What does it mean to “produce fruit” online?

Posted at August 22, 2011

What’s the one thing you track most closely, in order to determine if your online ministry is successful?

We ponder this question a lot on our team.  Here are some common responses we hear:

  • Hits
  • Unique visitors
  • People visiting our church for the first time, saying that they found us online
  • Number of viewers for our live Internet video broadcast(s)
  • Number of people who click a button indicating they prayed to receive Jesus for the first time
  • Prayer request activity
  • Event registrations
  • Online donation volume
  • Reducing our spending on printing & reproduction

All of the above items are great, and in some way are important. Does your church actually have a system in place to measure these things? Better yet, do you have a tool that helps you map these metrics to the underlying mission/strategy of the church?

Going Deeper

Here are some deeper and more poignant ways to look at online ministry success:

  • We just finished a 3-week sermon series on serving and spiritual gifts. Did that lead to an increase in online volunteer signups?
  • When a person fills out an online response card, what happens in the first 90 minutes after we receive their information?
  • Our spiritual gifts inventory told us that we have a lot of people with the gift of prayer/intercession. What are we doing to mobilize those people to personally respond to online prayer requests?
  • Congregational survey results tell us that 68% of our people own a smartphone. What are we doing to make it easier for them to connect, stay informed, participate, and give with their mobile devices?
  • Our youth pastor is friends with most of the kids on Facebook. When he sees a status update about a student who is struggling, what is our response strategy?
  • What are we teaching our high school and college kids about how to witness to their friends via social networking?

I’m sure your church could come up with dozens more ideas. The idea is to go beyond hits, downloads and donations, and work towards true online ministry.

How would you answer this question:

“Our online ministry efforts will be successful if ___________________”


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