Expand Your Flock
It’s been a tough few years for organizations of all types. Ministries and faith-based groups, however, have had it particularly hard. At a time when church attendance was already on the decline, a pandemic showed up and kept people at home. You’ve made it this far, though, so is it time for a break? Of course not! It’s time to follow a few steps for congregation growth in 2022.
The simple fact is that there’s never a good time for churches to take a break in the present world. You must constantly think about fundraising, proper budgeting, increasing attendance, and other necessities of modern ministries. With the following five strategic steps for congregation growth — and resources like DonerWERX — you’ll be able to accomplish this far beyond 2022.
1. Take a Look at the Year in Review
The Bible teaches us not to judge someone solely by their past. Most people agree with this sentiment. When it comes to improving your ministry, though, the past is exactly where you need to look. At the start of every new year, take a look back at the prior 12 months. Did the steps for congregation growth you used succeed? Were you able to increase donations?
You must answer these and many other pertinent questions to see what works. For instance, if a particular outreach method wasn’t as successful as you’d hoped, it may be time to consider something else. Was a particular method you used especially successful? Ask yourself why that approach succeeded and how you can duplicate it.
You should also take time to review the following metrics and those related to them:
- Average dollar given per congregant
- Average weekly attendance
- Rate of members who use automatic giving
- Number of new first-time givers
- Donor retention rates
If you’ve never once collected these metrics, now is the time to start. This is one of the most crucial steps for congregation growth. The past is not always a perfect indicator of the future — particularly when you’re actively working to improve — but these numbers will help you compare your efforts over time.
While last year may have been challenging, rest assured that it still has many lessons to teach.
2. Start Focusing on Donor Engagement
When you look at your congregation, you probably don’t see a group of donors. After all, churchgoers become more like family over time. When it comes to taking steps for congregation growth, though, your strategies should be the same as donor-centric organizations. Why is this so important? Because 98% of church revenue comes directly from member donations.
Fortunately, the things that drive organizational donations are the same that drive church tithing. People want to know where their money is going. They want to know it’s accomplishing something good. They desire honesty, transparency, ease of donating, and seeing the results of their contribution. This makes donor engagement one of the critical steps for congregation growth.
It honestly all comes down to messaging. The simple fact is that an engaged donor — or tither, if you prefer — is more generous with their money. If you can appeal to your congregants in a way that moves them, they’ll be more than happy to help you do the work of God. The DonorWERX framework and Digital Giving Software can help you in this endeavor.
3. Make a Point of Talking About Money
Talking about money is often seen as a hurdle to congregation growth. In reality, it is a step in itself. In the modern world, you can’t expect churchgoers to give just because the Bible says they should. That’s just not how it works anymore. They need to know why they should give, and this often involves speaking directly to them about tithing and donations.
Yes, it may feel awkward learning how to talk about money in the church. But remember that statistic we mentioned earlier? You know, the statistic regarding where 98% of ministry revenue comes from? If you’re not straightforward with your members, all the other steps for congregation growth will mean nothing.
Here are a few tips on how to pull off the money discussion:
- Talk about money all the time. Don’t just wait until stewardship season.
- Explain the spiritual significance of money — and how it’s doing God’s work.
- Share stories of God rewarding those who give — or stories of how giving helped someone.
- Remain positive when talking about money — even if the situation is dire.
- Mention the financial realities of everyone else — not just the ministry.
Yes, this is probably the most awkward of the steps for congregation growth. Unfortunately for that part of you that hates awkwardness, it’s also one of the most vital steps. Don’t worry; it will get easier as you go along. If you’re not willing to be honest about money with your church members, though, you’ll have a hard time achieving anything beneficial.
4. Don’t Procrastinate on Technology Adoption
In a perfect world, church leaders would be at the forefront of technological trends. In the past, this was more luxury than a necessity. Times have changed, though, and the ministry must keep up. Imagine small churches that didn’t offer digital giving before the pandemic. What happened when people suddenly weren’t in attendance to put money in the collection plate?
Unfortunately, many of them shut down. More ministries were already closing than opening, and the pandemic exacerbated the problem. If your church made it through those difficult times, though, it’s time to take steps to ensure you’re not blindsided again. Adopt digital giving. Offer text donation services. You can even accept crypto donations now.
Keeping up with tech trends is more than just one of the steps for congregation growth. When it comes down to it, it’s a necessary part of congregation survival. Don’t let your ministry get left behind out of a misplaced desire to hang onto the old ways. After all, just because congregants can donate from home doesn’t mean a small country church isn’t still a small country church.
5. Make Your Plans in Advance
One of the most critical steps for congregation growth is to plan in advance. In the DonorWERX Framework, you’ll find calendars with strategic steps laid out months in advance. It’s simply problematic to wait until the first of the month to plan out that month’s activities. That’s because we recognize the absolute necessity of being proactive.
Fortunately for those who use our framework, we offer updated calendars for content, messaging, and more. Even if you’re attempting these steps on your own, though, you should still focus on preplanning. While it might be one of the most time-consuming steps for congregation growth — if you’re doing it on your own, anyway — it’s one that simply can’t be overlooked.
How DonorWERX Can Help
Even though the mission of the ministry remains the same, churches undeniably exist in a new world. While this creates difficulties in some respects, it also creates opportunities. With the right tools and strategies — along with following these steps for congregation growth — you can expand your ministry even as church attendance dwindles nationwide. DonorWERX can help.
The DonorWERX platform includes donor engagement tools, digital giving resources, crypto donation capabilities, and more. We offer everything you need to increase donations in your ministry. We’re so confident in this that we provide free discovery consultations. You’ll receive three customized tips during this call that will increase giving by 10% in just six months.
Email teaser: Churches around the world have had a difficult few years. Yours is probably no exception. If you’ve made it this far, however, God obviously has big plans for your ministry. Of course, he’s not just going to grant blessings to those who don’t deserve them. It takes hard work to make a house of worship successful, and this typically requires strategic planning. In case you’re having difficulty in this area, the attached article will provide the guidance you need.