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Half of All Churches Are Instantly Growing. Here’s Why And Here’s What To Do.

 

growing

Maybe losing access to our buildings as church leaders wasn’t as disastrous as we thought. Church growth just spiked by 300% in the last month.

Sure…so much as happened. And as frazzled and exhausted as you might feel in the midst of the current global crisis, a fascinating statistic emerged last week that you don’t want to miss.

49% of all churches are growing right now.

A month earlier, before the pandemic hit the West, the statistic would have been that between 8-15% of all churches were growing.

So literally in 30 days, we’ve moved from a tiny percentage of churches growing to virtually half of all churches growing.

What’s even more surprising is that the growth trend holds up in every church size category.

According to the weekly polling we’re doing through Church Pulse Weekly (my new podcast/project with Barna and Gloo you can participate in), half of all churches,  regardless of church size—from very small churches (under 100) to megachurches—are experiencing growth.  It’s remarkable that this is true if you have 75 people attending, 750 or 7500.

Two questions.

So why is this happening, and what can we learn from it?

Here are three reasons it’s happening now and a few things you can do to respond.

Half of all churches, regardless of church size—from very small churches (under 100) to megachurches—are experiencing growth during the pandemic. It's remarkable that this is true if you have 75 people attending, 750 or 7500. Click To Tweet

1. There’s a big spike in spiritual curiosity

Since mid-March 2020, two things have happened:

The world has changed dramatically

People’s personal worlds have been deeply altered and, in some cases, collapsed.

Between health concerns, family and friends falling ill, massive job loss, quarantine, lockdown, social isolation and a loss of income, freedom and autonomy, people are reeling.

But rather than turning people away from God, the situation instead appears to have people turning toward God. Google searches for prayer, church, God, church online and other related terms have spiked significantly. Similarly, YouVersion has seen a significant spike in installs and usage since the pandemic began.

Although it’s hard to tell who’s who online, church leaders need to realize (fast) that the people joining you online are not just your people, they’re new people. Curious people. Unchurched people. Lapsed Christians. Atheists. Agnostics.

Church leaders need to realize (fast) that the people joining you online are not just your people, they're new people. Curious people. Unchurched people. Lapsed Christians. Atheists. Agnostics. Click To Tweet

The collapse of so many people’s worlds have got them asking deeper questions, and, thank God, they’re still looking to the church to help.

Instead of seeing online church as an obstacle, many church leaders are realizing it’s an unprecedented opportunity.

As much as many leaders are still reeling from not having access to their physical building, in the next month, many more should pivot toward realizing some of their deepest prayers to reach people are being answered, just not in a way they ever would have expected.

Naturally, you need to follow up, connect with people and build relationships with them, even online. This post has a few ideas on how to do that.

But know this: the people you prayed would show up are showing up. Lean into that.

Instead of seeing online church as an obstacle, many church leaders are realizing it's an unprecedented opportunity. The people you prayed would show up are showing up, just not how you expected. Click To Tweet

2. People See Digital As Real

Even pre-COVID, life was slipping seamlessly between the digital and the analog.

But crisis is an accelerator and that’s now even more true than at any point in human history. The digital just took a massive leap forward.

Think about it. You’re reading this on your phone or on your laptop. But in the next 30 minutes you’ll make an in-person connection, swinging into the kitchen with your family or chatting with a neighbour from 10 feet back (of course).

In 2020, life slips between the digital and the physical, and then physical slips back into digital. We all live there.

So will the future church.

In 2020, life slips between the digital and the physical, and then physical slips back into digital. We all live there. So will the future church. Click To Tweet

Prior to COVID-19, most churches were still anchored in the past—gather here at a set time and we can be the church. Miss it, and well, you miss it. But as more and more churches move seriously into online and social, that will change.

In the future, the church will meet any time, anywhere, and sometimes meet in person.

Online will be available any time. And, when physical gatherings open up again, you’ll have set times for in-person gatherings.

But in the future church, digital will supplement, enhance, expand and sometimes replace your local gatherings as people slip seamlessly between the digital world and in the in-person world.

If people live that way, so should the church.

In the future, the church will meet any time, anywhere, and sometimes meet in person. Click To Tweet

3. Digital Church Has a Much Lower Barrier to Participation 

One of the reasons churches have seen the recent growth spike is that digital church has a much lower participation barrier than physical church.

One click-away is so much easier to access than even one mile away.

To go to church physically requires everything from getting dressed, pulling the kids together, jumping in your SUV and driving x miles to a physical location.

Plus, it’s intimidating. So much is unknown when you go anywhere for the first time. Don’t get me wrong… physical church is great, but the barriers are real.

To access digital church, all you need to do is click on a link.

This just accelerates a trend that had started years ago.

Most churches that have had an online presence over the last decade discovered that almost all their new first time guests to their physical locations had been attending online first.

What’s been normative for a few churches for years is about to become normative for the majority of churches.

Church leaders, one click-away is so much easier to access than even one mile away. Click To Tweet

4. Online Church Scales in a Way Physical Church Simply Can’t

Churches (and organizations) who are leaning into digital during this crisis rather than just using it as a bandaid until things get back to normal are discovering an amazing truth: digital scales in a way analog doesn’t.

Not sure digital scales? Well, Instagram had 40 million users when it was purchased by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012. That’s impressive. Even more impressive: they did that with 13 employees.

YouVersion, which launched as an idea a decade ago, has over 400 million installs and is run by a team at a local church.

Digital scales in a way that analog doesn’t.

And if you’re serious about reaching people, taking digital seriously simply makes sense.

Online church transcends geographic, physical and time barriers in a way that analog doesn’t.

And, if you do it well, digital can point people to real-life experiences: groups, weekend gatherings, personal connections—all of which are necessary and vital to life.

Growing churches will lean into digital far more heavily than in the past.

Online church transcends geographic, physical and time barriers in a way that physical church simply can't. Click To Tweet

5. The Financial Investment for Digital Ministry is Much Lower Than The Financial Investment for Physical Ministry

So how much does it cost to launch a new physical location? At a bare minimum for most churches, you’re looking at $250,000 to launch a portable campus. Many spend millions more.

Fresh question: how much did it cost you to get online?

In some cases, $20. Probably in the most extreme cases, for churches that flipped the switch during the pandemic, about $2000 for some new gear.

Here’s the reality of life on the internet: you can reach thousands or millions of people using the phone in your pocket for almost zero additional dollars.

Here's the reality of life on the internet: you can reach thousands or millions of people using the phone in your pocket for almost zero additional dollars. Click To Tweet

I’m not saying physical ministry is going away. Of course it’s not. We’re relational beings.

But if you’re looking at investing in digital or physical space in the future, you may want to think serious about digital as well. It’s far cheaper and can have a major impact.

Not sure how to staff it?  You can subscribe to a digital media service to help with your social media and online presence for less about the same cost as a monthly catered team lunch, or hire three digital staff of your own a fraction of the cost of launching a new physical location.

Digital may seem intimidating and expensive, but it’s far cheaper and easier than most church leaders think. Just ask any 14-year-old YouTuber.

And of course, the more you invest, the greater your odds of seeing returns.

If you’re wondering what you might spend on digital ministry in the future, check out this post from 2019 in which I recommended (even pre-COVID) that churches spend 30% of their staff budget on online ministry.

People thought that was crazy then. It may seem less crazy now.

Digital may seem intimidating and expensive, but it's far cheaper and easier than most church leaders think. Just ask any 14-year-old YouTuber. Click To Tweet

Don’t Let the Crisis Overwhelm You. Access My New Course for Free. 

I get it. You’re scared. These are deeply uncertain times. 

As hard as it is to admit, it’s just really hard to know how to lead in times like these.

While no one has all the answers, there is help and a strategy that can guide you, and I’d love to come alongside you.

To that end, I’ve got a brand new online, on-demand course, called How To Lead Through Crisisthat can help you lead your team, your church and yourself through the massive disruption.

The course is the gift from me and my team to you and leaders everywhere. In light of everything that’s going on, we decided to make it available 100% free.

Inside How To Lead Through Crisis, you’ll learn how to: 

  • Cultivate a non-anxious presence that inspires confidence and trust.
  • Care for yourself so the crisis doesn’t break you.
  • Master the art of fast-paced, clear decision making. 
  • Gather and interpret the most reliable data that will advance your mission
  • Advance digitally to scale past physical barriers and grow your outreach.
  • Lead your team and congregation remotely

While no one has all the answers in a crisis this big, in the course, I share the mindsets, habits, tools and strategies that I believe will help you lead through crisis to get you and the people you lead to a new (and better) future. 

Join the 6000 leaders who have claimed their place in the course for free.

You can enroll and get instant access for you and your team here.

Crisis Blog Series and the Future Church

I also have a free blog post series on the current global crisis and how the church can respond:

Crisis Leadership, Christian Leadership and the Corona Virus

How to Lead Through Rapid, Unexpected Change

8 Ways to Lead in the New Digital Default Church

5 Ways The Current Crisis is Accelerating The Arrival of the Future Church

My Top 7 Rules for Leading a Digital Team

3 Simple Ways To Make Sure You Don’t Break In the Crisis

8 Early Tips for Producing Digital Content During the Current Crisis

Why Motivation Alone Won’t Get Your People (Or You) Through This Crisis

The Three Kinds of Leaders You See In A Crisis

5 Predictions About the Future Church While Everything’s Unknown

5 Quick Things That Can Make a Long Term Difference During Your First Digital Easter

Hope this helps you and your team lead well in a very challenging season.

What Are You Seeing?

What are you seeing in the midst of the sudden growth spike, and how are you leveraging it?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

49% of all churches are suddenly growing. A month earlier, only 15% of churches were growing. Here's why things have changed so fast and how to respond.

33 Comments

  1. Luke on April 16, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Quick question. Is there data regarding how many of the viewers actually identify as seekers, agnostics, lapsed Christians, etc? I get a sense from our own online presence that many of our new views are coming from Christians who are simply watching a multitude of church services right now.

  2. William Berg on April 15, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    I just read your article about how the current virus situation has lead more people to on line worship services and has reached out to those who are not necessicarily associated with a physical church. God does indeed work in misterious ways. While our country has been kicking God out of our society for decades, He has found a way to let the people who is really in charge.
    I look forward to your next posting.

  3. Zina VanB on April 15, 2020 at 9:25 am

    As a Senior,Elderly Person… Who has gone to “Church ” for as long as I can remember…and have been a “Believer” for 54 years… And I still have a ( flip) phone that works for me,as well as a land line,I have to say that this online church attendance has been a wonderful way to not just listen and watch “our Pastor and worship team” but it has also allowed us to “go to church in Atlanta, Georgia (Church of the Apostles with pastor Michel Youseff) and listen in to our kids Churches in various places in Canada… The resources are tremendous and I Praise God that the Voice of God can not be put into isolation!.. The “gates of hell will not be able to stand against the power of the Holy Spirit!”let’s not forget who is the Church?…. Reminds me of an old little chorus I learned while living in and attending a very small interdenominational church in Lillooet BC… 🎶I am the Church,you are the Church we are the Church together… All who follow Jesus,all around the World… We are the Church together!🎶 Having said all this.. I will be very happy to go back to our physical building to sit beside others who love the Lord too and seek to be fed and nourished in my spirit and enjoy fellowship in Worshipping God together!… God is and will BUILD HIS CHURCH.. and these stats are very encouraging indeed! Let’s just Praise the Lord!

  4. Sandra on April 14, 2020 at 7:19 am

    I’m going to leave a comment because I’m one of the people engaging with church online now having not been to church since I was in school (many years ago!) despite really, really wanting to start going in the last 12 – 18 months.
    First – there is far more to this than FB live. FB is not the real world. Using that as a metric is probably never going to be very usable data because FB is all about clicks.
    If you live stream your services through your church website, where people like me can go check out what you’re REALLY about, and we’re not distracted by the rest of the garbage flowing by on FB (ooh shiny! and they’re gone), we’re probably going to stick around. Show me who you are and what you believe. Invite me into your services and your groups, and there you have the perfect, non-threatening opportunity for me to be involved and come closer without being overwhelmed by physically going to meet a group of strangers, where you’re really not sure you’ll fit in.
    I’m sure there’s no one size fits all solution but for me, being able to ‘go to church’ in several different places to see where I think I might fit in and feel confident enough to turn up in person when we’re all able is one of the big blessings of my life right now.
    Please, don’t waste this opportunity getting all wound up about FB live statistics. We’re out there, and we’re dying for you to give us a way in. Invite us in – actually say please get in touch. Leave a contact form that’s easy to use. Advertise an email address. “We’d love to hear from you, please let us know what brought you here and a bit about yourself”, that kind of question. It really helps.
    ps if you have any questions you think I may be able to give you my perspective on and you’re interested, leave a reply and I’ll do my best to articulate (be gentle though, I’m seriously new here)

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 14, 2020 at 10:40 am

      Sandra…welcome.

      So let me just say I hope every pastor reads your comment because I think that’s exactly what’s going on. Thank you.

      And you’re right…you’re reengaging. Testing the waters. And I hope and pray you do venture in once the doors reopen…or perhaps long before.

      Cheering for you. I just honestly think you encapsulated what a lot of the first time viewers/clickers are doing. Thank you!

      Carey

      • Sandra on April 14, 2020 at 6:38 pm

        Thanks so much for your kind words Carey, I really appreciate your reply.

        Sandra

      • Rev David Durant on April 15, 2020 at 9:01 am

        This is very relevant and informative for every pastor and church leader in this dramatically changing global environment. Thank you for the information on this new shift and the strategy for adapting and managing it. Blessings and great grace. Shalom

        • Sandra on April 16, 2020 at 5:17 am

          Thank you Rev Durant, and to you as well.

          Sandra

    • Jamie S on May 4, 2020 at 10:34 pm

      Thank you Sandra! Very helpful constructive feedback. I pray God clearly leads you to the community who needs your gifts and caring perspective! I wrote up some slides on some of these same points last week and feel like God is using your comments to affirm that we must better address these needs in our church. Also, the question of how best to leverage FB vs Online Church Platform: I think you’re comments about the distraction factor are very helpful there as well. If we can encourage folks from FB to come to the more focused engagement with the online service, that seems like a worthwhile goal. Thank you again!

  5. Adam Hamilton on April 13, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    HI Carey, I appreciate your work. Your points in your article are all correct. I would, like a couple of others, offer a bit of caution however about how we count the growth.

    1. A friend noted that, for the moment, the church has no competition! Our members are showing up in much large numbers, and I hope it sticks, but there is no sports on TV, no kids soccer games, no competition from brunch, and, as you note, there is a yearning for hope – this is all awesome – but may not be new growth, but moving average attendance for our members from 1.5 times a month to 3 times a month – something to celebrate!

    2. As noted above, Facebook Live and video plays on Facebook require a little deeper digging to see what the actual number of people are who stay and watch most of the event/worship/video sermon/etc. Every time I scroll down my page and a video starts, as long as it is there for 3 seconds, it counts as a view.

    3. There are many small churches that are not holding services at all right now – I’m surprised at how many. At Resurrection we know we’re picking up quite a few of those too. This is why, at the offering each week (we use push pay to allow people to give) we ask any who are members of other churches not to give in our offering but to give to their local churches. This is temporary growth and an opportunity for our church and others offering video to give support to those churches who are not or cannot. The average size of United Methodist Churches in the US is under 60. I’m hearing of pastors who send an e-mail to their congregation weekly but are not doing any online worship. Your point is, these churches should consider this and you are right. But some of their pastors still use flip phones!

    We’ve seen a huge surge in attendance and we’re grateful and know that some of these are people you’ve described, atheists, agnostics as well as large number of dechurches persons. We hope and pray that this season is a tremendous time to connect with them and help them meet Christ, see the importance of faith and witness the church’s work together to serve the community in “such a time as this.” And we hope to be a spiritual resource for those churches that cannot meet right now and to bless them and encourage their members until they can start meeting again. And we are hoping that our own members are finding a spiritual passion and devotion rekindled in their lives.

    I appreciate your work, Carey!

    Adam Hamilton

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 14, 2020 at 10:36 am

      Adam,

      First, what a treat to hear from you. So much respect for you and your leadership and I really appreciate the thoughtful engagement and responses you’ve offered.

      First, I think there’s something to all three points.

      1. This is a distraction free zone. In the same way everyone has all the time in the world to watch Tiger King, people have time for church. The world will eventually becomes noisier again. Maybe not quite the same as before, but definitely back to some kind of new normal.

      2. Absolutely true. I’m working on a post for next week on metrics. It’s interesting to me that the ministry leaders I’m talking to are focused less on views and more on other things. More soon on that.

      3. That’s such a good point. I wonder, long term, if we’ll see a consolidation. That some of the smaller or mid-sized churches may not be able to come back the way they hoped. I suspect this is a quantum leap forward for our culture into the digital space, so I do wonder if the patterns people set now are patterns they will keep in the future. As a result, I’d encourage small church leaders to even jump on their phones to stay in touch via video and social.

      Adam, what a great heart you have and thanks for the conversation. Appreciate your leadership!

      Carey

  6. Matt Mashburn on April 13, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    I think you have to be careful with this statistic because there is a third variable problem where your sample group is churches that signed up for a program specifically addressing numbers. I would think that growing churches are much more likely to do that?

    Love your stuff though. Your talks about burnout were life changing (saving) for me. We met briefly at XPS2020 in Orlando.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 14, 2020 at 10:37 am

      Thanks Matt. So glad to hear the burnout material helped you at a tough season. Grateful!

      Not sure I understand your point…but thanks. Clarification welcome!

      Carey

      • Matt Mashburn on April 14, 2020 at 1:45 pm

        OK. Let me see if I can explain this better. If your statistical sample is already predisposed to a certain outcome, your analysis may be skewed. If I understand this correctly, your sample data is from churches that signed up for “Church Pulse Weekly” and people that already listen to you. I would think those people are already growth minded so you would expect to see a higher percentage of them experience growth as compared to the church at large. I would not expect the disparity to be as high as you are stating so I believe there is something here, but it may be skewed by what statisticians would call a “third variable” which is a hidden or unrealized factor that could impact the result.

        Kind of like if I asked a lot of people at a horse race if they like horses. Some are there for the gambling and some are there for the horses but the chances are that a higher percentage of them will like horses than if I conducted the same poll on a random corner across town.

        Or maybe I am way off base, lol.
        Matt

        • Edgar J. Momoh on April 21, 2020 at 3:11 pm

          Hi Matt,
          Thanks for your comment on the validity of the stats presented in this “hopeful” blog post. Whereas the inferences of this survey look promising, we should be careful to rely on the findings without a clear description of the sample and the variables considered or overlooked (extraneous) in the data collected. Your illustration about surveying spectators at a horse race if they love horses clearly described what Carey should consider for further inquiry.

          That been said, I appreciate Carey’s attempt by teeing off a conversation on what might just be the new trajectory or paradigm shift for church growth and attendance. Only time and valid research will tell…

          • Matt Mashburn on April 22, 2020 at 1:14 pm

            Thanks, Edgar. Just trying to bring some clarity to a complicated analysis.



  7. lorraine e satko on April 13, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    I agree. I also see in my little world that many families are now watching services from multiple church platforms.
    I have a group that sent a post asking us to post our personal church’s website so we can have them all in one spot for others to browse(for a lack of better words) and choose who to watch, when to watch and with whom to watch with. I feel a church share going on. Not sure if that’s great or not but I personally will watch many platforms, if they are not base out of their church buildings. It feels more personal to me when they are not stating in the pulpit. my church still is streaming from the church building but our pastor has and does do talking from just his office chair… but I really like the ones that are home or in a park or in their yard or even teaching from within a store. Being somewhere like a museum or a store/gas station ect and incorporating thoughts of the bible and real life together really has my attention! TY for all YOU do.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 14, 2020 at 10:38 am

      Lorraine. Thank you. I think we could get much more creative with messages as quarantine lifts and we get access to parks and theatres etc again. Great point. Right now the office chair is all some leaders have access to. 🙂

  8. Cynthia Dutton on April 13, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    I would like to have a copy if this post emailed to me please.

  9. KJ Roelke on April 13, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Would love to see your sources for where you got your numbers from!

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 13, 2020 at 5:12 pm

      Sure. You can sign up at http://www.ChurchPusleWeekly.com and then all the data becomes accessible to you (US, Canada and UK only right now).

  10. kenballardjr4 on April 13, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you Carey. I agree. Our church has seen a jump in engagement since moving to livestream and digital engagements.

  11. Brian Becker on April 13, 2020 at 10:23 am

    Carey – I absolutely love your stuff. I read it (almost) daily, and listen to your podcast (almost) every week.

    But this article on churches “growing” is not reality. Pastors are getting pumped because they see Facebook Live numbers and relate that to growth. The average FB Live views is less than 2 minutes – that’s not growth, and if anything, it’s the lowest end of engagement.

    At least physical attendance numbers tell us that people engaged for the majority of the service.

    It’s simply not apples to apples, and somebody needs to set the record straight, otherwise the Emperor will have no clothes and we’ll deceive ourselves into believing statistics that aren’t telling the truth.

    Please take the time to explain to your (massive) audience the difference between online metrics and physical metrics. It will be for the betterment of the body of Christ.

    Thanks again for all you do!

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 13, 2020 at 5:20 pm

      Thanks Brian. Appreciate the positive tone and your encouragement, but I’m going to use your comment to address more than your concerns. I hear this over and over again, and I disagree.

      Suggestion: please don’t be cynical in a time where people are reaching in. yes, online metrics are all over the place and it’s easy to dismiss this but I think instead as we engage this we’ll see some real progress. The proof will be in the long term but the numbers on multiple levels suggest growth. This is not a tiny difference. A 300% spike is not a statistic error or sign that people are flitting in for 10 seconds and leaving.

      Let’s look at this post for example. WordPress stats tell me as I write these words in the comment that this post has been read 8K times in the last 10 hours and shared 1.8K times. We could break that down and argue that of the 8K, 50% skimmed the article. Did the 1.8K people who share it mean to share? Did anyone read what they shared? Of those who read, did they comprehend what they read? How many people could repeat what I wrote on a test? Who remembers the five points? See, no one. It’s all useless and exaggerated.

      I don’t think that’s the point. A bunch of people read this article. Many shared it. It helped some…and on we go into tomorrow. Let’s write some more and figure this out together.

      I think the future is built on trying to help the people you engage, not dismiss the people you engaged based on how serious they seem.

      Brian, I like you. This isn’t at all about you. It really sounds like you’re learning in. I just had to weigh in. I’ve heard this so many times and I picked this comment because you’re not a troll…but a thinking leader. Thank you!

      PS. I know you’re a real person, just like the people who have read this article or tuned it for church online. 🙂

      • Travis Stephens on April 13, 2020 at 7:01 pm

        I agree with Brian. And like Brian, I think your writing and thoughts are very good, but this needs more explanation.

        In your comment you mention a 300% spike, a 300% spike in what? Viewers? Engagement?

        Here’s why this is important, and you know this. If I look at my FB Live numbers from yesterday here’s what I see.

        People Who Saw It: 4,025
        Number of Views: 2,300
        Engagements: 2,400

        By those numbers my church grew in attendance by more than 300%. But, if I dig a little deeper and go to Facebook Video Insights, I discover.

        3 Second Views: 2,300
        Avg Watch Time: 1 minute and 27 seconds

        Now, I can start to see that those numbers don’t mean as much as I thought they did.

        So, which numbers do I actually want to pay attention to? I’m not sure of that answer, but it’s for sure not the first set of numbers I posted, which I think a lot of pastors are being misled by, and it’s not the second set either.

        The best metric as far as Facebook that I can see, is watching the number of viewers from the beginning of the sermon to the end, or looking at total minutes watched. In my video for an example, on average around 140 people watched the majority of it. That’s a vast difference than the 2,300 viewers Facebook is telling me.

        It would be like counting every car that drove past our church during service as a guest. It’s not real, and I don’t see how it’s benefitting pastors to make them believe it is.

        In conclusion, if you’re going to say 49% of churches are growing during this crisis, please be transparent in what you’re counting as growth. I even tried to participate in the poll to see how it was worded, and it kept telling me there was an error loading your library.

  12. John Kennedy on April 13, 2020 at 9:07 am

    great news about churches growing….i was wondering if the growth is from many folks visiting a few churches (or many) online and would that inflate the rate of growth…..or does that matter in the end anyway?

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 13, 2020 at 9:21 am

      I think you can dissect it a million ways, but that kind of growth can’t just be explained away. Some of it has to be real. Thanks John!

      • Kevin Hartman on April 13, 2020 at 10:20 am

        Hey Carey! Thanks for your thoughts. Great stuff as always. My question has to do with connection with new people. Online growth is great but, as you put it, we are relational beings. While someone may watch, we have no idea, in most cases, who they are. What are some good practices to discover who’s watching and take some steps toward relational connection?

  13. Greg Smith on April 13, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Carey-Good day my friend. I love your articles. What metrics do you suggest to measure whether you are growing or not? We are getting lost in all of the data from facebook. We are currently using peak live viewers and shares as metrics. Also, about how many people per device do you figure?

    thanks-
    Greg Smith

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 13, 2020 at 9:22 am

      Great questions. Everyone measures differently. Some churches, like Life.Church, don’t use a ‘multiplier’ (one computer = 1.4 viewers). Others do.

      I think the dust will settle and we’ll find generally agreed upon numbers. For sure we can exaggerate so I think the key is not the use the most aggressive numbers. But when you see a spike this significant, there’s growth no matter how you slice it.

  14. Mike Pharr on April 13, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Carey, thank you so much for your insight and sharing wisdom with us who are trying to use every resource we have to serve our risen Savior. I find your information so helpful and on point. God bless you richly and thank you again.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on April 13, 2020 at 9:23 am

      Thanks Mike. Appreciate your encouragement!

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