As a church communicator, you understand the importance of things like technology, social media, and the Internet in general. But it's also equally important that you understand how knowing certain statistics relating to these topics can be beneficial when it comes to church growth.
If you don't think these sort of things have anything to do with furthering the mission of your church, then think again. This is exactly why we came up with several statistics you as a church communicator need to know for 2018.
We think you'll find these statistics extremely useful, and pretty fascinating as well. So sit down, grab a cappuccino, (or a green smoothie if you've resolved to eat more healthy for 2018!), and get ready to take a look at these all-important numbers we've gathered just for you. It's our hope that you'll be able to use these stats to your advantage as you prepare to have another great year.
Some people mistakenly believe that the most important part of a church is the building. This, however, could not be further from the truth. It is the people inside the building that make up the church.
It's the people that do the giving, the volunteering, the worshipping, and the sharing. While it's true much of this is done inside a building, a lot of it is also done outside of the four walls. And all of these things require people, which is why church attendance is so important.
- 52% of millennials in America are considered unchurched
- The attendance in 85% of churches in the U.S. are either plateauing or declining
- Church attendance grows by 21.5% after a new church is planted
- 47% of unchurched Americans are more likely to go to church if invited by a friend
While some of these statistics may be a bit disheartening, knowing such numbers can help prioritize where the focus should be when trying to increase church attendance, and also help you find effective strategies when trying to reach certain people groups, like millennials.
When it comes to giving, it seems that writing checks, and even putting cash into a church offering envelope are falling by the wayside. More people than ever are giving electronically, and here are the statistics to prove it.
- 60% of all church members are willing to give digitally
- 59% of donors 66 and older use online giving
- According to the most recent statistics, 1 in 5 donors has given by using their tablet or smartphone
It's pretty obvious that if your church doesn't have a way for members to give online, 2018 is a great year to incorporate this feature on your church website.
Church and Social Media
Many churches have found ways to use social media to their advantage, including reaching potential visitors, helping members to stay connected, and making church announcements. If your church isn't taking advantage of all the ways to use social media, there really is no time like the present to get started.
Here are some statistics that may persuade you to either start using social media or ramp up your current social media usage:
- When it comes to having spiritual discussions online, 4 in 10 millennials have participated in an online discussion about faith
- According to just over 46% of churches, social media is the most effective method of outreach
- 51% of churches state that at least one of their staff members either blogs or posts on social media on a regular basis
- In order to connect with people outside of the congregation, 62% of churches use social media to do so
As you can see social media is not only a popular in the church, it is highly effective. If you're not sure where to start when it comes to having and maintaining an online presence through social media, be sure to check out our blog post, 8 Things You Need to Start Doing with Your Church Social Media.
Church Websites and Internet Use
You would think by now every church would have its own website. Surprisingly, this just isn't true. While there is not a whole lot of data out there to give exact numbers, one study estimates that in 2015, 60 to 65% of churches had a website. This means that up to 40% of churches DO NOT have a website.
Church communicators probably don't need to be persuaded that every church should have a website, but in case there are others that do need more convincing, here are some church website stats:
- When wanting to know more about a church, 33% of people said the Internet was the first place they went
- According to those who attend church, 46% of them said that a church website was important when choosing a church
- 64% of churchgoers think that a church's website is vital when it comes to participation, including watching sermons online and looking up service information
If your church does not yet have a website, you should certainly add this to your list of 2018 goals.
Churches and Cell Phone Use
It may not be surprising that 95% of all Americans have a cellphone of some kind. More interestingly than that though, is how people and church-goers are using their cell phones.
- Nearly 80% of social media time is spent on mobile devices, with most of that time being spent on Facebook
- 91% of those who own smartphones use it to access their email
- In 2014, 7 out of 10 churchgoers used their phones for text messaging (this number will probably be higher in 2018)
- 53% of Bible users searched for a verse or Biblical content on a cellphone
- 43% of Bible users downloaded a Bible app onto their smartphone
These statistics tell you that cell phones are extremely important to Americans, including churchgoers. This is why it's important that you are not only cellphone savvy, but that your church website is too. In fact, having a mobile-friendly church website is a great SEO strategy that can help to improve your page ranking, which means more people will be able to find your church website.