3 Major Trends That Will Impact Your Church

Your church needs to pay attention to these changing cultural trends.

A part of our role as church leaders is to be students of the culture we find ourselves in. Rather than just swimming along and doing things like we’ve always done, we need to respond to the current changes in the culture around us.

Here are three facts of our culture and some reflections on how they are impacting my thinking (and actions) about leading in the church today.

1. 92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising, up 18 percent since 2007.

Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of brand information with a 70 percent trust rating, up 15 percent since 2008. Television ads were trusted by only 47 percent, down 24 percent since 2009. (Nielsen, April 2012)

The fact that people are increasingly more likely to trust the opinions of their friends and family over “traditional” media reinforces that we need to work hard to motivate and empower our people to invite their circles of influence to church. There was a day when we could do a mass mailer or television ad and you would be able to move people into your church, but those days are increasingly behind us.

The great thing about this is that churches of all sizes can work with their people to encourage them to invite friends.

Spending money on mass media marketing is becoming an unwise decision for churches.

A few years ago, NewSpring was investing huge into TV ads that played during American Idol, but notice what happened this past Easter when they invested nearly 100 percent of their promotional effort and resources into creating compelling content that was simple for their people to share. [Read about NewSpring’s 70 percent Easter Attendance Bump]

The average age of brands in Millward Brown’s BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands Report has fallen consistently, from 84 in 2006 to 68 in 2012. (Millward Brown, May 2012)

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Rich serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. He blogs at UnSeminary.com and is a sought after speaker and consultant on multisite, pastoral productivity and communications.