How A Church Of 90 People Grew 42% In 6 Months Using Social Media | Pro Church Daily Ep. #141

Posted By on August 21, 2019


– Today, on Pro Church
Daily, we’re talkin’ about how a church of 90 people grew 42% in just six months using social media. – Well, hey there, and
welcome to Pro Church Daily, the show where, in 10 minutes or less, you’ll get your daily
dose of tips and tactics to help your church share
the message of Jesus, while we try and navigate the
biggest communication shift we’ve seen in the last 500 years. I’m your host man, Alex
Mills, joined, as always, by the boss man, it’s Brady Shearer, and, today, we’re talking
about how a church of 90 people grew by 42% in just six
months by using social media. – Every single day, Alex, you and I, we sit at this table and
we share tips and tactics to help your church navigate
the biggest communication shift we’ve seen in the last 500 years. – We do. – I got a message through
Facebook, the other day, from a member of Pro Church Nation, who’s watching Pro Church Daily daily, listening, and took these tactics, put them into action, and saw big results. – What do you know, they worked. – Who woulda thought this
stuff actually works? And so, we wanted to share these results with Pro Church Nation,
because a lotta the times you just wanna hear that it’s working. You wanna know, wow, this
stuff actually translates to me accomplishing my church’s
vision, mission, and purpose. That’s what happened for
Pastor EJ and Field of Grace Baptist Church from
Shepherdsville, Kentucky. Again, led by Pastor EJ, he’s the one that reached out to me,
this is an independent Baptist church in a town,
and this really interesting, I love this part, the town
is just 1,800 people in size. – I thought that I lived in a small town, Niagara-on-the-Lake has a
population of about 15,000 people. Pastor EJ is in a town of 1,800 people. – I grew up in a town of about 1,800 for my entire life, until college, and so, I relate to Pastor EJ.
– Yeah, wow. – I feel at home. OK, let’s talk about what Pastor EJ did that was so effective. Here is the message that he sent to me. He said, “Me and my wife are both “first-generation Christians. “I was saved at 23 from a
pretty rough background. “We started the church,
just my wife and I. “First Sunday, six people came. “My wife and I paid for
the community center “out of our own pockets.”
– Amazing. – “That was just three years ago. “We closed 2017 out,
” so end of last year, “averaging 80 to 90 people. “Last Sunday, six months
later, we had 170, “and that has been the norm
the last several weeks. “We’ve seen at least 97
first-time visitors this year. “19 joined the church last Sunday, “and there’ve been 21 saved
in just the last three weeks.” – So, what is this guy doing,
how’s he makin’ that happen? – Well, let’s talk about some strategies, really, some tips and tactics that EJ was telling me have been working for him. The first one, low-hanging fruit. – Of course. – And, this is an exact
quote from EJ, he said, “First and foremost, I
would say that just having “an online presence,
allowing people around us “to know that we are here,
has been the biggest factor.” And, this is especially
true for smaller churches. 50% of churches in America
are 100 people or fewer. And, it’s easy for churches of that size, I’ve served in many, you
serve in one currently, – [Alex] Yep. – to think online, digital, that’s just for the big churches. – Right. – That’s not gonna work for me. But, a lot of the times, if all you have is a website that is searchable on Google, if all you’ve done is filled out the My Google Business profile, these are the types of things, just having a presence
online, that low-hanging fruit that’s gonna be really
easy for you to set up, and you’ve overlooked for way
too long, and you just gotta go for it, that’re gonna
make huge differences. – Well, and you said it, it’s imperative for a smaller church, it’s also imperative for a smaller church in a small
community like 1,800 people, or even, our community is small, 15,000 people is a small community. And so, just get online, get a
Facebook page up and running, make sure your website’s there, and I think you’ll see return
on investment just from that. – Second big thing that
helped move the needle forward for Pastor EJ and the team, the brand. And, when I say the brand, I do not mean the colors, the logos, and the fonts. – Right. – What EJ said was this, he said, “We readily admit that we’re not perfect. “Jesus is still working on us. “And then, we take that
same attitude and message “and try to portray it online.” This is the type of thing
that welcomes new visitors. – [Alex] Yeah. – If you’re a new visitor
coming to a church, and you’re met with insider culture, you’re met with legalese, you’re met with this is how you need to behave – Right.
– to fit in with this group, you are not going to want to return. If you are met with the love of Christ, welcoming, open arms, and saying, look, we know that, maybe,
you’re not where you wanna be, guess what, neither are we,
and we’re all on this journey together, that is the
type of brand and culture that is conducive to
people coming to church, coming back, getting
saved, and becoming fully integrated into your church family. – We recently just did this
with our Facebook page. Our About Us section was a pretty nice, neat version of our mission statement, it was,
– Classic. – there was lots of Christianese in there, and I recently, we
changed it just recently to say, I believe it says
we’re just a ragamuffin group of sons and daughters
running home to their father. And, that’s all it says, come join us on Sunday.
– Oh, I just got shivers. – Yeah, and it’s like, when
we just have the courage to admit that, yeah, we’re
all just, we’re just like you, whoever you are, looking at our website, you’re no different from us,
we’re no different from you, and we’re just trying to figure
this thing called life out. So, why don’t you come and join us? That’s just so much more
of an open door online, that point of entry, and, yeah, of course, you’ll see it translate into more people checkin’ out your church
for the first time. – The first two items on
this list of five takeaways from EJ and the church’s growth have been the two biggest,
that are kind of obvious, but we need to restate them,
because they’re so important. One, seize the 167, and,
number two, be welcoming. Let’s get, though, now,
to what I really like, – Oh, yeah. – the nitty-gritty, the real tactics. Number three, Facebook Live devotions. – I love this one, yeah.
– This one is crazy. So, Pastor EJ says, “My wife
and I recently started doing “daily live devotions on Facebook. “It’s made a huge impact. “We’ve seen nearly 30
first-time visitors,” So, remember, he said 97. “So, at least one out of three
– Wow. – “of those watched a devotion “on Facebook Live first
before attending church.” Seize something. – Yeah (laughs).
– The 167, that’s what you wanna seize, the 167 hours beyond your Sunday service. Again, this is a town of 1,800. Pastor EJ said these devotions average that many views per video. – That seems crazy to
me that they’re getting just as many views, on average,
on these seemingly small, short, live devotions on Facebook, as many people live in that
area, that’s incredible. – But, that’s what happens when each of us have 500 to 1,000 friends on Facebook, and then, you get three,
or four, or five shares, and, suddenly, the reach is exponential. Facebook is pushing live video more than any other piece
– Oh, Yeah. – of content, and suddenly,
you get 2,000 views on a video shared on a page, because it
was shared so many other times by the people you’re connected with, – Yeah. – and it just translates that well. And, again, that’s why seize
the 167 is such a big deal, because, instead of saying come to us, come to us, we can go to them first. One out of three first-time
visitors watched that video before they ever stepped
foot in the building. – We’ve talked about Facebook Live before, we’re talking about it right now. I still think it’s underrated. I’m on Facebook, I have it at least open on a tab most of the day here at work, because I do a lotta work on Facebook, and I noticed that I get, not
only do I get notifications when somebody’s gone live, but, often, their live video will
literally just pop up and start playing on my browser. And, people that I’ve never
interacted with online on Facebook is like,
you will now watch this. And so, we need to tap
into that and, maybe, this is just a great real-life example of striking gold to Facebook Live. Facebook throttles organic
reach, but, with Facebook Live, they’re gonna shove it in your face, hey, let’s take advantage of that.
– Even if you don’t want it. – That’s how it’s gonna be. Number four, this is a big
one, ownership over attendance. We did a recent episode
of Pro Church Daily talkin’ about how using
attendance as the measuring stick for church growth and
church health isn’t great. – No.
– First-time visitors, I like that, people
getting saved, I like that, overall attendance, if that’s all we’re tracking, it’s just not gonna point to what we’re really trying to accomplish – Right.
– as churches. And, Pastor EJ said
this directly, he said, “As cliche as it might
sound, at this point, “we’ve really pushed community, belonging, “and being involved, being the church, “as opposed to just being at church.” – I love that. – And, this is where next steps, this is why we believe next steps are really the absolute best way to track your church’s
growth and overall health. Because, what’s great about
next steps is when people are involved, that directly
translates to attendance. But, if all you do is focus
on attendance, butts in seats, and you don’t actually concern yourself with people being involved,
taking next steps, you can become really stagnant, church full of passive spectators,
not active participants, and that will actually end up hurting what you’re really trying to accomplish, because what you track, what you measure, is usually what you focus on. And, if all we care
about is butts in seats, butts in seats,
– Right. – that’s not gonna translate to overall church health and growth. – And, isn’t it interesting,
like Pastor EJ said, here, when you prioritize being the church, that involvement in church, as opposed to being at church, you actually see attendance go up, as
we’ve seen in his numbers. He’s grown by 42% in the last six months. And so, attendance actually has gone up, but not because they prioritized that, but, more, rather, they
prioritized being church. It’s very clear, and I
think it’s more simple than we’ve made it out to be. – Yep, exactly. Final big takeaway, we’ve
mentioned this one already, for Pastor EJ and his church was the Google My Business profile. If someone searches your church on Google, and you have the Google My
Business profile tab filled out on the right column of
the Google search screen, there’s gonna be photos from
your church, your phone number, your address directly
linked to Google Maps, reviews from your church,
contact numbers and email addresses, direct link to the website, basically, a giant digital business card, Facebook profile sort of
thing, directly within Google. You’ve gotta verify that
your address is real, you gotta fill out that profile right now, it’s free, and it translates
to huge wins within search, which is how people are finding you. First impressions are being
made online in 2018 and beyond. – There you go. – We would love to hear
more success stories. So, if you are like Pastor EJ
and you have been implementing some of the things that we
talk about on Pro Church Daily, and they have been translating
to more next steps, to more first-time visitors,
to more people finding Jesus and becoming more like
Jesus, send those to us. For so many people in Pro Church Nation, being encouraged by
hearing success stories is kinda that thing they need to really have the faith and confidence
that this stuff works. So, send them in. We’ve also linked in the show notes links to Field of Grace Baptist
Church’s website and social, so you can check them out for yourself. EJ did want me to mention
that much of these are still a work in progress,
– There you go. – which I think is actually indicative that you don’t need to be perfect. – Yeah (laughs), exactly.
– Just do anything, that low-hanging fruit, and that can, in turn, get big results for you. That’ll do it for today’s
episode of Pro Church Daily. We’ll see ya next time. Hey, thanks for watchin’ this
episode of Pro Church Daily. We’d love it you
subscribe to this channel, so you get all other
episodes of Pro Church Daily. – And, if you like this
video, why don’t you take your cursor, find the Like button, give it a good smash. – (flaps lips) Smash it! Thanks for watchin’.

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 14 comments

  1. Love the 10 (+/-) format. You are able to get an awful lot of information in each post. Thank you. I am learning with each post.

    Reply
  2. We're really working on changing from doing church "for them" to doing church "with them." It's been the clear impetus for the growth we've seen this year, and we're not slowing down!

    Reply
  3. You guys are on FIRE🔥🔥🔥 Amaizing BOMBS being dropped.
    – I do have a question?
    Im Not a Church per say, however i speak at Churches and Christian conference's so in essence im a single man church.
    What is the main platform or source you recommend i use to get more Brookings to speak?
    Thanks in advance guys, keep up the amaizing work.

    Reply
  4. Just looked at FOG facebook page. As I looked at their devotions I thought which couple in our church could do that – not everything is for the pastor (although some believe that.). Another doable idea Brady. Thank you

    Reply
  5. We're a small progressive church on the verge of dying. I'm coming in to help. Your videos are just what I need. Thanks.

    Reply
  6. I started our congregation's youtube channel two years ago. One of the first videos I did was how to study the bible. I did it in a two-part series. Youtube won't let me post it in the comment here. However, that video labeled "How to study the Bible Rightly Dividing the word" has gotten less than 100 views in two years. While your video here is very informative. The truth of the matter is that Google controls who sees what. Also, there is not a category for Religion on Youtube so the video has to be marked in some way other than what it really is even though it can be considered educational. All of this to say that some of us have tried to get on that list and Google is the pupet master.

    Reply
  7. I'm curious about the logistics of facebook live devotions. I have a face for radio, so I haven't done a lot with facebook live, but I hate to not take advantage of such a powerful platform. Interestingly I'm pastoring a church of about 70 in a town of about 1700.

    Reply
  8. I pastor in a town of about 30,000. We have about 150 people and are praying to continue growing and reaching. I love the videos and we try to implement most of what we see. One question, I’m interested in the Facebook live devotion. In your opinion, is there an ideal time to do this in the day and how long should it last? Thank you!

    Reply

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