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Church Engagement Model - Part 2: Best Attract Strategies

Welcome back! I pray you enjoyed the first blog from this series on the Church Engagement Model. In the Church Engagement Model Part 1, we discussed the importance of meaningful and valuable member engagement by meeting the felt needs of your congregation and the community. Our goal with the Church Engagement Model is to move everyone from a Consumer mind frame—What’s in it for me? or How is the church serving me?—to a Contributor mind frame —How can I serve to multiply the Kingdom? and What can I do for others?

There are five jobs that every church does, whether intentionally or “organically” without a plan. When a church is intentional about each of the jobs and when they have a process in place that can be tracked and measured, we find them to be more successful. These five jobs are ATTRACT, GET, RETAIN, GROW (also known as DISCIPLE), and MULTIPLY.

In this blog, we are going to dive deeper into the Attract Model. The motivation for ATTRACT is “I want to know more…”. This means that the community has heard about you, they know your name, and there is a positive awareness, or Positive Brand, associated with your name in a way that attracts someone to want to know more about you. Maybe your church is known for putting on the best Harvest Fest in the community, or maybe you have the largest VBS turnout that not only attracts your congregation but also members of the community who aren’t yet connected with a church. Maybe your church offers open childcare one evening a month. This safe, fun and extremely affordable opportunity draws many from the neighboring community. Or maybe your school has drawn attention from the community which attracts others to your church as well. This positive awareness is successfully attracting people who have heard your name and want to get to know more about you.

Attract: Motivation: I want to know more…

The simple definition of “attract” is “positive awareness.” A church wins at the job of Attract when a community is aware of your ministry and they think or say positive things about you (positive branding).

Having a waiting list to get into your programs is a good way to know you are successful at ATTRACT, but remember, we said those churches who are intentional—with a process and a way to track and measure their progress—are the most successful. So, how do you track success? A great way to find out how well you performed would be to simply ask your guest! One of the tools we like to use is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). Using an NPS Survey with your existing members or families is a great way to see how well you are doing. A strong NPS score tells you what portion of your existing membership consists of “raving fans,” those who actually tell their friends that they need to check out your church. One we use often is Survey Monkey. We suggest a short three-to-five-question survey that can be answered in under two minutes. Longer surveys tend to be ignored or abandoned, so keep it short and sweet!

Another area in which a church should be looking is SEO Metrics. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Metrics allows you to measure the effectiveness of your online presence and make corrective changes based on the data. Every church should be aware that its primary front door is its website and social media landing pages. You can use SEO metrics to see how wide your reach is in a given community. If you don't stay on top of key metrics, you'll likely fail to notice both opportunities and threats. Many of the most important metrics map directly to Google ranking factors and are the ones you should monitor most closely. Others include Facebook, Instagram, Yelp Reviews, website visits, engagement in social media, YouTube views, and subscribers.

So to be successful with ATTRACT, we want to track and measure the following two areas

  • Positive Brand—Net Promoter Score (NPS) with Survey Monkey, or similar survey software, to find out how current members feel about you.

  • SEO Metrics—Track how well you currently rank online. Examples include:

    • Google, Facebook, Yelp reviews

    • Website visits

    • Searches for your ministry

    • Engagement in social media posts

    • Views on videos (Youtube, Facebook, etc.)

We strongly recommend reading “The Connected Church” by Natchi Lazarus as a great guide on how to start or enhance your church’s social media ministry.

Do you recall the three questions I asked you to keep in mind as we move through this series? If not, here they are again: How would you rate the quality of Member Engagement in your congregation? How do you think your congregation would look differently if your members were highly engaged? How would you explain the importance of engagement to someone who fears consumeristic Christianity? Now that you’ve had time to think about those questions, please share your thoughts in the comments. How does your church measure up? Are you “getting there” or are you “far away?” We are all on this journey together, and none of us have gotten there yet, but together we can make the journey easier!

Stay tuned for Part 3 as we explore how to move a person from ATTRACT to GET. See you next week!

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