The Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Md., is admired by Catholic churches nationwide as the “Rebuilt Parish” that has successfully fused sacramental and liturgical worship with the outreach methods of evangelical megachurches to help disengaged young adults become missionary disciples.
With about 60 inquiries a month from visitors, the Church of The Nativity uses Growth Method to ensure that all receive personal outreach. “Growth Method helps me track newcomers,” said Allie Wade, the Connections Coordinator, whose job is to engage with anyone who expresses interest in the parish, either in person or online.
If a visitor fills out a digital form at the parish welcome center, someone watching Mass online texts “welcome,” or someone sends a message through the parish website, the individual is added into Growth Method and Allie personally reaches out to them.
“(With Growth Method) We introduce them to our parish and to ways they might be able to get connected and take their next step. We help them with anything they need.” – Allie Wade, Connections Coordinator
If an inquiry arrives when she is away, Growth Method sends a friendly automated response, thanking the visitor for coming and promising that Allie will be in touch soon. When Allie returns to work, she follows up personally to find out more about why the person has reached out, and if they complete an address form she sends them a gift card. She can then recommend ways for them to become active in the parish.
“Growth Method is about being welcomed and the first steps for someone needing help getting into a small group. Time after time, people are blown away that you’re personally texting them. That personal communication aspect goes a long way.” – Allie Wade, Connections Coordinator
Church of the Nativity also uses MinistryPlatform, and through the integration with Growth Method, they can track activity and sort everyone at the parish into its “scale of engagement” that includes guests, visitors, newcomers, and parishioners.
Growth Method can also be used to encourage existing parishioners to participate in a specific ministry or take a next step. On Christmas, as music played, people were invited to play a Christmas trivia game on their phones. The 702 people who did so were automatically entered into Growth Method for follow-up invitations to the January preaching series and Nativity saw an increase in attendance in January.
During Lent, Nativity plans to use Growth Method to encourage those not already part of a parish small group to join one. “The cue to the congregation will be to text the word “group” to our number. That will get them into a Growth Method track,” Allie said. Three days after an initial automated response, a team member from the church will contact them to see if they want help signing up for a small group and send periodic invitations until they do so.
Nativity has 12,800 active parishioners, but Allie, who has been using Growth Method for two years, believes that Growth Method works just as well for the smaller churches.
“Sometimes when you’re smaller, you think it can’t be that big of a deal to track a small number of people. But in reality, all church workers have 800 job titles. Growth Method is a database that keeps you organized, whether you have 10,000 people or 250 parishioners. It’s a tool that will help to ensure that you’re giving people the personal connection and quality of care and follow-up that you want to give them.” Allie Wade – Connections Coordinator
To learn more about Growth Method, click here
To learn more about Church of the Nativity, click here