Having hundreds to thousands of views is great, but unless you’re moving people along a discipleship process then you’re not really engaging in the true potential of Church Online. This is where data management is crucial to the church online experience. If you are going to call people to their next step, and you should, you need to make sure that you have the right plan to obtain their data and make sure that they are followed up with in a timely fashion.
- First things first: Does your church have an overarching data strategy? If you utilize connection cards, first time guest cards, or have people fill out some kind of sign in sheet, then the answer is, "Yes." If so, collaborate with the necessary people who oversee the input of data to see how Church Online can fit into the same process.
- Utilize the same system for data forms. I understand that there are a lot of different systems that create forms, but they can be a hindrance factor in making sure that you have accurate data church wide. This is where some churches that I’ve seen have trouble. They utilize Google Forms for one event, their app’s form for another, and then the website has its own unique form. Each form is pooling data, and no one is checking to see how they can get them to work together. Even if you can’t embed the form into a page, it’s best to keep the data in one place.
- Documented follow up is key. There are many similarities between physical and digital churches. One particular pain is how members of congregations can claim that no one follows up despite being left countless text messages and voicemails. You want to make sure that you and your fellow ministers are documenting your follow up process. It’s helpful for your staff and your congregation.
I know the data process isn’t very exciting, but it’s the trenches in which true ministry is done. With accurate data and a great follow up process, you can help close the backdoor to your church and turn viewers into disciples. Having a unified data strategy with your church will not just add value to Church Online, but it also ensures that ALL people in your church are being cared for.