Tony Morgan returns to the podcast to share the latest data on church attendance trends, best and worst practices for creating a digital strategy, and how to track online metrics that actually matter so you can connect with people who find you online.
Welcome to Episode 418 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about the Coming Church Split.
Pro Media Fire
Hollywood is an entire industry of writers, directors, composers, editors who have mastered one thing. The art of storytelling. Without a great team on the movie, it will flop.
In the same way, you need a team to craft your story and mission online successfully. That is where Pro Media Fire can help you tell your story.
From a custom website to complete social media management, they will amplify your message in a way that impacts who you want to reach.
Also, with Pro Media Fire you save on employee taxes and health insurance with internal staff. And turnover becomes a thing of the past with a team that handles all your creative and digital needs.
You don’t have to tell a bad story online. Book your FREE strategy session today at promediafire.com/growth.
The Unstuck Group
Tony Morgan’s here today to share the latest data on church attendance, digital strategy, online metrics that actually matter, and more.
After you listen, head over to theunstuckgroup.com/trends to get his full report for FREE. With the report, you can start an important discussion at your next staff meeting about where you are today as a church and where you’re headed.
If you don’t know The Unstuck Group, this is the consulting group my church has worked with when we needed an outside perspective to help us align vision, strategy, team and action.
They track trends in church health and release findings quarterly in The Unstuck Church Report.
Get Tony’s full analysis, for FREE, at theunstuckgroup.com/trends.
*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Insights From Tony
1. Building an online experience does not lead to declining in-person attendance
Before the pandemic, one of the biggest concerns pastors had about going online was that, “If we go online, people will no longer have a reason to show up in person.” Data indicates that this assumption is incorrect.
Tony and his team surveyed 175 churches and found that 85% of growing churches were sharing video content online compared to only 49% of declining churches. Businesses like The Home Depot and Walmart have seen a similar trend of “clicks lead to bricks.”
2. Most churches have seen a bigger decline in first time guests and baptisms than attendance
One of the most disappointing statistics that came out of the pandemic is that the number of new believers and baptisms actually fell sharper than in-person attendance did. This is so sad, and needs to change. Tony outlines this trend in a bit more detail inside The Unstuck Church Report.
3. When measuring online attendance, pick your numbers, and measure them over time
So many organizations struggle with knowing what metrics to measure for their online experience. Tony encourages that what you measure actually doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you consistently measure the same thing and track your progress over time. When you do this, the data you’re measuring can actually inform the decisions you make as an organization.
Quotes from Episode 418
Disruption is an opportunity for the church to revisit the mission that God's called us to. @tonymorganlive Click To TweetDigital platforms are a way for us to connect with people. @tonymorganlive Click To TweetThis as a pivotal time for the church to reassess its mission, to ask God, ‘What do you have for us next?’ @tonymorganlive Click To Tweet For too long, we've looked at our digital strategy, our online strategy, as a promotions platform rather than a way for us to connect with people. @tonymorganlive Click To Tweet I want churches to thrive. I want them to be healthy. And yet, this is what churches are telling us; they're stuck. @tonymorganlive Click To Tweet What we've learned during the pandemic is going to make the church healthier on the other side. @tonymorganlive Click To Tweet After a year of significant disruption for the church, churches are actually financially healthier than they were a year ago. @tonymorganlive Click To Tweet Churches in the last year have almost more than doubled the number of online views for their services. @tonymorganlive Click To Tweet I don't buy the argument that we've been training people to watch church online and so now they're not going to come back. @tonymorganlive Click To Tweet Normal dies every year. Click To Tweet Long before the pandemic, 15% of churches were growing. 85% of churches were plateaued or declining. Click To Tweet
I don't think that church buildings are going away, but I think church leaders that really ignore the online world are making a potentially fatal mistake. Click To TweetForward-thinking pastors realize the best answer to the question, ‘Should my ministry be digital or physical,’ is yes. Click To TweetBringing people back isn't a vision. Moving people forward is. Click To Tweet It's hard to move people forward if you're obsessed with getting them back. Click To Tweet Pastors who focus on moving people forward instead of bringing people back will have a much better future. Click To Tweet Churches that embrace people they're trying to reach are going to have a much better future than churches that judge them. Click To Tweet Barna did a study that revealed 62% elapsed Christians said the number one quality they look for in a person with whom to discuss faith is non-judgment. Only 34% said they know any Christians who possess this quality. Click To Tweet The culture needs an alternative to itself, not an echo of itself. And in a divided culture, Christians should be the help and the hope not the hate. Click To Tweet
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus and many others.
Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via
Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review
Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?
The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.
Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.
Thank you for being so awesome.
Next Episode: Brett Hagler
Brett Hagler, co-founder of New Story, was the first non-profit to launch out of Y Combinator, a startup school for founders that has incubated companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, Coinbase, Reddit and DoorDash.
He shares the lessons he learned on being a startup, and how your business or church can foster a culture and network of leaders conducive to true innovation.
Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 419.