There are plenty of church growth strategies that can help you increase church attendance and membership. From nurturing personal relationships in the community to increasing digital engagement, there are a variety of methods you can use to bring more people into the fold.
While each of these strategies can be effective, none is quite as personal and powerful as leveraging the real-life experiences of your congregation to attract new church members.
Why is this such a valuable tool?
Read on as we outline the importance of leveraging the stories and experiences of your congregation – and explore the best practices for collecting, curating, and promoting them.
What Makes Testimonials So Effective in Church Recruitment?
The power of social proof is no secret. People are much more likely to be persuaded by the experiences of others than by a well-crafted tagline or slick marketing campaign. And in the spiritual context, hearing real-life stories of how a church has served an individual or family can be especially impactful.
Here are the top reasons why sharing the experiences of your current members can help you attract new ones:
- Testimonials give potential members a glimpse into church culture, values, and atmosphere
- They offer an honest, unbiased assessment of what it’s like to be part of the congregation
- Hearing stories from people who are just like them can give potential members a sense of belonging
- Being exposed to real-life examples of how a church has helped others overcome struggles and grow in their faith can be inspiring
- Sharing stories of how the church has improved members’ lives can help potential members visualize what their experience could be like
Testimonials from existing members offer a unique and highly credible form of marketing. They provide potential members with a genuine insight into what it’s like to be part of your church family, enabling them to gain an understanding of the faith community before they even visit.
How Can You Collect, Curate, and Promote Member Testimonials?
Promoting real-life testimonials is a very effective church growth strategy, but it’s not always easy to execute. Here are a few tips for collecting, curating, and promoting these stories:
Take the Time to Find Meaningful Stories and Encourage Church Members to Share Them
Invite church members to share their stories and experiences in a safe, comfortable setting, if possible, inside your church building. Seek out the stories of people who represent a variety of ages, backgrounds, and interests. This will help new potential church members see that they’re not alone – there are others like them in your church family – and will make them feel more welcomed and accepted.
Ensure You Have Permission to Use Testimonials Before Publishing or Sharing Them
Before you share any church member’s story, make sure that you have the individual’s permission. This is especially important if you plan to name the person in your testimonials or use a photo, video, or audio recording of them. Stories of spiritual growth are not always easy to share, so make sure you respect everyone’s privacy and that they are comfortable with the way their story is being shared.
Curate Your Testimonials to Ensure Quality and Reliability
Church leaders need to take the time to review and curate all testimonials before they are shared. This is a great opportunity to ensure each story adheres to your church’s mission and values, so you can be assured that what you share will reflect positively on the congregation. It’s also important to make sure that any stories you share are genuine and accurate – avoid making any changes or omissions that could undermine the reliability of your testimonials.
Promote Your Testimonials on Multiple Platforms to Maximize Their Impact
Once you’ve identified the best stories to share, it’s time to get them out there. You can promote your testimonials on your church website, social media pages, newsletters, and other marketing materials. During your Sunday church services, you can even invite members to share their stories with the congregation in person. This makes for a more personal and interactive experience, which can be very powerful.
How Can You Effectively Present Your Testimonials to Potential Members?
No matter how well-curated your testimonials are, they won’t have an impact if they’re not presented in a way that resonates with potential members. Here are a few tips for presenting your stories in a way that will engage and inspire others to become a part of your local church community:
Use Real-Life Photos to Support Your Testimonials
Many churches are still using stock photos to illustrate their stories, which can make them feel impersonal and generic. To make your testimonials more engaging and authentic, include real-life photos of the members who are sharing their stories. This will help potential members to put a face to the story and see that these experiences are genuine.
Create Bite-Sized Pieces That Can Be Easily Digested and Shared
Make sure that you don’t overwhelm potential members with long, drawn-out stories. Instead, break them down into smaller pieces that can be quickly consumed and easily shared. This will help to make your testimonials more accessible and memorable – leading to more engagement and conversions.
Opt for Video Testimonials to Bring Your Stories to Life
Video testimonials are a powerful way to capture the emotion and energy of each story. You can have members of your congregation record their stories on video or audio and then share them online. This will give potential members an up-close look at the experiences of your church members, which can help them feel more connected and invested.
Encourage Potential Members to Reach Out With Questions
Finally, make sure that potential members know they can reach out with any questions or concerns they may have about joining your church. By providing an easy way for them to contact your church leadership, you can help to create a safe space for them to explore their faith in a supportive community.
Want to Learn More About How Your Church Leadership Team Can Leverage Testimonials to Attract New Members?
If you are looking for unique and creative church growth ideas that will help potential members find your church online, our team of certified digital marketing experts at ChurchCandy has you covered. We can help you curate, promote, and present your church’s unique stories in a way that will leave a lasting impression to inspire more people to join your congregation.
We’ll take the guesswork out of your church marketing efforts, so you can focus on leading a thriving and vibrant community. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you grow your church and reach its full potential – in no time.