Pine Street Presbyterian Church, a mid-sized church in Middletown, Pennsylvania with 250-300 regular attendees—mostly consisting of older individuals—was looking for a way to branch out into the community while deepening internal engagement. The church was looking for ways to effectively communicate who they were, where they were going, and what they were all about.
Seeing that the situation required the help of professionals, Pine Street Presbyterian Church brought in Phase 2 Solutions. Our company was tasked with creating a web presence for the church that was engaging for all demographics and allowed for real conversation (something that’s frequently avoided on traditional social media sites, specifically as it pertains to religious subjects).
In addition to developing a new, easy to navigate website, Phase 2 Solutions created a custom Social Hubsite for Pine Street Presbyterian Church: Pine Street Connect.
By utilizing the tools available in our premier product offering, and customizing them to meet the needs of the church, Phase 2 Solutions worked to deepen engagement, increase Pine Street Presbyterian’s web presence and effectively communicate church events and happenings.
Within Pine Street Connect, every objective was met. All church members with e-mail addresses were imported into the Hubsite, and seminars were held to introduce the mostly-aging congregation to the concept.
To deepen engagement, Associate Pastor Alex Lang ended each sermon with a question to be discussed on the Hubsite throughout the week. This encouraged regular visits, and gave members a chance to voice their opinions in a safe, private forum. Additionally, posts like “Ask Alex Anything” were encouraged.
To increase the church’s web presence, many posts on the Hubsite linked back to Pine Street Presbyterian Church’s actual website. Additionally, an e-mail newsletter campaign was created (automatically through the Hubsite) to reach non-regular Hubsite visitors through traditional e-mail.
To communicate church events, announcements and other happenings, Pine Street Connect’s event tool was regularly utilized. Not only did this single step update the church’s website automatically, event invitations and reminders were sent out to all Hubsite users. Communicating events and announcements—a normally arduous task—became a single-step, simple process.
From a numbers standpoint, Pine Street Presbyterian Church’s website traffic has tripled from the inception of Phase 2 Solutions’ strategic planning.
Due to the increased web presence, potential members and non-church goers have been able to find information in an easier manner, which has increased Pine Street Presbyterian’s community presence, aiding in congregation growth.
Additionally, 30 percent of church attendees sign into the website and actively participate in discussions on a weekly basis. This is especially impressive considering the aging demographic of the church’s attendees.
Pastor Alex Lang sees the results of Phase 2 Solutions’ efforts as a snowball effect. Because of the private nature of the site, users have been able to discuss issues and ask questions they would be hesitant to post publically on other social media forums. By deepening engagement, Pine Street Connect also encourages deeper relationships among church members.
By partnering with Pine Street Presbyterian Church, Phase 2 Solutions was able to closely examine the church’s needs and overall situation while implementing strategies that directly addressed these goals and provided all-encompassing solutions that could not be found elsewhere.