November 16, 2020 Tony Morgan

You need to reach people online? Here’s a simple solution.

A New Tool to Help You Connect with People Who are Outside the Church and Outside the Faith.

It wasn’t that long ago that pastors viewed the Sunday worship service as the front door to the church. Sunday morning was the primary strategy for engaging new people and encouraging them to take steps toward Jesus and to connect with the church.

Then things began to shift. People visited the church’s website before they attended a worship service. In fact, our research at The Unstuck Group confirmed this in early 2019. The data revealed that:

  • Growing churches had more first-time visitors to their websites than declining churches.
  • Growing churches were far more likely to see increases in return visits to their websites (79%) than declining churches (33%).
  • Growing churches were also much more likely to be sharing video content on web platforms (85%) than declining churches (49%).

There was a connection between the church’s web strategy and attendance growth. The church website had become the new front door.

Now we’re in the middle of another shift. 

As people engage a growing amount of content online, how they connect with people and organizations, including churches, continues to evolve.

Churches have been slow to recognize this shift. We continue to use our websites and social media platforms to promote what’s happening at the church. We use online tools to make announcements rather than to engage conversations and build relationships.

The problem, of course, is that the people we’re trying to reach don’t care about what we are trying to promote. That information is important for people who are already connected to our churches. But it’s not helpful for the person we’re trying to reach.

We need a new strategy to connect with people who are outside the church and outside the faith. Just streaming Sunday services online is not the solution. The people we’re trying to reach aren’t looking for a church service to watch online. Instead, they’re looking for answers to questions about life. Questions like:

  • How do I overcome fear and anxiety? 
  • How do I heal my marriage? 
  • How do I raise healthy and successful kids? 
  • How can I find happiness? 
  • How do I make ends meet financially?
  • What is my purpose in life?
  • Is God real?

Your church may address some of these questions on Sunday mornings, but does your digital ministry strategy address these questions? Are these the types of questions you’re trying to engage through social media platforms?

If you are like most churches…almost all churches…then you are probably not.

I get it. This is not an easy shift for us to navigate. It raises a lot of questions. These are the types of questions I’m hearing from church leaders who recognize this void:

  • What content should we be sharing?
  • Who’s creating it or where can I find it?
  • What technology should we use?
  • How do we know who is engaging the content?
  • How do we follow up with them?
  • How do we eventually encourage someone to attend or watch a service?

And the questions go on and on.

At The Unstuck Group, we’ve spent the last several months trying to help churches consider what their digital ministry strategy needs to look like to engage new people online. As we’ve done that, I’ve heard the frustration. Don’t tell me what to do. Just show me how to do it.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been an easy solution to offer. Until now.

Introducing Front Door

I’ve connected with three friends who love Jesus and love the local church. We’ve formed a new company to launch a new online solution to make this strategy easy to implement. 

(Don’t worry. I’m not leaving The Unstuck Group. This new solution, though, will be my side hustle and will complement our focus on helping churches get unstuck.)

We’re calling this Front Door.

Front Door will help you build trust with your community before they ever step foot inside your church building or engage with an online service.  It will help you reach people online.

We’ll have a lot more to share about the team, the technology, and the strategy in the near future.  The best step you can take right now is sign up for early info and access.

Here’s a quick peek into how it will work.

Step 1: Choose helpful content from our library.  

There will be ready-to-use and easily customizable content you can use with a few clicks.  Choose short content or long-form resources. Decide between written words, images, or professional videos.  Select the form that fits the topic you want to address.  

Step 2: Get the content online ready for people to download.

Once you select something helpful, it’s time to put it online where people can ask for it. Quickly customize a pre-built landing page or install a tiny pop-up on your existing website.  Our landing page builder is easy to use and doesn’t require coding.  The pop-up runs in the background of your website allowing you to personally engage with people already on your site.

Step 3:  Follow up with those who engage through done-for-you follow up campaigns. 

Our follow-up campaigns will be ready to use right out of the box, and they can be customized to point people to a specific next step as you help them connect with faith and your church.  

Front Door is an all-in-one content library, page builder, and follow-up tool.

It’s the complete technology solution to support this strategy.  You’ll find the content you need, the page builder and website integration, and the follow-up system.

For churches, the new front door is an outreach strategy that tries to address those key life and spiritual questions of the person you are trying to reach. 

Rather than invites, the new front door starts with shares. Rather than attendance being the first step, subscribing becomes the first step.

Rather than promoting the church, we’re trying to build trust with the person we’re hoping to reach. Rather than making announcements, we’re trying to build relationships.

When you use Front Door, you’ll begin building trust with people before they visit your church.  And you’ll build an audience of people you can strategically invite to take their next steps toward Jesus and your church.

Many people are telling you, “it’s time to reach people online.”  Front Door will actually help you do it.

If you want to be the first to know when the beta program opens to the public, click here to get on the early access invite list.

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Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group, theunstuckgroup.com. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.