Envision a meeting place full of like-minded individuals who are eager to share their knowledge, experience, and life-lessons so that YOU can fulfill your God-given passion. Such a place is Fruition Lab.
Recently, I attended the 2nd Fruition Lab meetup in Berrian Springs, MI. I was able to connect with some top marketers who happened to not only be Christians but also upcoming and very successful businessmen. I met Jeff Tartachuk (co-founder), Jared Thurman, Leslie Samuels, and Deon (one of the presenters who owns a yacht company).
I had an opportunity to pitch our PastorsLine.com app. It worked out well and I had fun (and great feedback).
But today, I am writing about something I read recently on Lark News. The article’s subject was the trap of ‘looking too good’. In an effort to attract new members, many churches are using stock photos on their websites instead of genuine pictures. What happens is that new members who actually show up to the physical church, experience a gap between their expectations (based on what they saw on the website) and what actually is. If this gap is large enough, the new members will most likely not return.
My expectation of what Fruition Lab should be, was met and exceeded because the marketing of that event matched what I saw when I visited.
You see, it’s about being authentic to who you are as a church. The Lark News item is a satirical article that shows the disparity between what people show online and what they see when they visit your churches. There is a trend in social media that tries to mirror the most charismatic churches’ worship experience in design.
You know, you will see the designs of worship experience with the hand raising, or the beautiful designed church stage, or the large stadium-style worship places. Those are very attractive to include in a design and most website companies will use those as an attraction point.
Nothing is wrong with being charismatic and if that’s actually your church, then more power to you. But not being true to who you are is one reason why visitors don’t return to church.
You see, your digital church should be a reflection of your offline experience. Before you get organized online, you need to get organized offline then replicate those offline experiences online.
No, you can not reach everyone. Your church is uniquely positioned to reach people within your sphere of influence. You can be biblically conservative (which I am assuming is what we all try to be) and be different in how you share Christ with others and even how you may worship.
Jordan wrote an article on this idea a few months ago and it provides one main action you can take right away to ensure you reach more people for Christ without faking it:
#1 Use real images that represent your church. Get rid of stock images that attempt to represent your church or ministries that aren’t true. As a church communicator, I know the look and feel is important but that isn’t what people come to church for.
Here are some of our clients who took on board our suggestions to use real photos and footage:
East Newyork Church
We think each one shines out as a place of God where the Word can be experienced, lived, and passed on.
Let’s be true, share Jesus unapologetically, and continue to make changes offline that then get reflected online. Not the other way around.