In Los Angeles, thousands of churchgoers visit their respective churches on a weekly basis. While many of these people attend church for religious reasons, others may go to socialize or take part in activities. No matter the reason, it’s important for churches to create a welcoming and engaging community for their parishioners.
However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, many churches have been forced to close their doors and others have lost visitors. This has left many churchgoers feeling isolated and disconnected from their faith communities. It has also left many churches with more open seats. There are still ways for churches to boost community engagement, even in the age of social media. Here are a few ideas:
Even though COVID-19 cases are beginning to decline across the city, many LA residents continue to stay at home. This makes online events a great way to engage with your community. Online events can include anything from Bible studies to worship services. Examples of online events include:
⦁ Livestream worship services
⦁ Bible studies
⦁ Prayer groups
⦁ Discussion forums
In the age of social media, it’s important for churches to have online social platforms where parishioners can connect with each other, follow your content, and receive updates for future events. Social media is the best way to do this. Some ways to grow your social media following include:
⦁ Creating a church Facebook page
⦁ Creating a church Twitter account
⦁ Posting regularly about upcoming events and activities
⦁ Make sure your website has an easy-to-use event calendar
⦁ Using hashtags related to your church or community (#church #LAchurch #community)
Church partnerships are a great way to engage with your community. By partnering with another church, you can host events together or collaborate on social media content. This will help build relationships with other churches in your area and create a sense of community among churchgoers.
⦁ Partnering with local businesses, schools, or organizations.
⦁ Collaborating on community service projects.
⦁ Hosting a joint holiday celebration.
⦁ Hosting fundraisers.
⦁ Sponsoring local events.
When doing so, make sure that your partnerships reflect the diversity of your community as well as your church's core values.
Another great way to engage with your community is by creating online communities. These communities can be for any purpose, such as discussing church topics, sharing prayer requests, or arranging meetups. Popular platforms to start a community are:
⦁ Facebook groups
⦁ Discord servers
⦁ Slack channels
⦁ Niche forums
There are also many websites that cater to online communities, such as forums and social networks. No matter what platform you choose, make sure that the community is welcoming and inclusive for all parishioners.
Across LA, there are many events happening every day that churchgoers can participate in. By participating in these events, churches can show their support for the community and build relationships with other organizations. Some examples of local events include:
⦁ Marching in a parade
⦁ Attending a city council meeting
⦁ Participating in a protest or rally
⦁ Volunteering at a food bank or homeless shelter
⦁ Attending a cultural event
You could also create your own events, such as a community picnic or a holiday celebration.
In order to boost community engagement, it’s important for churches to keep track of who is attending their events. This can be done with software that tracks attendance. With this data, churches can identify which events are the most popular and reach out to those who aren’t attending.
Having church insights will also help you make decisions about future events and activities, track your donations, and schedule volunteering and events all from one cohesive dashboard.
There are many ways to boost community engagement in your church. By using one or more of these methods, you can connect with your community and build relationships that will last.
Main Image from pixabay