In our fast-paced digital environment, The Church must be intentional and strategic in its approach to reaching members in its communities. And we must start thinking digitally.
Gone are the days where the physical front door of the church was the main point of entry for people exploring their faith. Today, the first time a guest enters the church is typically through its digital front door – its website, social media accounts, and mobile app. Your church’s digital space should be centered on serving first-time guests in addition to members and active attendees.
The bottom line is that today, the typical first-time guest to your church is coming at the end of a long process. It may be their first time through the physical front door, but the actual front door of the church – the first one they entered – was digital. – James Emery White, Church & Culture
Your digital presence is your first impression. Make it count.
The average attention span has dropped dramatically over the years, and people now have highly evolved "fifteen-second filters" to sort through the massive amount of information they are targeted with daily. This means that you have only fifteen seconds to capture the attention of an online visitor.
So how do you deal with a fifteen-second filter?
Design your digital front doors with the potential guest in mind, making it easy for them to navigate and explore the church digitally. Think visually appealing and easy-to-understand content. Often, less is more when it comes to a digital presence.
Conduct an analysis of your digital presence to see how well it passes the fifteen-second filter, and whether your online platforms are immediately inviting and compelling. A well-designed digital presence can make a significant impact on someone's perception of your church, and could even encourage them to visit in person.
To learn more about optimizing your website to reach more people in your community, read “How much is your website costing you?”
Many research studies point to the rise of social media platforms and streaming services as the anchor of decreased attention spans. Every church is competing for the attention of members against the numerous and diverse digital platforms we’ve come to know so well. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Netflix, etc. are all too good at captivating audiences and giving churches little space to reach them.
To compete against digital platforms and reach people effectively, meet people where they are. Develop a digital strategy to maximize the reach and impact of your church’s message. Leverage technology to deliver an interactive and personalized experience for each person.
Digital platforms also give you analytic resources to better understand your audience and tailor your content to their interests and needs. This will help you effectively communicate and engage with members, while setting your church apart from other digital platforms.
It's important to remember that a strong online presence is not a substitute for real-life experiences, but rather a complementary tool to reach those who might not otherwise have access to the church. Begin leadership conversations around your church’s digital presence to adapt to the fast-paced and ever-changing digital landscape. The health of your church depends on it.
Apollos is driven by our mission to connect the world to God and each other. We help churches navigate the digital landscape, letting you focus on what you do best. We strongly hold that The Church has a unique opportunity to reach people in a world where attention is at a premium, and it is up to us to seize it.
Connect with our experienced team of developers, designers, and strategists today to learn more about a digital strategy for your church.