Churches are rightly concerned about diminishing congregations. While the numbers vary, according to Dr. Richard J. Krejcir, “every year more than 4000 churches close their doors.” Additionally, Krejcir asserts, “every year, 2.7 million church members fall into inactivity.” True answers to this problem are nuanced, but one avenue worth exploring is, is church growth fueled by church web traffic growth? Jonathan Howe provides an effective metaphor by describing the church website as “the front door to your church.” Your church web traffic is quite possibly someone’s first and primary interaction with your church. Churches can make significant progress toward addressing diminishing or disengaged congregations by placing strategic emphasis on their website as a platform to see church growth fueled by church web traffic growth. Let’s examine the purpose, the substance, and the method for church websites that fuel church growth.
Your church website is likely to be the first impression of your church. Your website holds the role of greeter for your church web traffic as it helps people learn, grow, and connect. As a 2013 Barna Group study indicates, “It may be that for millennials, checking out a faith community online, from a safe distance, is a prerequisite for the commitment of showing up in person.” Therefore, church growth fueled by church web traffic growth is not a gimmick but a cultural reality that cannot be missed. For example, church Christmas advertising or church Easter advertising, mainstays for church growth, can be a campaign on the church’s website. This can include church event advertising but also spiritually nourishing, consumable content. In short, your church web traffic is an effective and necessary component of outreach and discipleship.
In a 2013 study, “How Technology is Changing Millennial Faith“, it’s noted that “6/10 Christian millennials and 3/10 millennials search for Christian content online.” Moreover, Jonathan Howe notes that church web traffic flounders because churches “don’t provide media to consume”. Churches producing consumable, nourishing spiritual content for their websites will minister to an audience clamoring for material. As the Barna Group concludes, “Millennials desire relevant, two-way conversations…in many ways these conversations are already happening online.” In “Five Reasons Millennials Stay Connected to the Church,” teaching and learning expressions comprise 3/5 of those reasons. Teaching and learning is taking place in the pulpit, but it’s also happening online, and church web traffic should reflect that.
Churches must make this content findable. Churches must maximize church website SEO, church Facebook advertising, and church Google advertising. There are an abundance of inexpensive or even free tools that churches can exercise for this task. While church growth and Google or church growth and Facebook may seem to not compliment one another, they are, in fact, tandem pursuits. Finally, collaborating with a church marketing consultant is an increasingly valuable investment. Church ministry is about reaching people where they are, and a church marketing consultant will help maximize the ministry potential of church web traffic.
Church Growth Fueled by Church Web Traffic Growth
Of course, churches are not in the business of generating the next great social platform, and a great website is not necessarily an indication of a great church. The Apostle Paul said, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” Managing and maximizing church web traffic to best minister to some seems like a modern expression of Paul’s assertion. Church growth fueled by church web traffic growth is a natural result of effectively ministering to the times.
Missional Marketing is a dedicated Christian communications firm working with Christian Churches and Organizations across the country. We are also a Top 5% Certified Google Partner. So get in touch today, and we can get started.