As a active member of your local church, pastor or a ministry leader, you are probably always trying to figure out what is working well, what areas you may need to work on and what direction into the future your ministry should take.
It was true January, 2015, as it is in 2016.
One specific area that most churches struggle with is how to integrate technology best, in a way that it actually produces results, as well as how much focus one should put into it.
What should my technology focus really be for 2016?
Let me cut right to the chase. It’s never about the technology.
Here’s what churches should be focusing on in 2016!
On that blog, I also discussed why some churches are just not ready and probably should not jump right into it.
As you read, you would want to dive into the details of what it is, why it matters and some simple steps you can take this weekend to effect change.
Here’s a hint….
“In the last 12 months, over 17 million American adults who don’t regularly attend worship services visited the website of a local church or place of worship.” – Grey Matter Research
Wow, that’s powerful!
Chances are that the very same people you are trying to reach within your local community, who will never open their door or answer your mailers, may actually find you online, first.
Is your church’s digital strategy your number one priority?
We know that, according to Jordan Gillman, “digital strategy is all about being intentional in the way you use your digital tools to minister to your congregation and share Jesus with your community,” but what does this strategy allow you to actually do as a church or ministry?
First, let’s quickly walk you through the recent development of digital tools for churches, just to explain why you need to know where you are and what most churches should be doing in 2016.
- In 2012, enough people (over 50%) had access to the Internet on their mobile phones that having a mobile version of your church’s website became important. Mobile websites provide great user experiences and, in April 2015, Google modified its mobile search algorithm, to include mobile friendliness as a ranking factor. Live streaming services also became very popular. While churches were already doing this, the practice became more mainstream.
- By 2013, more churches were onboard with mobile communications. They started to use text messaging and their own mobile apps to reach out to their digital audiences. Social media was also becoming an important tool that churches were using to communicate with their congregations.
- 2014 brought new advances. Mobile responsive design allowed designers to create websites that could adjust to whatever screen they appeared on. A special mobile site was no longer required. Your regular site was smart enough to adjust to the device that it was being displayed on.
- By 2015, churches and ministries were using a variety of digital and mobile tools to communicate. At this point, an overall communications strategy was required to coordinate the use of all these tools. Church leaders were beginning to understand how to use the communication tools at their disposal and were developing an integrated strategy to deploy all these tools in concert. Many had already seen results and most were beyond the “Does this really work?” phase.
- 2016? Fully Turning “On” Your Offline Church
Your digital strategy allows you to effectively power ‘on’ to reach more online. The emphasis being heavily on church than online.
I discuss the differences in semantics, prerequisite steps you should consider and how to start preparations to launch and grow your church online on this blog.