New Data Insights and Marketing Tools Help Increase Church Attendance by 30 Percent
More than 130 churches over the last two years have seen 25-30 percent multi-week Sunday attendance increases through their partnerships with the Culture of Freedom Initiative.
Following the same approach used to improve the effectiveness of ministry to those in need, the Culture of Freedom helps churches identify people with a proclivity to attend a house of worship and design strategies to gain new members. In many cases, churches were able to get a foot in the door with prospective members by drawing them in on specific topics like parenting, marriage counseling or budgeting. Church leadership then has an opportunity to invite them to Sunday service.
Recent Success Stories
Church Plant Starts with 184 and grows to 1,500 in just 10 weeks
Sun Valley Community Church set up a new church in Phoenix that began with 184 volunteers helping to launch the campus. Leveraging the predictive modeling and digital marketing tools of the Culture of Freedom Initiative, this church grew to more than 1,500 congregants within 10 weeks, becoming self-sufficient in under 3 months.
Multi-week campaign produces explosive growth for Phoenix church
The Trinity Church in Phoenix saw year-over-year growth of 28 percent following a 4-week digital campaign. The church's leadership worked with COFI data services team and covered a new ministry opportunity around parenting. Tailoring messaging around this area, the church built a 4-week sermon series and a marketing campaign, which produced a sustained lift in attendance.
Unhappy Couples reported 93% increase in marital satisfaction
Cornerstone Christian Church used COFI's data modeling to target couples with a higher propensity for divorce and recruited them to attend a Date Night Comedy event at their church. As a result, they saw a sold-out crowd of over 1,300 individuals attend, 450 of which were completely new to the church thanks to COFI-funded micro-targeted advertising. Those who reported being unhappy in their marriage saw a 93 percent increase in their marital satisfaction following the event. Moreover, Cornerstone Christian saw a significant bump in attendance over the following weeks.
Leadership Network Convenes Pastors to Innovate
The Culture of Freedom Initiative partnered with the convener of the largest 400 evangelical churches to recruit pastors for a series of "Accelerator Meetings." These strategy sessions allowed pastors to innovate new ministries to boost millennial church engagement and launch family, marriage, and dating programs. Pastors realized boosting marriage required getting upstream of the problems. This led to the formation of a new dating discussion ministry promoting healthy dating-habits oriented towards life-long marriage. This model is being replicated into churches across the three test cities.
Promoting Work to Boost Faith and Family
In 2016, The Culture of Freedom Initiative provided seed funding to FlourishNow—a ministry that helps churches develop low-cost job placement programs. FlourishNow helped 1,973 people gain full-time employment in Phoenix and Jacksonville in 2017 and expect to connect 4,500 more with jobs in 2018. Of those who are served, 64 percent do not attend any church. This outreach has become an effective strategy to increase church attendance and boost marriageability among working-class men.
Over 20,000 experience the Gospel through COFI partner, Alpha
Through a meal and Socratic dialogue, Alpha introduces individuals to the basics of the gospel. Before a COFI grant, 5,500 completed Alpha across our three target cities. In 2017, 20,892 completed the course through 289 churches. According to the Barna Group, 82 percent of non-Christians in Alpha describe themselves as followers of Jesus afterwards. Among non-active church going Christians, 78 percent became more committed to attending church. Alpha projects 30,000 people will complete the course in 2018 across our three target cities.