HOPE has been working with futurologist Patrick Dixon, who is urging churches to take steps to ensure that we have contact details for the anonymous guests who have watched our online services during the past year. Churches have been amazing at getting online; 23% of adults in England are still connected to us online – we need urgently to get contact details for those people who have joined us anonymously and could disappear once lockdown lifts in April.
This is from recent research was undertaken by Savanta, on behalf of HOPE Together, the Church of England and the Methodist Church, which shows that over half of these new anonymous visitors are under 35.
The research shows that the pandemic prompted the younger generations to think about spiritual things and created this opportunity to connect with the great news of Jesus.
We need to think about the following:
Do online church with young non-Christians in mind
Offer online connection in the first few seconds of any online church experience
Offer and talk about ways to connect frequently during the service
Online chat box
Online prayer request
Online sign-up for a group eg The Wellbeing Journey or Alpha
Online sign-up for a copy of the life of Jesus (Mark’s Gospel, they won’t know what a gospel is)
Online sign-up for an Easter goody bag including chocolate!
The sign-up for a group, a book on the life of Jesus, or a goody bag would give us their details to stay in touch!
Rachel Jordan-Wolf, our executive director, who was involved in designing the research, says, ‘This research is so encouraging. It shows the incredible impact of the church going online for the mission of the church. We may only have a few weeks left, so now is the time we need to reach out and connect.’