You want your congregants to be committed to your church and its ministries. In fact, you’d love for them to be so enthusiastic about what’s happening at your church that they want to share it with everyone they meet. In marketing speak, people like this are called brand advocates.
A brand advocate isn’t the same as someone who’s committed to a product. Someone who’s committed to a product will only buy a specific kind of detergent. A brand advocate is always looking for a reason to get people to try their favorite detergent.
We want people to be so zealous that they become advocates for our church. But how do we distinguish between a church full of committed members and one full of advocates?
Here are three ways you can measure your church advocacy.
1. Are people sharing your content?
One of the first things you notice from advocates is that they’re the ones that share your Facebook posts, retweet the pastor’s comments on Twitter, and repin the church’s Pinterest images. They’re the ones who post a link to the sermon on social media on a Sunday afternoon and share links to upcoming events.
As the excitement for what’s happening in your church grows, you will see an upswing in how people use their social accounts to share information about what’s going on in your church. That’s why it’s important that your social media manager isn’t just posting content to your page, but that they’re also watching how people are interacting with your content. You want to always be on the lookout to see if your engagement is going up or down.
2. Does your church invite others?
A lot of churches make invitation cards available to members to hand out to friends and families. Sometimes they’re in preparation for high-profile services like Easter or Mother’s Day, but they’re also useful to highlight a new sermon series or the beginning of a new Sunday school program.
If you make invitation cards available, do they get used? Do people take them? Do visitors ever show up with them? Advocates can’t help themselves: They’re constantly inviting people to church.
When you have visitors, it’s good to make it a practice of asking how they heard of you. It could be part of a conversation that you have with them, it could be something that children’s ministry workers are trained to find out when they’re checking in new kids, or it could also be part of a short survey that you send out to visitors from their contact information.
3. Send out a brief survey to church members
If you want to find out whether you have advocates, people will tell you if you ask them. It’s important to find out if there are small changes you could make that would excite them about your church.
You can send out an incredibly simple two-question survey:
- How likely are you to recommend [church name] to your friends and family?
- This answer would be in a Likert scale format with a range of 1 (Not likely) to 5 (Very likely)
- What is the most important reason for your score?
- This would be an open-ended blank that they would fill out.
You want the answers to be as honest as possible, so it would be good to set the survey up in a way that allows for complete anonymity. A tool like SurveyMonkey is perfect. You can send out the survey, collect frank data, and get a good read on the advocacy of your congregation. If you need more help putting together a survey, check out our church survey tips.
For those people who haven’t reached that level of enthusiasm for your church yet, you’ll get some clarity about problem areas where adjustments can be made.
Keeping Your Finger on the Pulse
There’s no better way to grow your church than to create a culture that enthusiastically believes in the work that you’re all doing together. But this kind of culture is one that you need to nourish if you want to see it flourish. Keeping an eye on these metrics should help you keep track of how you’re progressing.