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Welcome to The Peter Bowden Show,  featuring audio content from my work helping leaders grow thriving congregations, ministries, and justice efforts.   For more, please visit my website at


Dec 9, 2020

A great Q&A question came in last week: 

"Peter, In the pre-social-media church world, the 'membership funnel' was simple, or at least seemed simple. People entering our congregation's orbit started as visitors to Sunday worship and/or attendees of programs. The end goal, from the church's perspective, was to get those people to ... join the congregation. Is there a similar end-point in the new social media world? Is it the same endpoint?"

My Answer: Before we can talk about specific endpoints, there are conversations that require our attention. What's your congregation's mission and vision look like in today's digital context especially with digital trends being acclerated by the pandemic?

Are you looking to serve people in your local zipcode with a focus on a local face-to-face congregation? Given your size, facility, and finances is that viable? If a local primarily offline focus is the goal and priority, your ministry and membership process will look very different than if your goal is to use your local community and building (if you have one) as the headquarters and hub for a larger online ministry serving people nationally or internationally. And there are all the variations in between -- the hybrid approach, using the digital to go from local to a more regional ministry. Guaranteed, if you haven't discussed it, your leaders have differing opinions. It is important to get your leaders on the same page even if that is "We don't know." 

Once we're on the same page we can move on to strategy. I'll talk about that and related endpoints in an upcoming episode.