In my time since joining the enterprise team, two of the things that stand out to me the most about the differences between larger churches vs. what many would consider “smaller” churches are the level of engagement and the mindset that could be hindering it.
Larger churches often tend to see a much higher level of engagement because they are providing the staff and congregation with tools and resources that are specific to their area of interest, ministry, or care.
Not that this is a surprise to anyone. Clearly, it’s easier for you to dig a hole if you have a shovel, so having the tools that are specific to your role or involvement in the church should yield the same result – make things easier.
This is the part that I want us to dig into, but first, I think it’s fair to point out that because the use of these tools is helping these churches to have higher engagement, this also leads to church growth, which is what all churches want to see. Right?
Of course, this engagement and growth are able to be tracked and measured too, which is another benefit churches receive from using tools designed just for them, as well as a way for them to be able to justify their investment.
Early conclusion – technology and tools that are designed specifically for you and your role, no matter what industry you’re in, help you to operate at a higher level. You just have to use them the right way.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. One could argue or point out that larger churches have a larger budget, so being able to afford these tools isn’t nearly as big of an obstacle.
Well, yes, this may be true. However, in my experience in working with “smaller” churches, it’s not the cost of the tool that gets in the way of churches and their congregation from being able to reap the benefits. It’s the mindset.
Most commonly, churches often have a fear that because of the demographics of their church, more specifically, average age, they will have poor adoption or buy-in to any sort of technology or online resources for their ministry.
This is a legit concern, and we get that, but many times church leaders have a mindset that their tools don’t work, won’t work, or wouldn’t be well received by their staff or congregation, so they choose not to utilize the tools they already have available to them or choose not to consider using any new ones.
As a leader, the thought of “if they don’t buy in, this is going to be a waste of time and money that we don’t have” is scary, but having faith that you CAN overcome the challenge of getting people to use the tools you’re providing for them will help you to shift your mindset to “when they do buy in, this is going to be incredible.”
Remember our early conclusion – technology and tools that are designed specifically for you and your role, no matter what industry you’re in, help you to operate at a higher level. You just have to use them the right way.
Moral of the story
Don’t let your fear of poor resource adoption keep you from reaching the level of engagement that you’ve envisioned to help your church thrive!
You can do this! Here are a few simple things that you can do to help get the most out of your tools and keep your engagement rate high.
Talk about your tools!
This is the most important one. Far and away! People will not use something they don’t know about it, so you, as a leader, need to be very vocal about using the tools and build up excitement around the benefits it will bring.
Hold their hand.
Walk alongside them. Offer break-out groups or something similar to spend time with them to make sure they are able to use the tool and are comfortable with it. “Hey, if you haven’t been able to or aren’t comfortable using our new tool for XYZ, we’d love to spend about 30 minutes with you before our 11:00 service next week to make sure all of you are able to use it and even give you a few pointers. Don’t worry, we will also be serving coffee and donuts.” You should then make that a routine, not a one-time thing.
Kris joined our ACST family in 2019 and now serves as an Enterprise Account Executive. One of the things he’s most passionate about is impacting the Kingdom of God, so in his current role, he is fulfilled by being able to help churches leverage technology to overcome their own complex or unique challenges so they can be more successful. Outside of ACST, he enjoys serving in various roles at his home church and being involved in local charities and events.