Before your church delves into using the tools available, you'll want to create a social media policy. Your policy sets guidelines to protect your church and its image. Establishing a social media team will go a long way in setting the tone for your online image.
When deciding on a social media platform, understand the outcomes you hope to achieve. Not all social platforms are created equal. Each has its own audience, and those audiences interact with content differently.
Define your target audience and explore what platforms they are most likely to use. Next, make use of the key features to gain the most exposure. Facebook and Instagram are two social media tools to consider.
Platforms like Facebook have tools for church growth. You can create a ministry page that offers tools you won't receive on a regular page. You'll have analytics and insights to measure your success.
If you want to invest in promotions, Facebook offers that as well. Plus, you can crossover to its sister site, Instagram.
Instagram differs from Facebook in that it is designed for short messaging. Your church would use this platform to post visuals, such as images and short videos less than 59 seconds in length.
They have a feature called IGTV, which allows for longer videos. Your church can also Livestream your services on IG Stories. When Live videos end, they are no longer visible unless you reupload them to IGTV. If you're looking to upload videos to IGTV, it's easier than you might think. By following these instructions, you can upload them fast.
Service-Selfie and Live Tweets
Don't stop there. Snapchat is great for youth ministries and the popular service-selfie marketing strategy.
Reach new audiences by live-tweeting from Twitter. Live tweets involve posting sermon quotes that include hashtags that identify your church or a trending topic.
2. Invest in Professional Live Streaming
A lot of the popular church growth tools center around virtual church services. Live streaming isn't new to ministry, but many small to medium-sized churches didn't understand its value before the pandemic. Others simply didn't have the budget or manpower.
Today, live streaming is almost a necessity if you want to remain visible and relevant. The church is evolving, and people have many options. It’s commonplace to see multiple churches within a short distance of each other.
How do you stand out from the competition? You make services more convenient. If someone can't attend in person, make it available online.
If you want to move beyond a camera on a tripod, you're going to need the latest live streaming services and tools. There are free and subscription-based platforms available.
Most social media platforms now offer video streaming apps. YouTube is a free video-sharing platform that differs from other social media streaming because it's dedicated to video.
YouTube offers many tools that churches can use to promote their church online. It offers post pre-recorded videos, Premieres or stream Live.
The platform has billions of monthly users creating the potential for churches to create a global audience. Another benefit to using YouTube is the ability to create a separate stream of income for the church.
Paid Streaming Software
The list of paid streaming software continues to grow. Here is a list of some popular apps for your church.
- OBS Studio
- Worship Channels
Each company offers a price point that is determined by your individual needs. When looking for streaming software, consider how much bandwidth, hours, storage and live support you'll need.
The ability to cast to multiple platforms is also something to consider.
3. Develop Industry Partnerships
Among church growth strategies that ministries have used to propel their presence is in developing industry partnerships. For too long, ministry has been done in a vacuum. Many church leaders saw little value in partnering with non-church entities.
Today, churches are learning that bringing in businesses and corporations is a form of discipleship. If you want to feed the hungry, engaging local grocery store chains has its benefits. When your church is hosting an event to raise funds, why not look to businesses for sponsorships.
Pull your teams together to decide which companies you want to partner with. Create a multi-tier structure based on non-profits, small, medium, large-size businesses and corporations.
Next, you'll need to create a presentation that includes a letter outlining your purpose and a link to your church website for more information. Sample tools you'll need for this project can include:
- Writing software (Word).
- Graphics software (Adobe).
- Editing software (Grammarly).
- Email marketing software (Constant Contact).
After you've created your presentation, outline a plan to follow-up with the businesses. Follow-up strategies may include first, second, and third emails and in-person meetings.
4. Make Your Media Ministry a Priority
We've talked a lot about using video to grow your church. There is no denying that video is a large part of the church growth movement. To utilize this tool effectively, your church needs a strong media ministry.
Although media is a volunteer-based ministry, it is a crucial part of your church budget. For mega-churches, there is potential to hire a media director and other team members. However, equipment and software are a requirement.
Media ministries have given creatives within the church an opportunity to display their talents in a positive environment. Using the software, social media and your team's imagination, the media ministry can shine the spotlight on the great work the congregation is doing.
Consider using platforms like Issuu to publish digital content like an online magazine. An active church should have no problems coming up with engaging content for a monthly or bi-monthly edition.
Feature ideas include:
- message from the pastor.
- snippets from events.
- ministry spotlight.
- volunteer spotlight.
- member or family spotlight.
The right app for an online magazine will include video integration. You may also want to give people the option to purchase a print copy.
Utilize your media ministry beyond Sunday services. They are the one ministry with the greatest potential to help the church bring in new members.
5. Community Activism Grows Ministry
Community outreach ministries are awesome church growth tools. It's also a way to demonstrate the good works that are taking place within your ministry. There are a lot of opportunities to interact with the community that don't include the direct promotion of the church.
Here are some examples:
Partner on Community Events
In every city, there are events taking place to benefit the community. Some are age-specific, while others are family-oriented.
Your church can offer to become a co-sponsor by purchasing booth space and sending volunteers.
Popular events include Easter egg hunts or Octoberfest events that are alternatives to Halloween. Awareness events like American Heart Walk and Breast Cancer Awareness are great opportunities.
Sponsor Members for a Sports League
Community sports leagues are a lot of fun. Flag football, kickball, softball and bowling are popular choices. Sports leagues build camaraderie among church members, and it provides a way to reach the unchurched.
The added benefit is that you help your members with their health and fitness goals.
Donate Church Space for Community Outreach
Many churches have meeting space, as well as large parking lots. Your campus can become a site for numerous outreach projects. Get connected with organizations within your area to see how your space can help them.
6. Repurpose Content
Repurposing content is a church growth strategy that's gaining traction among churches that livestream. You can take a full-length video and divide it into multiple parts. Create a smaller video with praise and worship and another featuring only the sermon.
On YouTube, you can create playlists. If your church has a YouTube channel, create playlists for sermon series, same topic sermons or church events.
If your church has a following on multiple social media platforms, devise a plan to reuse content for each audience. Remember, all social media channels don't operate the same. Even if they have the same people, your audience might be totally different.
Try doing something like this:
Take videos of sermons centered around Mother's Day and Father's Day. Every week in May and June, host a throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday. Post the entire sermon or create a highlight reel.
Too often, people have the misperception that pastors are perfect. Show a lighter side to ministry. Apps like Tik Tok and IG Reels are about making people laugh.
There are sure to be a few mishaps with all the footage you have from church services and events. Create a short good-natured bloopers video.
7. Reimagine Your Youth and Young Adult Ministries
As times change, so do people and how they receive information. Since the church needs the younger generations to survive, it's time to start reimagining how your youth and young adult ministries operate.
The best way to do this is to engage the people from those demographics. Design a church survey to see what those demographics want and expect from the church.
Create a separate survey for members and non-members. If possible, make it anonymous and online.
Take the feedback you receive and form a committee to see which actions you can implement immediately. Don't dismiss any reasonable suggestion. It's time to create a church growth movement that will include the future of the church.
8. Design an Apparel Line
Branded church appeal is a part of church growth movements. People are moving away from the traditional church attire. It is becoming commonplace to see people attending church in jeans and t-shirts, hoodies and other casual apparel.
Creating an apparel line is a way to market your church. It also shows that your members aren’t afraid to declare their religious beliefs.
You can choose between outsourcing or creating a ministry in-house for production. Printing presses are inexpensive, and if the demand is great enough, the return on investment is worth it.
There is nothing wrong with creating employment opportunities within the church. Added revenue for the church and job creation is a win-win church growth opportunity that has long-lasting benefits.
9. Take Your Ministry to the Streets
The Bible says that we're to go out into the world and find others who will become disciples. True discipleship means at some point, members have to leave the confines of their physical church to reach and teach those who are not a part of the church.
Social media, e-Marketing, an engaging website and other church growth tools are great assets. However, nothing tops good old-fashioned face-to-face communications.
Try taking to the streets to knock on doors and personally invite people to church or a special event. It's also an amazing way to learn who the church's neighbors are and to extend prayer or a kind word.
Another form of street ministry is to attend parades and community festivals to hand out religious texts. Make sure you get approval from the event organizer and check with the city for permitting regulations.
10. Introduce a Mobile App
Mobile apps are not just for large businesses. If you have a website, chances are you can benefit from a mobile app.
The app is a condensed version of your website. It is designed for use on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. Don’t confuse an app with a user-responsive website as they are two separate functions.
Churches can get a mobile app for their church at no cost. All they need to do is set up a free Vanco Mobile App account.
Make giving easy and convenient for the congregation, visitors and online audiences. With the app, they can set-up one-time or recurring donations. There's no need to wait until Sunday service to give. If someone doesn't make it to church, they can still donate from wherever they are located.
As churches attract an audience from around the country, your app will make giving easier. Encourage people to download the app as part of your offering message.
Another way to encourage the congregation and followers to download the church app is by posting the church bulletin to the app. You no longer have to worry about notifying members when an event is canceled or changed. Plus, you cut down on printing costs.
You can update and make changes in real-time and then send a notification to the app.
Have you ever checked the stats on your church's robocall? Does your church even use this outdated method of communicating with members?
Your mobile app replaces the need for robocalls which are often ineffective. Push notifications go to every user, or users receive segmented messages based on preferences and need-to-know populations.
Sermon notes and sermon guides are excellent church growth tools. Help your members become better readers of the word and increase engagement.
You can deliver the outline for Sunday's message along with reference text. Your app can also include an online study Bible and notes section.
11. Develop a Marketing Ministry
A marketing ministry is different from a church's media ministry. The two will work side-by-side but have a different purpose. Your marketing ministry is charged with marketing the great work the church is doing both inside and out.
The ministry’s size and duties will depend largely on the church’s size and how active your ministries have become.
The marketing team is in charge of creating visuals using images and video. The footage used can come from photos and videos captured within the church. Or you can use a service that offers stock images and short-length clips of video footage.
You can use content from these platforms:
- Adobe Stock
- Creative Commons
The marketing ministry is also responsible for written messages. With online content, you'll need someone skilled in search engine optimization (SEO).
The marketing team will also work alongside the social media team to distribute content. The more people you can reach, the better. Understand that today, people receive information in different ways, so your marketing has to have versatility.
12. Offer In-Person and Online Workshops
Church growth strategies are not only about reaching potential audiences outside the church. It is also about engaging existing members and keeping them connected, whether in-person or online. To do this, you'll need to offer alternatives in ministry.
One simple way to grow your audience beyond Sunday service is by offering online Bible study. For years, protestant churches have hosted Bible-study on Wednesday evenings.
It is nearly impossible for the average person to leave work, take care of dinner for the family and get to church on time. People often choose not to attend because Bible study or church meetings don’t fit their schedule.
Now you can offer members an alternative. They can attend Bible study and ministry meetings via apps like Zoom. Zoom offers online meetings that can include two to 1,000 people. The basic plan allows for 100 participants.
Another way churches are experiencing growth is by taking their small group meetings out of the church. Innovative ministries are using local eateries, social activities like pottery and painting events to engage members.
No matter what activities you make available, remember to market what you're doing. Get feedback after every engagement opportunity. Use this information to build stronger believers and a closer community.
Keep Your Members Engaged in Ministry
Use these church growth tools to keep your members engaged in ministry. Real-time examples of committed stewardship are the best marketing strategy to grow your church.
Technology, software and other tools on the market are designed to make work easier regardless of industry. Churches should commit to capitalizing on the innovation available.