The following are case studies of work I have completed for clients. More being updated soon.
Queens Road Church (now EverydayChurch)
Members at this church faced one big problem – unless they showed up for church on a Sunday they didn’t know what events and activities were taking place during the week and couldn’t sign up for them.
Prior to my visit all calendar events were publicised in the weekly newsletter distributed at the front door when you arrived. If you didn’t attend church to receive one, you simply didn’t know what was going on.
And even if you did know what was going on, you had to sign up for the event in the building using a clipboard, but of course if you didn’t attend that week you might just miss out altogether. The large congregation meant events filled quickly. You could ask a friend to put your name down, but you would still have to track down the organiser to pay for it (where appropriate). Names and emails addresses were often illegible making it hard for the organisers to contact those that had signed up.
I consulted with the church for two days and gave them suggestions on how to improve. Here is how things changed:
Newsletter – The first page of the newsletter always talked about the morning’s child arrangements. Approximately 50% of attendees do not have children, which made this information irrelevant. Of those with children, more than 80% of attendees already knew what to do and didn’t need this information. The welcome team did a good job of recognising new faces and could direct them to the children’s work, which ultimately built confidence and led to better relationships, so this page could easily be done away with.
The insidefold had boxes advertising activities and the back page summarised the adverts in a diary format. The biggest problem it suffered was that 30% of people missed out on the newsletter because they didn’t attend that week.
Change: By using an online newsletter tool the church took advantage of all the emails they’d collected and put their newsletter into a branded email, which could be sent out once a week with all the relevant information. Now everyone could receive the information whether they attended each week or not. The links within it provided easy passage to the blog, sermon download and event registration.
Further Contact – Not everyone has supplied the church with their email address and there are many other ways of communicating with people in this modern age. Plus many members relocate or return to their home country, yet still want to be involved and hear the sermon.
Change: By using Facebook the church has been able to remain in contact with old members and engage new ones, spreading their message and encouraging Christians around the world.
Making New Friends – the church has approximately 300 people attend each meeting. With 30-50% of people unable to attend regularly each week this means faces are continually changing. For new attendees wishing to integrate into the church and make friends, re-connecting with the same people again became a challenge.
Change: The churches Facebook group provides an online community for new and existing members to find one another and connect easily. This helps new members become more involved as sending out party/activity invites via Facebook is an option. Plus commenting on status updates and photos builds relationships and familiarity.
Registering for Events – With the newsletter and facebook community now underway, it made sense to make event registration online as well allowing people to book in to the event when it was convenient for them. They no longer had to attend on the Sunday and remember to sign the clipboard.
Event organisers could easily track who was coming, take payments online and send group emails to attendees. They no longer had to spend their spare time correcting email addresses because of illegible writing.
Change: Using EventBrite provided full administrative support allowing organisers to track attendance, survey attendees for special requirements like food allergies and email all attendees with one simply email. EventBrite was integrated into the new look website and connected to newsletters, improving member’s accessibility to the church..
In conclusion, the church is now able to involve members far better, which ultimately leads to a more rewarding community that benefits the growth and stability of the whole church.