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Keys to Unlocking Ministry Growth & Engagement

“We don’t know who our neighbors are, nor do we know what they need or even care about.”

Sound familiar? If you’re like most churches we speak with, this is an all-too-common challenge. Regardless of the size of the church, denomination, or even geographical location, many churches are finding that their congregations are not reflective of their community. 

We help churches overcome this overwhelming challenge by providing three keys to unlock ministry growth and engagement.  

These keys will allow you to:

  • Find new people to draw into your church by better understanding your community
  • Reach new people by empowering you with the knowledge that will help you create strategies and data-driven efforts
  • And most importantly, help you Engage in building long-lasting relationships with people in your congregation


“I’m not sure where to start when it comes to reaching those within our community.”

As with most daunting challenges, like the one mentioned above, the hardest part is just knowing where to begin. How do you find new people who may be interested in what your church offers?

It all starts with expanding your sights and efforts outside of your physical church and diving into the community around you. As you may already know, there’s a good chance your congregation may not reflect the broader community around you. 

While reporting and analytics can seem boring, they actually tell a story. Use data to find out what matters most to your neighbors so that you can find those who share the same values, beliefs, and passions as your church or parish. 

There are a plethora of tools to help you gain this knowledge. However, we’ve listed a few below to jumpstart your actions:

  • US Census – The US Census is FREE and provides demographic information that can be helpful in understanding your neighbors.
  • Local Events – Attend local events or join online groups to get a sense of who makes up your community and learn more about what they’re interested in.
  • MissionInsite – Utilize our community analysis tool, MissionInsite, to gain valuable information about the community around you so you can make data-driven decisions.



“We need help drawing people into our church”

The first step is complete: you’ve done the research, and now you have a better idea of who your community is. Now, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, put your heads together, and build a strategy to reach these individuals.

Below are 3 intentional efforts you can quickly implement to put boots on the ground and make this data work for you.

1) Tailor your events to fit their interests. 

If you discover your community is full of young families eager to connect with each other, then create events with that theme in mind.

2) Tailor your communications to fit their preferences. 

No budget for advertising? No problem! If you live in a “big-little town” like I do, word of mouth paired with a strong social media presence is very effective in driving people to church events. However, if you live in a larger city or even a more rural area, those strategies may not work. You may find sending out event reminders via text/email is more effective. Do what works best.

3) Keep track of your efforts as well as the results to measure success and continue improving.

Not only is it important to know what is working, it’s just as important to know what isn’t so you can make intentional changes to flip the script! We’ve found many churches struggle with this vital step oftentimes due to a lack of tools in place that allow them to measure key results such as increased attendance, increased giving, and new visitors attending. Through Realm’s Event Registration Tool, you can create events, easily share information to your website about the event, and most importantly, keep track of key metrics such as attendance, easily identify new visitors, as well as see any increase in giving.


“Building long-term, lasting relationships within our congregation is a struggle for us.”

To create and foster an environment in your church that will allow you to build lasting relationships within your congregation takes consistent, intentional efforts that are scalable and measurable. Each individual is in a specific place in their own spiritual journey, so it’s important to have steps in place to meet people where they are.

Here are a few things you can do to engage your congregation as well as new visitors:

1) Create a process around new visitor engagement to ensure no one falls through the cracks. 

It could be as simple as finding a willing volunteer to greet new visitors, capturing the name and email or phone number of these individuals (usually a connect card works best), and then setting a cadence for at least one follow-up. You can use a spreadsheet to organize this information and easily share it with your church staff to gain insight into new growth. Many churches find Growth Method, our automated communications and engagement tool, extremely helpful in highlighting new visitors, moving them to a New Visitor track, and ensuring the process is being followed so no one falls through the cracks!

2) Offer group and volunteer opportunities to help visitors and new members build relationships with others within your church body. 

Having a strong volunteer base is essential in aiding a church to facilitate and sustain growth. Without volunteers, there are no small groups, no Children’s Church, no Greeters! Realm provides the tools you need to recruit volunteers as well as find and place your volunteers throughout your ministry that best serve them and your congregation. 

3) Guide and track where each individual is within their journey.

It’s key to assign ownership over each individual to ensure they are being ministered to in a way that is reflective of where they are in their spiritual journey. This can easily be done through our engagement hub, Growth Method. Growth Method allows you to facilitate engagement by providing your staff with communication methods, task tracking, and processes. This type of ownership over these processes will further ensure successful engagement and help you sustain growth within your ministry. 

If you’ve made it this far in the blog, you’re already on the right path to help your ministry because…well…you care about your church’s growth and sustainability! Through serving churches for 45+ years, we at ACS Technologies know that typically, there are few engaged staff members and volunteers, like yourself, who wear many hats and do the heavy lifting to ensure the church is serving the needs of its congregation.

YOU know YOUR church. These are your people, your community. We hope this information can guide you as you find what steps and processes are most successful in engaging your community and, ultimately, growing your congregation. 

Jenna Wallace

Jenna joined the ACST team in February 2020 as a Ministry Consultant for small to mid-size churches with a focus on empowering these ministries with the tools they need to accomplish their goals. She believes regardless of the size of the ministry, each church can utilize technology to fulfill the calling God has given them. Prior to joining ACST, she spent several years as a Sales Consultant across multiple industries, all focusing on relationship building, which she feels has allowed her to provide trusted advice to those in need. Jenna is passionate about helping others which fuels her eagerness to serve.