Well, Easter 2020 is officially over. And while you didn’t have to stress about organizing more services, accommodating more guests and facilitating the extra volunteers needed to pull of this special Sunday, you likely had the stress of “how in the world do we make this online experience happen in such a way that still feels authentic and engaging for people through a screen?” You are not alone. But you’re also not out of the woods.
Whether we like it or not, the online/virtual church option is not, well, an option anymore. And while it’s a mandatory outlet for the time being, we believe that it’ll become a more primary source of consumption for people post-social distancing.
In fact, we’re seeing quite the shift in church growth statistics:
Pre-pandemic: 8-15% of churches reported growth
During the pandemic: 49% of churches reporting growth.
Why is this? Why are churches seeing growth now of all times?
People are more inclined to seek out faith and religious leadership during uncertain times such as this. Everything they have ever known to be constant has shifted and changed, and often leads them to outlets like the church. Now is a great time, as a church, to be a spiritual leader and keep in mind what pain points your congregation is facing and address those if your planned series is no longer a fit/relevant.
“Digital church” has lowered the barrier to entry. This one is obvious, right? People don’t have to have the added stress of “I don’t know anyone there” or “what if it’s not a fit and I feel obligated to come back.” People can now try it out in the comfort of their own home and not feel anxiety that often accompanies trying something new or re-engaging their faith.
Another trend we’re seeing: older generations who once scoffed at the idea of “online church” are now accepting it at a rapid rate since they have no other option currently. Not only are many accepting it, but they are grasping onto the understanding that “the church is not four walls” – for this reason, we believe there will be an increase in the older generations staying at home more Sundays instead of feeling the religious pressure that they must physically attend in order to be a part on a Sunday.
As you can see by the stat we started with, churches can now grow at a rate faster than any new campus or added service could accommodate. Technically, your growth potential is endless when more effort and intentionality is poured into the online experience. As long as your church puts effort into the digital experience, making it feel like a campus of its own, you can have a piece of the digital growth pie.
This leads us into our main point: your church needs to focus on your online experience. This means varying things to all church sizes, but to the degree that someone can engage with the church in person, try to replicate that digitally as you continue to resource and connect with your church attendees.
If you need help elevating your online church experience or just have questions about the possibilities that exist, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. After serving churches for a couple decades, we have a good grasp on who you serve and what it takes technologically to keep up in these uncharted, all-digital times.