I know this church. It doesn’t spend a dime on outreach. It doesn’t have a website, social media account, or email list. The first time I went there, I could barely find the place because I didn’t see a sign anywhere.
The place is packed on Sunday morning. It is difficult to find a parking spot, let alone a place to sit. Members love the church, and new people are always seeking it out.
I love this church. But, as a strategist, and a church professional, I hate to break it to you but, your church is not likely that church.
Church Digital Reputation
I like to think that even in this new digital age, there will always be churches so exceptional at worship, service, and outreach that they will need to spend little to no effort using modern marketing methods to reach new people. Just like I believe there will be spiritual guides hidden away in tiny mountain villages, and artisans who will only sell their work to a select few, there will always be some women, men, churches, and organizations who can buck any trend of marketing or innovation. If this is your church’s path, I wish you well. I hope you will drop me a note so I can come and visit (if I can find you and find a place to park.)
For everyone else, the world is changing fast. Most churches will not survive, let alone thrive in today’s digital, ever-changing marketplace.
There are new churches opening all the time. As I hear about them gathering people in groups, looking for a place to meet, and making plans for their first worship service, I can’t help but ask some questions.
- How is there website coming?
- Do they have a local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy?
- What are their plans for social media?
- Are they going to monitor their online reviews?
- Can people find them on Google Maps?
Maybe this church will be so spectacular that they won’t need any of that. This would be a fantastic place to go. What they might not realize is that even if it is, even if the members are faithful about inviting their friends and co-workers, people are still going to check their online reviews before they check it out in person.
I know, the church is different. The Church Universal will outlast social media. But local churches have important kingdom work to do. It is a shame to see so many of them struggle because they don’t see the importance of speaking the Gospel in a language that will be understood by those who need to hear it.
Even if you tell me you “I know a church,” I am going to Google it.