As both a church leader and a marketer, I appreciate the world of the busy evangelist with many things on the to-do list competing with my primary call to preach the gospel. I have also experienced the amplifying and freeing power of a well developed online presence. I serve the Austin Christian Church and we see visitors come to service every week who found us first online. Every year we baptize people whose first impression of the church was a welcome video, a sermon online, our Facebook page, or our website. I believe that Jesus and the Apostles would, in fact, embrace online communication as an important way for the gospel to spread. Their heart to meet people where they’re at can be seen throughout scripture. It is evident in the way Jesus spoke to people from all different backgrounds, by the stories he told, even in the strong accusations against him for hanging out with sinners and tax collectors. Paul wrote his powerful words about “being all things to all men” to the Corinthians as a statement of flexibility for the sake of the gospel. This particular verse is both a motivation and a challenge for me as a leader. “…so that by all possible means I might save some” – 1 Cor 9:22

Do I employ “all possible means” to save some? Does this principle apply to having an excellent, robust and compelling online presence? I’m talking about more than the bare minimum, out-of-date cookie cutter sites and other marketing tools many churches use. Do our members cringe when a link to the church website is sent to their friends? The gospel is important enough for us to continue internalizing these words by Paul and applying them to all dimensions of life. Just a few church stats to illustrate. They point to lack of engagement as one of the reasons we might not have more growing numbers of millennials in our churches just to point out one key pain point I hear from many church leaders.

  • 54% of millennials watch online videos about faith and spirituality. (Source: Barna Group)
  • 62% of churches use social media to connect with individuals outside of their congregation. (Source: Facts & Trends)
  • 70% of nonprofit communicators consider social media one their most important communication channels.
Personal evangelism will always be central to disciple making, but most people we invite personally will first check out the website before they make a decision to attend.

I want to ask a few questions that might help your church determine where you are and where you want to go:

  • Does your church have the integrated and compelling online presence it needs to impact your community?
  • Is your church branding modern, relevant and recognizable?
  • Are your graphics impactful, expressive and consistent?
  • Are you using video as the most consumed medium online?
  • Is your social media seamlessly and beautifully branded?
  • Is your website clean, responsive and attractive?
  • Are you using all possible means to save some?

It’s time for more churches not only to catch up with the times, but to lead the way in communicating the most important news there is, the Gospel of Jesus. If this resonates with your church, I would be happy to share practical ways a proactive communication approach has helped our church spread the gospel in Austin, Texas. You can message me directly at Christian Ray Flores is an evangelist at Austin Christian and co-founder of Third Drive Disciples Today is excited to announce a new service to ICOC churches to provide you with a cutting edge website and app at reasonable prices and with the Church Locator, automated news feeds from Disciples Today, HOPE worldwide, ICOC HotNews and other crucial features built in. Click here to try out your template today.