7 Key Marketing Insights From Growing Churches with Ryan Wakefield (PCP177)

Marketing can seem scary. How do we connect with the right people? Is our strategy the best use of money? Ryan chats with us about his marketing insights for growing churches.

00:00
August 29th, 2017

Ryan is a church planter. He is also the founder of Church Marketing University, and Social Church and he is joining us to share the insights he’s gathered on what elements are helping churches grow.

What’s In This Session?

  • The church marketing strength assessment (16:09)
  • #1: Lead pastor prioritizes connecting with Millennials (19:34)
  • #2: Online kids pre-registration (24:33)
  • #3: Prioritizes getting contact information (29:29)
  • #4: Consistently captures and shares photography (31:55)
  • #5: More than 5 positive Google reviews (35:08)
  • #6: Budgets 3% or more in marketing (41:17)
  • #7: Measures and evaluates marketing effectiveness (45:38)

Show Notes & Resources Mentioned

3 Instant Takeaways

    1. Make decisions as non-emotional as possible. We are all prone to using our feelings to back the decisions that we make, but when it comes to marketing your church, and positioning it to grow, using data and facts will give you a better foundation..
    2. Kids pre-registration doubles as a contact information form. The more information you request on a contact card, the more unlikely it will become that people will fill it out. The exception is registration forms, where parents will give you tons of information because it affects the well being of their children.
    3. Budget 3% or more towards marketing. Although the word marketing can come across wrong to the Christian community, it is an integral part of your outreach strategy. The reason for this is simple – if you are not marketing, getting your name and presence out there, then how will people know when or where to find you.

The Full Transcript

Brady Shearer: This is the Pro Church podcast, session number 177, “Seven Key Marketing Insights from Growing Churches” with Ryan Wakefield.

Well, hey there, Pro Church Nation, and welcome to the Pro Church podcast. You’re now part of a small group of pioneering churches doing everything we can to seize the 167 hours beyond our Sunday services. Why? Because we’re living through the biggest communications shift in [00:00:30] the last 500 years, and what got us here won’t get us there. I’m Brady, your host. This is session number 177. You can find the show notes for this session at prochurchtools.com/177, and in this session we’re joined by Ryan Wakefield, looking at a ton of data that he has on why churches grow. So let’s dive right into it.

Welcome [00:01:00] back to another session of the Pro Church podcast. This is Brady, your host. Great to have you along with us for the ride. We like to start off each and every session by sharing with you a pro tip or a practical tool that you can begin using in your church or ministry right away. And today I want to share with you a new piece of camera gear that we just got in last week. If you follow me on Instagram over @bradysherer, and if you’re not, I mean … come on. Right? @bradysherer on Instagram, [00:01:30] probably the place where the most stuff is going down when it comes to me and social media right now.

Last week I shared an Instagram story on this new piece of gear that came in and we’re a couple of weeks removed from it now. The DJI Inspire 2, which is a drone, DJI’s most high end drone that they do sell. What makes this drone so important and the reason that we went with it is not that it shoots 4k, because almost every DJI from the Mavic, up to the Phantom, up to the Inspire, do that. Not [00:02:00] that it has anything to do with resolution, but that it has to do with the dynamic range of the camera, and the Codec that allows you to shoot you with.

So we shoot all of our videos with the Ursa Mini, the Black Magic Ursa Mini Pro 4.6k, which shoots RAW, but we shoot in ProRes 422, which is a 10 bit Codec, which is a very big difference from an 8 bit Codec that would be available inside of the, let’s say for instance, Phantom 4Pro from DJI, or the typical Micro4 [inaudible 00:02:30] camera or [00:02:30] DSLR. 10 bit has so much more information within the image, so much more color information, you can get a lot more flat images out of it. And when you do that, you’re allowed to edit, color grade, and push the color and exposure and all of that in post-production without damaging the image to the extent that you would if you were doing that to an 8 bit image. Basically, it allows you a lot more flexibility in post and a lot more flexibility when it comes to dialing in the look that you want.

And we wanted the footage [00:03:00] that we were shooting in the air, our aerial footage, to match our ground footage. Now we’re not going to get into the world of hanging our Ursa Mini up in the air and shooting directly with that on some crazy quad or octocopter or something like that simply because we put our Ursa Mini on our Gimble, our Ronan, and it’s that much more difficult to manage because you need, like, a focus assist and a monitor, and it’s super heavy so we wear a vest with it. It’s a whole big thing.

So we weren’t about to go that route, but when the DJI Inspire 2 was announced late in 2016, [00:03:30] I was super excited because it was going to allow us to capture 5.2k RAW, or what we ended up doing, 4k ProRes 422HQ in the air, and that would have a similar dynamic range, not match the Ursa entirely because the sensor size is smaller, and obviously it’s different but similar, where you could one to another and it not look jarring and completely different.

So we got this, and we got it into the office, and it was amazing. I sent two of our employees through commercial drone certification courses [00:04:00] a couple of weekends ago, so they did that Friday evening, Saturday all through the day and Sunday, and they got their drone certification. And here’s where things got a little bit interesting, and this is the story that I want to share with you because it’s pretty whack, it’s wild, it’s absurd.

Essentially, what we learned throughout this drone certification course, and the reason that I sent the two employees to take it, was not that you need it to fly commercially necessarily, but that the rules within Canada for flying drones commercially are incredibly complex, incredibly bureaucratic, and [00:04:30] intricate. So we sent two of these employees to the course to learn exactly what they needed to know to fly commercially, which in Canada means flying for any reason other than pure, recreational fun.

And so obviously, flying for the purpose of Pro Church Tools, whether we get paid for the footage or not, would fall under that commercial umbrella. And so we sent the two employees, they came back and said, “Okay, great. We now know how to be safe, we now know a ton of boring details about flying drones and other types of aero [00:05:00] type of things. But we’ve also found out that not only do we need insurance for this drone – which we did know ahead of time and are in the process of getting – but we also need what’s called an SFOC within Canada to fly. Anytime we want to fly we need an SFOC,” which stands for Special Flights … SFOC … certificate of something? Special flights order of … ah. Special Flights Operations Certificate. I think that’s it.

And basically, you have to submit this to Transport Canada, the government, [00:05:30] and it is like an 18 page application that needs to show, look, which three people – that’s right, three people are going to be on this drone shoot – Which exact coordinates are you going to be using? Where are you going to be flying to and from? What is your emergency plan? What is your insurance? What is your specifications and qualifications? What makes you allowed to do this? It’s an incredibly complex bureaucratic document. You submit it, and at the minimum, it’s going to be returned within 20 business days. So we’re looking a a month in the minimum. That’s to fly [00:06:00] it once.

Now, what we also learned is that once you’ve submitted and successfully received the permission on a couple of SFOCs, one, two, three, what you can apply for is a standing SFOC, which basically means you don’t have to apply every time that you want to fly, but that’s going to take two, three, four months. And we need for this upcoming project that I’ve yet to explain too much about but we’re getting closer to the big reveal, a project called “Story Tape,” we need some footage sooner rather than later for this.

And so, what do you do when [00:06:30] the bureaucracy of your country denies your ability to fly your drone despite sending two people through a course, despite getting the insurance, despite covering all of your basis, do you break the law? No, of course not. What do you do? Well, if only, if only there were a country, its natural beauty matched the deregulation or lack of drone UAV laws. If only there was country that we could go to that was beautiful and also was welcoming those that are operating drones.

[00:07:00] No, it’s not America. But last week, at the time you’re listening to this, by the time this goes live, last week, actually they’re leaving today when I’m recording this, both of those employees are headed off to the wonderful country of Iceland to do a week of filming. We booked the tickets last week, kind of an improvised, impromptu trek to the country of Iceland to spend a week droning their beautiful topography and beautiful country because [00:07:30] their drone laws are incredibly friendly, and the natural beauty of the country is unmatched in so many ways.

And so they leave tonight, landing in Reykjavik at about 9:00 a.m. in the morning. It’s a red eye. And they’re spending a week traveling around the country of Iceland, staying in hostels, droning and droning and droning. The nice thing about Iceland is that because it’s so far north, magic hour at this time anyways, it’s like four hours, two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. It’s like twice as long, and so the light is great. The weather as of now is looking good.

Of course, when you’re listening to this, [00:08:00] it’s going to be after the fact, so who knows. Maybe they weren’t allowed in the country. Maybe the drone was taken away by the high winds. Maybe the, you know, drone was stolen at one of the hostels. There are so many things that are going into this trip, so many variables that can go poorly, but that’s what adventure’s all about, right? High risk, high reward.

So, the DJI Inspire 2, just to let you know it is very expensive drone. It is only about $2900 American, but that’s just for the drone. Then you need the camera, and the gimble, and the license to film RAW and ProRes. The battery life is not great. [00:08:30] You need two batteries just to get about 20 minutes of flying time. Each battery’s like $200, so we got pen batteries, which is five pairs, that’s another $2,000. You know, you need the carrying case. You add it all up, and it cost us about $12,000 to $14,000 American to get this drone.

Of course, the footage does look amazing, and I can’t wait to match this drone with what’s happening in Iceland. And then of course we are still applying for those SFOCs and getting our standing within Ontario to shoot. [00:09:00] One more thing about the SFOCs within Canada is that even once you get that standing SFOC, like you submit a couple, you receive a couple successfully and they allow you to keep shooting, that’s regional. So maybe we have a good standing with Ontario but we can’t fly or head out to another province and then have the same feeling there. So it’s quite bureaucratic.

For every American listening, you, if you want to fly commercially, have to pass a test known as the 107, which I think there are 700 different testing arenas around the country where you can head to, [00:09:30] and it’s very quick. Within a couple of days you can get your temporary certificate; within a month you’ll get your official one if you past the test. And then you can pretty much fly with common sense following a few basic rules.

So, the American bureaucracy is a lot, lot less, and that law is actually new within the last, I think, 18 months and it’s been super helpful for those who want to fly commercially. I expect Canada to, I don’t know; I don’t know what I expect. It’s kind of unfortunate, but you follow the rules and you do what you have to do, right?

So with all that being said, we’re going to welcome [00:10:00] on this week’s guest to the Pro Church podcast, session number 177, Ryan Wakefield. Ryan is the co-founder of Church Marketing University, the director of Social Church, and he also has served as the creative services director for James River Church. He’s just moved to Kansas City over the last couple of years. Very, very nice city in America. I have only good things to say about Kansas City, and there he helped launch its Summit Park Church, which has grown to more than 1,000 people in the three short years that they’ve been around.

In this session of the podcast, we talk about [00:10:30] seven key marketing insights from churches that are growing. Basically, Ryan has been conducting these strength assessments with hundreds and hundreds of churches. What he’s done is he’s mined all that data and found that of the churches that self-identified as ‘growing’ there were these seven common characteristics amongst those growing churches. And so, in this session of the podcast, we do a deep dive together into those seven characteristics.

Okay, these churches self-identified as ‘growing’ and here are come [00:11:00] commonalities that might be a part, play a role, in that growth. And so, we break down each of those seven. So I’m not going to give them away now, but we will be back in just a moment with my interview with Ryan as we dive into those seven key marketing insights from Growing Churches.

Well, hey there, Pro Church Nation, welcome back to the another session of the Pro Church podcast. Great to have you here with us as always. Today we are joined by Ryan Wakefield. Ryan, welcome to the show.

Ryan Wakefield: Man, it’s great to be here. This is going to be a ton of fun.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, absolutely. It’s been a long time coming; [00:11:30] great to finally have you on the show. If people are unaware of who you are and the great stuff that you’re up to, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Ryan Wakefield: Yeah. So, flashback to 2013. I was making what I thought was going to be the biggest decision of my life. We felt like God was just green-lighting us to go plan a church or be a part of a church plan in Kansas City. And at that time I was like, “Man, is this wise? Is this smart? Move the family? Load everything up?”

And we ended up doing it and moved up here to [00:12:00] help start Summit Park Church, which has been a crazy journey. So we’re about four years now in at the time of this recording. God’s done some incredible things, and we’ve seen over now over about 1200 people come in to four services on a weekend. So it’s been crazy.

Ton of life change, and then along the way we’ve kind of been packaging up a lot of what we’ve been learning. In resources, we do two resources: Church Marketing University and Social Church. So that’s kind [00:12:30] of my story in a nutshell. And then it’s been cool, too, on the side moving up here to Kansas City. Brady, I know you’re a baseball fan. But the Royals winning a World Series, supporting Kansas City, a soccer team winning the MLS cup. And we’ve had as blast along the way.

Brady Shearer: So you have a World Series win, an MLS win; I have two semi-final baseball losses and one MLS finals loss. So close, but no cigar, for us.

It’s interesting, a lot of people know that I’m on this mission to see all 31 [00:13:00] baseball parks, factoring in the fact that Atlanta has had two in the time of my journey. So I’m going to finish that I’m pretty sure next month, in September, by the time this is live. I’m getting real close to finishing. By the time this is live, this is going live August 29th; this week, I’m in Milwaukee and Minnesota visiting those two parks.

But the very first park, Ryan, that I went to was the Kansas City park, and it was in April of 2014. And I remember …

Ryan Wakefield: Oh, nice.

Brady Shearer: And I remember driving through. And I lived in Edmondton [00:13:30] at the time, and I was moving from Edmondton to Niagara Falls. We were doing this cross-country move, and so my buddy, Alan, and I decided to drive through America and hit four ballparks on the way to make the trip less, you know, dull.

And so, we finally got through the Dakotas and we’re like into civilization again, and that’s not a hate on Dakota. Like, nothing in Canada is civilization, basically, so we know all about that. But we get to Missouri, we’re into Kansas City, and we’re sitting with these Kansas City fans, and I thought it was going to be really warm. [00:14:00] I’m like, America, the Midwest in April? It was so cold, extremely rainy, and at that time the Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals both hadn’t made the playoffs. They were the two longest playoff drought teams. You guys were number one, and we were number two. Both, like, 20 to 30 years since we had made the playoffs.

And I’m sitting with these Kansas City fans. No one’s at the game. Jays and Royals at Kaufman Stadium. And the Royals fans were just like, “Man, you’ve got it better than we do. We … man, our team sucks. We’ve got no hope. [00:14:30] At least you’ve got some hope.” And of course, that year, you guys make it all the way to the playoffs, the first time you’re making the playoffs. We’d make the playoffs next years, and then you guys knock us out, win the World Series. Just a crazy run. And who would have thought it all started – well, it didn’t all start – but for me, it all started at Kaufman Stadium, the first ballpark I had ever been to, other than the Jays, on a rainy, late April day.

Ryan Wakefield: Nice, dude. It has been an incredible run, and you need to come back. You need to come back; Tyler Smith and I will take you to another game. So we’ll take you to a warmer game or something.

Brady Shearer: [00:15:00] I’m on board. I need some of that KC barbecue back in my life.

Ryan Wakefield: Oh, it’s so good.

Brady Shearer: So, Church Marketing University and Social Church, two different things. Can you tell us a little bit about each of those? Kind of break down what they are.

Ryan Wakefield: Yeah. So, Social Church, we’re really just trying to give churches one tip every week on social media; just one practical thing they can do to get better with the idea that if they improve every, single week with their social media strategy, like, at the end of a year, end of two years, man, they’re going to be reaching a ton more people. So that’s Social Church.

And then we [00:15:30] have kind of more of our top of the line product, which is Church Marketing University, which helps church reach more people in their city. So we teach them things like search engine optimization, coaching through website, email marketing, social media marketing, Facebook ads, Google paid ads – all the stuff that you would imagine in that marketing world. We have what’s called modules that go in depth, kind of step by step how to do it, and some done for you resources. So that’s Church Marketing University. Those are the two things kind of we’ve got going on.

Brady Shearer: [00:16:00] Very nice. And if you go to churchmarketinguniversity.com, one of the first things that you’ll see above the fold is this big headline, says “Take the free church marketing strength assessment.” And this church marketing strength assessment is going to be what we kind of use as our springboard for this conversation because I think if I understand correctly, Ryan, you’ve had more than 2,000 churches go through this. And through all of those assessments and kind of data points, you kind of collected a ton of really insightful and interesting statistics and data based on what real churches [00:16:30] are doing.

So can you kind of like give us a little overview of what we’re about to tackle in this session of the Pro Church podcast?

Ryan Wakefield: Yeah. So we’ve been doing this assessment. Man, I’m a little bit of a data nerd. I think you have that kind of in you as well. And I went back and got my masters in organizational leadership and learned enough about stats to be dangerous, and assessments.

So we wanted to see, man, what were growing churches doing that plateaued or declining churches weren’t doing? That’s what we set out to do. [00:17:00] And so we feel like having 2,000 plus churches doing this assessment, we’ve at least got some trends that help us identify what’s going on with some of these growing or rapidly growing churches that plateaued or declining churches aren’t doing. What tools are they utilizing that are actually moving the needle.

Because I think there’s in the church world, there’s a lot of theory and gut and intuition, but we wanted to see what did the data actually say. So in this assessment, it’s a simple 20 question, ‘yes’ or ‘no’. “Are you doing this? [00:17:30] Are you not doing this?” And then we correlate that based on if they told us they were rapidly growing, growing, plateaued, declining, or rapidly declining. And essentially the average scores – and your listeners can go and take the assessment; and I know we’ve talked about providing it and maybe doing a recap just of kind of Pro Church Nation potentially down the road – but the average score was 7.6 out of 20. So if you got about a 7, you were average. Declining churches scored a 5.4. Plateaued churches [00:18:00] scored a 6.4. Growing churches scored an 8.9. And then rapidly growing churches scored an 11.1. So it’s kind of a stair step, which seemed to indicate to us that if you were doing some of these things well on the assessment, you were much more likely to be a growing church.

And then what we did is we kind of identified the top seven things that we’re going to talk about today, that these were the highest correlated to church growth. Meaning, the churches that were growing, these seven things really showed [00:18:30] up the most in the data, the highest indicators that these tools probably actually really help move the needle forward.

Brady Shearer: And one thing we talk a lot about with churches is kind of this unique situation, in that if you are serving or working at a church, you’re expected to be wearing so many different hats, you’re required to be doing so many different things. And so your resources, your time, your money, your creative efforts, it’s just all so valuable. And so if you can maximize your ROI – this is what we talked about when we talked [00:19:00] about digital versus physical mail; so many things, it’s like …

Look, everything works, but if we had to only choose the best of the best, what would those things be? And what this data, what this church marketing strength assessment gives us and what Ryan’s about to walk us through are seven things that have been found to be like the best of the best. So, if you had to choose knowing that everything works but you’ve only got limited resources so you can do maybe anything but you can’t do everything, which would be the most important things to choose from? We’ve got seven and we’re going to go through each of them right now. [00:19:30] If you’re ready, Ryan, I am.

Ryan Wakefield: Let’s do it.

Brady Shearer: Let’s go. Take it away. Number one.

Ryan Wakefield: So, number one. This was kind of the biggest finding, the biggest kind of ‘ah ha’ moment that stood out in the data, and it was this; I found this really interesting. It was that your church has a lead pastor that prioritizes connecting with Millennials. This was kind of really strange, maybe a little surprise for me. But out of the rapidly growing churches, 87 percent essentially said this is true of our lead pastor. Whereas, [00:20:00] the declining, plateaued, and rapidly declining churches, it was almost like the inverse; it was like 36 percent. It was kind of stair stepped. 36 plateaued or declining; growing was 66; rapidly growing was 86 percent would say this is true of their lead pastor.

So once again, we don’t have a whole lot of data of why this is. We just know that this was a huge trend and a huge indicator. Now, I’ve got some thoughts. I’m sure you would have some thoughts. I think you have been a big proponent of this, of churches really reaching [00:20:30] into the younger generation and focusing on reaching this huge generation. But this stood out in our data and it was a huge ‘ah ha’ moment for us.

Brady Shearer: One of the things that I try to do when it comes to decision making is try to be as non-emotional with my decision making as possible. You know, we’re all very emotional people. And even if you’re more like cerebral or data minded, like it sounds like Ryan and I both are, we’re still prone to making emotional decisions.

And so when, again, you’re a church and you have such limited resources, [00:21:00] and your margin for error is thinner because you don’t have, you know, a ton of just fallback, you’ve got to make smarter decisions. And one way to make dumb decisions is to be over emotional.

And so I try to make decisions that are non-emotional. When you look at the data of Millennials and current lead pastors, like, it’s not encouraging. Like, we published a video called “The Two Scariest Statistics When It Comes To Churches and Millennials.” And the first one is that the average lead pastor is 54 years old; 10 years older than in 1992 when the average lead pastor was 44. There [00:21:30] are now more pastors that are over the age of 55 than under the age of 40 in lead roles. That is terrifying, especially considering that the Boomer generation is getting older and older.

And like, the fact that out pastors are so old, like, that’s scary on its own. But when you combine that with the fact that Millennials are now the largest generation in the current American workforce, more than one in three, you factor in Generation Z by 25, it’s more than one in two. And now you’ve got, getting older and older, pastors [00:22:00] leading and shepherding younger and younger cities, communities, and congregations.

And that just presents a huge challenge. It’s not necessarily like you can’t … not like it’s, can’t be resolved, but it presents a huge challenge knowing that you’ve got a really, really increasingly younger city with increasing older pastors. And so, it makes total sense to me that if a lead pastor prioritizes connecting with Millennials, prioritizes hiring and putting Millennials into roles of leadership, that would be good.

I mean, Fortune came [00:22:30] out with their top 100 places for Millennials to work as they do every single year. Only one church made the list, Elevation Church, North Carolina, Pastor Steven Ferdick. And 8 out of every 10 people on their staff is a Millennial. 8 out of every 10. Like, that’s insanity. And so this data point, like, speaks very true to everything else that I’ve seen so far.

Ryan Wakefield: Yeah, and that’s what’s fun is, because like, you’re right. If you can have data that actually identifies a trend it’s much better than just a gut feel. So I love it. It is something sweet when [00:23:00] your gut feel and the data align. You’re like “Ah ha, I knew it. I knew something was there.” And this is one of those that I think is just huge for the church moving forward, is you’ve got to decided to make that jump.

And it’s kind of like, in a lot of senses it’s almost like Blockbuster, the movie rental store. Like, at some point they either decided we’re going to make the jump to digital or not. Like, they didn’t have an option. The chasm is only getting wider. And I think the same thing is true with churches and focusing on this next generation, is [00:23:30] you’re either going to have to take the jump or you’re going go the route of like a Blockbuster in its, you’re just going to face kind of impending death. I hate to be kind of doom and gloom, but … and that chasm is only going wider. So you would be much better off to take the jump now and figure out how can we make this a priority, than just to keep waving and pushing it off, and saying hey, we’ll figure something out down the road.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, I always like to say, like, it’s not if you decide to make a change, it’s when. Because either your hand will be forced by the culture and, [00:24:00] you know, the state of your church, or you’ll proactively make that decision and hopefully you’re able to kind of get ahead of this change which is rapidly becoming the norm.

Like I said, we often think of Millennials as like this next up and coming generation. No, no, no. They’re already the biggest group in the North American workforce, both Canada and America. Like, there are more Millennials than any other generation right now working. So this isn’t kids, not teenagers, not adolescents. This is now. So if there’s any time to make that switch, it’s as soon as possible.

Ryan Wakefield: Yeah, yeah. That’s huge.

Brady Shearer: [00:24:30] Okay, let’s dive into the second biggest … what would we call these? Like, indicative factors of churches that are growing? Or, if you had to give it like a title, like what would you determine as?

Ryan Wakefield: Yeah, key factors in determining church growth may be … again, this is limited to the marketing realm.

Brady Shearer: For sure.

Ryan Wakefield: Marketing tools and outreach. So, there’s a whole bunch of other stuff we could talk about on the church. We just wanted to know when it comes to communication marketing outreach tools, these are the key things that are working.

So this next one [00:25:00] is kind of interesting, and I think it goes along with that first one. But it’s this. It’s that our church has a way for guests to pre-register their kids online before they visit. So what I call kids pre-registration – and this is huge; this is kind of my … one of my micro missions in the church world – is because our data found that across all of churches, 84 percent of churches aren’t doing this. They do not have an option for families to pre-register their kids online. But those churches that [00:25:30] are doing it are much, much more likely to be a growing church.

And I’ve seen it at Summit Park Church, the impact that this can have on our whole communications marketing outreach guest experience. It can be huge. And our culture has made this shift. Whether you’re going to Disneyworld or you’re ordering your food at Chipotle, like the idea of doing some sort of initial steps online is huge. And for churches that want to run Facebook ads, do more advanced campaigns and outreach, having a great call [00:26:00] to action, like, “Hey, pre-register your kids online” is absolutely huge.

So this is, Brady, I would love for you to jump on this train of let’s get the church world on board with this. It’s kind of like one of my big missions is like, we need 84 percent of churches doing this, not 84 percent of churches not doing this. So, that’s kind of my soap box. I’ll step off at this point.

Brady Shearer: Well, this is interesting because until you just mentioned this, I don’t even know if I knew this was even [00:26:30] possible or a thing that churches were doing. So this is something that, hopefully, we’re bringing to light right now to all the Pro Church Nation, me included.

So, let me ask you this. This is possible I imagine with all of like the big church management softwares? You know, you can do this with Planning Center, you can do this with CZB, you can do this with Breeze and all the others?

Ryan Wakefield: That’s the frustrating part, is it needs to be built in to all those platforms but it’s not. A lot of times you have to kind of hack your way around it. We utilize [00:27:00] CZB, and we do an online form, and we kind of put it … people to the online form, they fill it out, then it notifies our kids staff that we have a new kid’s pre-registration coming in. And then that, they go in, kind of assign them a classroom, get it all ready, get prepared for them on Sunday. You can fire back emails, like videos welcoming them from your pastor or your kid’s pastor that may be a cool overview video about what it’s like. You have guest parking. Here’s where you’re going to go on Sunday morning. [00:27:30] You capture their contact information up front, which is huge. And people taking a step towards coming to your church is also huge.

And what’s awesome is even if they don’t end up coming, now you have their contact information. So you’re having a big kids’ event coming up this fall? Man, now you’ve got this whole pool of people that you know are kids and would be interested in it, you can keep developing that relationship. Invite them back. So there’s so many ways this can be utilized.

But, yeah. All the tools that you just mentioned need to [00:28:00] build this in as automatic option into their software, and I think that’s coming and hopefully coming soon. But until then, you’ve kind of got to hack your way around it using online forms and staff notifications.

Brady Shearer: It makes sense to me that this is important. If you’ve been listening, Pro Church Nation, to the Pro Church podcast coaching edition, a lot of the churches that I’ve been speaking with, we’ve been talking about making new visitors feel welcome. Maximizing this first visit, making sure you’re making a good first impression. And one of the biggest [00:28:30] challenges that I’ve experienced even recently is you go to a church and you’re like, “Where do my kids go? Like, what is the process for checking them in, and what does that look like?” You could mitigate that with pre-registration. That’s a huge win ahead of time, and so I’m totally onboard with this, Ryan. It sounds like this is something that ideally the CHMS platforms that we all use and love – hopefully love anyway – introduce something like this in the future. But until then, we can hack our way around it with some manual kind of, you know, workarounds, ideally.

Ryan Wakefield: [00:29:00] Yep. Yep. And what’s cool is we have people that are moving into the Kansas City area that pre-register their kids online before they even get here. They’re looking at churches. And so it’s … I could go story after story of why this makes such a big difference, but just know if you’re reaching young families, if that’s your target, you need to have this on your radar for coming up. You need to look at this and figure out a way for your church to do this, and put this system in place.

Brady Shearer: Love it. Okay, let’s dive into the third key [00:29:30] marketing insight from Growing Churches.

Ryan Wakefield: Yeah. It’s that the church prioritizes getting people’s contact information, both online and in their service. You deal with this a lot so I don’t know if we need to go very much in depth, but the idea that they’re going to prioritize getting that contact information. We know that marketing communication really boils down to relationships, and if you don’t have a way to get ahold of people, you can’t develop that relationship.

So I would liken this to kind of like a going out on a first date. If you wanted a second date, like, [00:30:00] you’re going to have to at some point say, “Hey, what’s your number?” Or any sort of app nowadays. But the idea is a church has to prioritize this, which I think again, feeds back into the kids pre-registration, feeds back into what you’ve got going on and coach at lot about there. But this is one of those key findings that your church needs to make this a priority of getting people’s contact information.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the connection card we talk about a lot, making sure the design of that is clear, making [00:30:30] sure you’re promoting it a ton throughout service, adding an incentive to get that reciprocity. Right? You’re asking someone to give you their information. Why would they give you that? Well, maybe if you can incentivize them to do it, then there’s some reciprocity in that, you know, transaction; they give you something, you give them something. So many different ways to improve this. And then, once you have that contact information, follow up and …

The dialogue between how much information do you ask for up front to maximize responses, and then you can fill out the rest of their contact [00:31:00] profile later. There’s a great, Barnard did a great study to add some more data to this where they looked at Millennials and what they were willing to give; what kind of information they were willing to give a church on a first visit. It was like 80 percent said they’d give their first name; 50 percent said okay with their last name; 30 percent were okay with the address; 10 percent were okay with the phone; 5 percent were okay with their social media handles. Apparently as Millennials give your our address, our phone number, our email, but if you want my Twitter handle, so help [00:31:30] me … it’s not happening. So that was kind of interesting.

But you know, like, and just that dialog between how much contact information do you ask for knowing you need something, but every time you ask for an additional field, you’ve got to know that you’re going to be getting less responses, and managing the tension and finding the best intersection for that. So love that, pretty self-explanatory. Take us away to the fourth key marketing insight, Ryan.

Ryan Wakefield: Yeah, and let me follow up on that because you mentioned – and you and I get this question a lot – how do we actually get people to fill out our [00:32:00] contact information? You’ve got some great resources on that, but I would say there’s one big exception – and again, I’m going to jump back on the soap box – and that’s kids pre-registration because it’s got the built in ‘what’s in it for me?’ for your visitor, and I’m telling you that visitor will give you every single piece of information if it has to do with their kids being safe and looked after. They will tell you allergies, they will tell you everything, email, because it’s about their kids and they want their kids to be safe. And so I will say that is one, again, a [00:32:30] huge benefit of kids pre-registration because it scratches that what is in it for your guest, and that’s automatically built in.

So, again, jumping off the soap box, we’ll go to the next one. The next one is a fun one. I think you’ll like this one. It’s that the church consistently captures and shares photography. So we found that, again, I don’t think it should come as a surprise. I think it ties back into that whole Millennials deal. I mean, the Millennials generation’s the most visual generation there is. You think of the apps that are huge, [00:33:00] YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook; they’re all visual in nature. And so when a church can capture what God is doing in the life of their church and share that visually, you’re much more likely to connect with that audience, and I think with people in general. And so, I like to see, I like to say that photography is really the windows into your church. Online and through any number of platforms, it’s how people can look in and see what God [00:33:30] is doing.

And so, those churches that are taking advantage of photography and consistently capturing in church, and I’m not talking about stock photography; that doesn’t count. I’m talking about photos of what God is actually doing in their church, family stories that go on in the life of their church, they’re much more likely to be a growing church.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, and like, when it comes to photography, we connect with people’s faces more than anything. And so like when it comes to like what you’re actually capturing, you want your church, like your real people. As [00:34:00] Ryan just said, stock photography’s not an option especially, especially if you’re putting people in your stock photos, using stock photography that have people in it that do not go to your church, that is like an absolute no-no. You cannot do that. It’s terrible. Stop it. It’s just completely false, it’s misleading, and it’s a lie.

Like I would say that’s actually like bordering, if not crossing, the line of like moral and ethical problems. Like, it’s just not good. Just imagine if you went to a restaurant’s website and they had these pictures [00:34:30] of these hamburgers, and then you went to the restaurant and you’re like, “Wait a minute. These hamburgers look nothing like …” They’re like, “Oh, yeah. That was just a stock photo of a McDonald’s hamburger. We don’t sell those.” You’d be like, “This is the most terrible thing. I’m going to give you a bad review. Trip Advisor and Google reviews and Facebook will know that you are bad people.”

Same goes for your church. Don’t be that bad restaurant, right? Don’t impersonate McDonald’s. So people’s faces, there are many studies that prove, you know, when it comes to photography, we naturally gravitate to another person’s face, which makes sense. That would be in our DNA, [00:35:00] that would be how we are wired, so great point there as well.

Ryan Wakefield: Yep. And since you mentioned it, I’ll jump in and tie in that next one. You mentioned reviews, and that was one of the things that stood out in the data was if your church has more than five positive Google reviews, you’re much more likely to be a growing church. Reviews in our culture are huge. We don’t do anything nowadays without checking out the reviews online first, whether that’s with like Trip Advisor, Amazon. Whatever it is, we’re looking, Yelp is another big one, we’re looking [00:35:30] at the reviews. And guess what? The same is going for your church. When people, even when somebody gets personally invited to a church, they go online and they start, what type of church is this. They’re looking at the website, they’re stalking you on social media, and they’re looking at your reviews as well. So if you can harness the power of reviews, you’re much more likely to be a growing church, especially if they’re positive reviews.

Brady Shearer: You know, online presence is all about making a good first impression, right? And this is the type of, like this is the commodities [00:36:00] that we use. Online reviews are like worth so much to someone that’s checking out your church, and so what are your thoughts, Ryan, on like, let’s say you don’t have any positive reviews. Like, should we ask people to give them? Is that disingenuous to kind of like pre-populate reviews with our members that we’re like, “Hey, we need some because we know it’s important. Go fill it up.” Or should we let them be like 100 percent organic?

Ryan Wakefield: Here’s what you shouldn’t do. Don’t stand up in front of your entire church and say, “Hey, everybody go leave us a review.” Actually, you can get dinged on that because Google knows, [00:36:30] hey, this church has been around for 10 years, they haven’t had one review and now they’ve got 50. Like, they’ll know something is going on.

What I recommend is go get five reviews. I really look at these as like online testimonies. The church I grew up in, Sunday night was like testimony night. And so, but you don’t want it to be testimonies designed for your in-house, kind of your congregation. You want this, somebody that’ll put it in very plain language, what God has done in their life through the church, to somebody how had never been to church. That’s what you’re looking for, and [00:37:00] I like to have a church go to the people who are raving fans of your church and get five reviews in the first month. Just say, “Hey, we know that you love our church. We know God’s done a ton in your life. Would you mind going and sharing your story, what God has done, some cool things, online?” On Google, Facebook, Yelp, are some of the great ones to direct them to.

And then once you get those first five, we recommend through Church Marketing University building this as a part of your culture. So hopefully most churches have a way that they’re [00:37:30] onboarding partners, people who are becoming, some churches call them members, some churches have a growth track 101, 201. Normally, when you get into level 401, you’re looking at like missions, trips, people who are really helping you spread the Word. If you can put it as a part of your system in your culture that, in that mix, the kind of the 301 volunteer-membership-partnership is you’re talking about reviews, it then becomes part of your culture. And if you did get one new review every single month, [00:38:00] four years from now you’ll have 40, 50 reviews and then it will be a natural part of your culture. And that’s really the game changer, when it becomes a part of your culture in your systems, as opposed to just being like, “Hey everybody, go give us a review.”

Brady Shearer: Right. So like a trickle of stuff coming in month over month, rather than a huge sprint and nothing else. So it sounds like, okay, if I’m hearing you correctly, it’s cool to ask for reviews, but do it on an individual one-to-one basis rather than throwing it in your announcements next Sunday from stage.

Ryan Wakefield: Yeah, exactly. [00:38:30] And again, these platforms, especially like Yelp, are getting really good at seeing if people are gaming the system. So if you do that, they just won’t … sometimes they’re starting to just not even show the reviews. So yeah, it’s got to be much more organic and the trickle effect is better because you’re always going to have positive reviews that are recent. And again, that’s going to be more realistic to people who are coming to check out your church.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, I was just following an Instagram story this week of someone that I look up to [00:39:00] in the online business world, and they had launched a book, and they launched the book on Amazon, and they had had a bunch of reviews. They had a launch date, right? This is the day the book is launching, and they had a bunch of the readers that had gotten pre copies of the book give reviews so that when people went to the page on Amazon on the book launch date that they would see, “Oh look, this already has a bunch of reviews. Of course, I’m going to buy, because who buys a book without reviews?” That’s one of the first things … I go on Amazon. A book doesn’t have a review, I’m like, “Well, this is weird.”

And so what had happened was Amazon had flagged this [00:39:30] book because 70 reviews had come in and they thought that that was fraudulent, but it wasn’t. They had sent out like pre copies, like, by hand, one-on-one to these individual readers. And luckily, this person had, they had a contact I think at Amazon, and so they were able to kind of like get it cleared. But it ruined their launch for the first 24 hours because they couldn’t get it cleared for like 36 hours or something. And so, you know their whole launch was messed up because they expected everything to go live on this day and they had to, you know, find a way to circumvent that, and to kind of compensate for this unexpected [00:40:00] change.

Point being, just a story of how, yes, these algorithms are getting smarter. And so if you do something like this on Facebook … And Facebook is so annoying, too, because you can’t do anything with reviews. So some person who was completely just being mean to the church can go leave a one star review, and you can do nothing about it. And then you can kind of like find a way to like you know prop up your positive reviews, and then Facebook might just be like, “Look, we see you’re trying to game the system.” And you’re like, “Yeah, but this other person was just making stuff up and you won’t let me remove it.” And they’re like, “Look, we make the rules, [00:40:30] not you.”

Ryan Wakefield: And these terrorist reviews are the reason why positive reviews trickling in over time are so important, because you’re going to get a negative review at your church. If you haven’t already got a hater yet, that is coming soon. And so, now is the time to start getting these positive reviews coming in. And then actually, if you have 40 positive reviews and two or three negative reviews, statistically it actually helps your brand because it actually adds credibility and you can reply [00:41:00] to the review in some platforms.

So yeah, negative reviews can … it’s kind of funny if you really get into it how they can actually help you, but it’s if you’re doing the right things along the way.

Brady Shearer: Absolutely. Okay, we’ve got two more points on this key marketing insights from Growing Church’s list, so let’s go to number six, Ryan.

Ryan Wakefield: Number six is that your church budget’s more than 3 percent a year to spend on marketing. This one’s an interesting one. The declining churches, essentially [00:41:30] 87 percent of them say, “Hey, we don’t spend 3 percent or more on marketing a year.” Which I get. I know even the word ‘marketing’ in the church space is like, hits people the wrong way. And if you’re in the business world, and this was one of the things that really came out in my masters of organizational leadership, most businesses it would be natural to say, “Hey, we’re going to spend between 3 and 10 percent on marketing to have a growing customer base.” That’s pretty natural depending on where you are in the life cycle of your business.

And [00:42:00] over in the church world, this just doesn’t translate for a lot of churches. But it’s no surprise to me that the churches that are actually investing in outreach, communications, marketing into their city are actually growing churches. So that was one that I found interesting that if you’re actually investing money here, you’re much more likely to be a growing church.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, which makes sense. You’re investing money into grow, and thus, you grow.

Ryan Wakefield: Right.

Brady Shearer: I mean, it’s not always as simple as that, but [00:42:30] I mean effectively it’s like saying, it’s like saying all of these things are complicated, right, but it’s like saying those that went to the gym and tried to eat better lost weight and were more likely to achieve their nutrition goals. Well, that does make sense because they were taking the steps needed to do that.

And it’s interesting because this can spark like people getting upset, and that’s why it’s always of both hands, not an either/or. But if all you’re doing is like going deep into prayer services on Sunday nights, praying for a revival, you’re not like stepping [00:43:00] outside of your walls, whether that be digitally or in person, and actually like making an effort to reach out into your city, into you community.

If we’re doing just this inclusive only thing saying, “You know what? We’re just going to pray, and the Lord is going to provide the increase.” It’s like, well, if that’s the case, then why would you ever anything? You know, that’s why there’s old saying like, we don’t … I mean, I don’t know if I can really say I understand how our own efforts and what God does, how the intersection of that works. Like, I don’t know if I’m 100 percent, you know, making things happen or if God’s 100 percent making things happen. That [00:43:30] seems like, both of those seem unlikely. There’s got to be some type of in between where I play a role and He plays a role, but I don’t know how it works.

But there’s that old saying that I always got repeated to me at Bible College, which was like, “Pray like it requires 100 percent of God, and work like it requires 100 percent of you. And that way, you’re good either way.” You know? Because I don’t know the equation. I don’t know the formula, nor would I want to know the formula of how like God works and intervenes in the world. But I do is that I play a role and He plays a role; it’s a both hands, not an either/or.

And whatever [00:44:00] semantics you want to use to get around like the word ‘marketing’ if that’s a dirty word, now if you’re in Pro Church Nation, you know I’m preaching to the choir here. It’s not for you. But when you’re sharing this with your senior leadership, when you’re talking with others, sometimes just using different terms helps. Instead of ‘marketing’ it’s ‘outreach.’ But whatever it is, like we’re talking about the same thing.

Ryan Wakefield: Yeah, absolutely. And the churches that I’ve been a part of that have been reaching people and we’re seeing families change, people baptized, they do two things: they pray really hard and they work really hard. [00:44:30] And there’s a both hand. It’s kind of like unless the Lord builds a house, those that labor, there’s God is building a house, but there’s also people who are laboring. And we’ve seen it work in tandem, our outreach marketing materials. And we’re playing hard, and we’re focusing on Jesus, we’re focusing on the Word. But we’re also saying, “Hey, what can we do to get the Word out?” It’s a both end.

And when we’re sending out Facebook campaigns or mailers or digital billboards, that’s being fueled by prayer as well. [00:45:00] It’s not either/or; it’s a both/and. And the stories, when you see people get, being baptized and they’re like, “Yeah, you know, I knew something was missing and we came home and there was a door hanger, and we just picked it up and God said …” You know, something illuminated in their life. You hear those stories, you’re just like, “Man, this is a supernatural thing that works together, and when we don’t always understand how, we just understand we’re going to try as best as we can to do our part. God, only Him, can change a life, but we’re working together on this.” So, [00:45:30] I know it’s a weird dynamic, but it’s just, to me that’s the way we’ve seen it work.

Brady Shearer: Six down, one to go. Take us home, seventh final key marketing insight from Growing Churches, Ryan.

Ryan Wakefield: Yeah, and the last one’s not necessarily very flashy, but it’s really important. And it’s churches that measure and evaluate what’s actually working, the marketing effectiveness, are much more likely to be a growing church. So if you’re doing stuff, whether you’re, you know, doing direct mail pieces or Facebook campaigns, or you’re really big on Google [00:46:00] search engine optimization or YouTube ads, any number of things, the churches that actually take the time to see, okay, what worked, what actually brought people in, those churches were much more likely be growing probably because it’s obvious, because they can take the money that they’re spending towards outreach and marketing and they can reallocate it to what is actually driving traffic. Because they’re actually taking the time to be good stewards of that resource as opposed to just spending money and be like, “I don’t know if that really worked. We did this or that. Who [00:46:30] knows?”

So again, if you’re taking the time to measure and evaluate your marketing effectiveness you’re much more likely to be a growing church.

Brady Shearer: And I don’t know about you, Ryan, but I always find that what I measure seems to grow. It’s like if I’m just aware of what’s happening, it means I’m going to be more actionable on that, and thus, growth comes as a part of that. And I found that when I ignore and choose not to measure things and just think, “Yeah, I know what’s going on there. I totally know. Yeah, we’re growing or we’re stagnating or we’re declining a bit. But [00:47:00] yeah, I’m totally aware of that.” Even though it seems like that’s the same, there’s something about actually writing it down, about actually putting it to paper or putting it to Evernote, putting it to your notes app, and getting it in a concrete fashion.

You know, here at the Pro Church Tools office, we’ve got this giant blue chalkboard wall, and at the very top is the key metrics that we track every single month. And right now, we’re recording this on the 28th of July; you know, the end of a month. In three days, on the first of the month, I am going to get over my [00:47:30] stool, I’m going to stand on the stool, and I’m going to erase the July 2017. I’m going to write August 2017 and put in all the new statistics for that month. And these are the things that we’re tracking.

We track, you know, how many email subscribers do we have? How many customers do we have in this product? How many followers on our social platforms do we have? How much money did we make? How much podcast downloads do we have? And then right next to it, I’ll put a plus, like this went up this month; a minus, this went down this month; or it stayed the exact same. And it’s always there. Everyone in the office [00:48:00] can see it. We’re very transparent about all those things. What you measure grows. It’s weird how it works, but it seems to be that way.

Ryan Wakefield: Yep. I think you’re absolutely right. It’s just one of those leadership principles that is so true. And it allows you to be able to lead it. When it’s going well, you understand why. When it’s not going well, you understand why. Now you have a plan to adjust accordingly, and I think that’s a part of just being a good steward of whether it’s your business or your church.

Brady Shearer: I think this has been really an all-time episode of the Pro Church podcast, Ryan. [00:48:30] And I don’t say that lightly simply because, you know, it can often feel … like, we publish five new pieces of content every single week right now. So Monday to Friday, something new is going live whether it’s a video, a podcast, or an article, or sometimes multiple. And so we’re giving it to Pro Church Nation like, here’s the fire hose and good luck. And it can sometimes feel like, “Okay, I can’t keep up with this much less … How am I supposed to know what is going to be the most important thing to do to help my church grow? To help my church accomplish the mission that we’ve been set [00:49:00] out to accomplish?”

And I think what is being offered in this podcast, these seven key marketing insights, is from, is basically saying look, we’ve surveyed 2,000 churches. The ones that were accomplishing their goals, succeeding based on what they want most, here are seven of the things that were common amongst all of those. And I think that’s a huge, big deal because it allows us to focus on them and then really get the best ROI for our time, our money, our creative output, our energy, all of that stuff.

So thank you so much. Can you tell us a little bit more about Church Marketing University, [00:49:30] the strength assessment? I know you mentioned earlier that you’ve put together one specifically for Pro Church Nation, so if you want to take it, Pro Church Nation, you can go to this link. Tell us more about that, Ryan.

Ryan Wakefield: Yeah. I would recommend everybody taking the assessment because then you’re going to see where you’re strong and where you’re weak at. And then you can come back and re-listen to this episode based with that understanding in mind of like where can we really focus on. Again, we’ve found that if you can take your church from, we average like a 6 on this, to like up to 11 or 12, these are the things [00:50:00] that are going to make a difference.

Now, there’s a lot of other things at play, but at least you know that it’s going to make a difference on the marketing and the outreach side. So that’s really what we try to do in Church Marketing University from this assessment is, how … okay, if these make a big difference, how can we take you from not having any Google reviews to having 50 Google reviews? How can we take you from not ranking on the first page of Google for a search result in your city to ranking in the top three spots? So that’s kind of what we’re trying to do, is move you from ‘no, we don’t do these things [00:50:30] at all’ to ‘yes, we do them. We understand why and we do them well.’

And so I’d love it for people in your audience to take this assessment. Brady, I’m like you. We want to do anything we can to help the local church, and I thank you for allowing us to share this message to them. And I think in the end of the day, what’s cool is churches will be able to reach more people. So man, this has just been an honor.

Brady Shearer: It’s all going to be linked up at the show notes. Do you have like a link that you can share, or do you want to just send them, send Pro Church Nation to the show notes and they can access the strength assessment there?

Ryan Wakefield: [00:51:00] Yeah, go right to the show notes because what we’re going to is put a unique strength assessment just for your audience. That way we can almost do a review or an analysis based on your listeners. And so what’s going to be cool is you can release new resources where your audience maybe say, “Hey, we noticed that our Pro Church Nation didn’t really score well in these couple things,” so that might lead to some followup episodes. So that could give us some cool insights that could lead to future resources to really help your audience.

Brady Shearer: Perfect. Prochurchtools.com/177 [00:51:30] is where you need to go to access the link for this church marketing assessment that is unique for Pro Church Nation. So go there, prochurchtools.com/177. Ryan, thanks so much for coming on the show. It’s been a blast.

Ryan Wakefield: Oh yeah. Can’t wait to get you down to a Royals game.

Brady Shearer: I hear you, man. I’m on my way.

All righty, there you have it. My interview with Ryan Wakefield discussing “Seven Key Marketing Insights” from Growing Churches. To do a quick recap, key marketing insight number one: [00:52:00] lead pastor prioritizes connecting with Millennials. We’ve got a free course on YouTube all about Millennials that you can check out, youtube.com/prochurchtools. It is very extensive when it comes to Millennials and so if that is one of the key marketing insights that we’ve gleaned, you want to do a deep dive, check that out.

Number two: online kids pre-registration. Number three: prioritizing getting the contact information from new visitors. Number four: consistently capturing and sharing photography. Number five: having more than five positive Google reviews. [00:52:30] Number six: budgets that designate 3 percent or more towards marketing. And finally, number seven: measuring and evaluating marketing effectiveness.

Lots of great insights and takeaways. Don’t feel overwhelmed by the fact that there’s seven and maybe you feel like you have to get all seven done. Just focus in on one. Get one complete and then move on to the next one, and that’s one way that you can make progress immediately, and rather than feel overwhelmed just be like, “Well, you know what? I can’t do all these. Why not try?” Don’t take that approach. Not a helpful mindset. Focus on one, get it done, [00:53:00] and then move onto another when you’re ready.

A big shout out and thank you to Ryan Wakefield for coming on the show and giving so much of his valuable information to us. That generosity does not go unnoticed, Ryan. We do very much appreciate it. With that being said, it’s time for our review of the week, something I very much appreciate.

Coming from Pro Church Nation, this one says, five stars from ilovebeckham from the U.S.A. “Love this podcast. I’ve learned so much. I’m not in full-time ministry, but sometimes it feels like it, and this format makes it easy for me to listen and learn while doing the million other [00:53:30] things. Brady is knowledgeable and makes it easy to follow and figure out. If you’re involved in communications or media or even a pastor of a church of any size, you need to listen to this podcast.” Thank you, ilovebeckham. I love you for leaving that review. Warms my heart; means so much.

We publish three new sessions of the Pro Church podcast every single week. Every Tuesday is an interview session just like this, going live at 3:00 a.m. eastern. Every Thursday, we have a Pro Church podcast coaching edition session where I’m consulting and coaching with a church in real time. We record the whole thing, there’s no editing, [00:54:00] and you get to kind of listen in, like be a fly on the wall, as we discuss and attempt and work to solve real church problems. Then every Saturday, a new session, a new episode of the “Ask Brady” show, where I answer live with my co-host, Roxanne, four questions from the people of Pro Church Nation, and we again tackle real problems, not in a deep dive but more in just a quick hit around those four questions. So, three new sessions every single week.

I would really, really like it – this is me pandering – I’m begging you. Subscribe to the Pro Church [00:54:30] Tools podcast, prochurchpodcast.com is the place to do that. Leave a rating and a review; means the world to me. Gets sent directly to me on Sundays in an email. That’s right, I get an email with all the new reviews from the week. I read each and every single one. And who knows? You leave a review, it might be read on a future session of the Pro Church podcast.

Thank you so much, Pro Church Nation, for being you, being the pioneers that are are making a difference in this new world that we live in. I know it’s not easy. You know, tilling new ground like any pioneer. We’re just trying to figure it out as we go. We’re on this journey together, [00:55:00] you’re not alone. We’ll see you at the 167, and we’ll talk real soon.

  • I’ve got a follow up question for Ryan. Does that 3% number include staffing of your communications and marketing department… or just budget spend towards actual marketing collateral and ad spend?

    • Hey @jeffmitchdotcom:disqus It would / should include money spent on staff. The data was self inputed from pastors. So while you may have some churches that excluded that, I think most would include it. Probably the next level or surveying would be to go into a deeper dive into the actual church budget, but this survey was more of a broader approach.

  • Very insightful, practical, and actionable points to address in growing churches, thanks.

    • Thanks @daderonan:disqus! Let me know if you have any follow-up questions from the episode.