Here are five ways that help engagement:
- Make a great first impression.
- Typically this would mean in person and you still want to do that when you are physically at your parish. Stay open and friendly to everyone you see. You also want to make a great first impression online since not everyone is physically going to church anymore. Make sure your website is up to date and has accurate information. Sharing what’s going on in your parish on your social media pages helps parishioners feel engaged and in the know.
- Have a strong kid’s program.
- Families rely heavily on a strong kid’s program. Parents want to see that their children are learning in a safe and protected environment. If you offer a children’s program during your service, live stream it as well. Keep the little ones active and involved even when they are not at the parish. The whole family will stay invested and involved when the children are happy and growing in their faith.
- Communicate how people can be involved.
- Generally, people don’t know how to get involved at a new parish or even a parish they have been attending for years. Make it clear to attendees how to get involved, add a line on the bulletin with information and announce it during the service. Even if people aren’t attending church, let them know of a project they can help with. For example, if you have a food drive they can come and drop off food while still keeping a safe social distance.
- Make them feel like they are part of a community.
- People thrive on connecting with others. Encourage them to attend or start a small group to be around like-minded people. Even if they don’t want to attend in person right now, have them join a Zoom or Google Meets session with everyone.
- Let them know that they are important to the parish.
- When people feel understood and appreciated they feel better about themselves. Let your parishioners know that they serve a special purpose in the parish and how they affect others’ lives for the better.