Healthy parishes come in all sizes and styles. They’re unique from each other based on location, their building’s architecture, and the people that attend and lead mass. But, between the differences, there are a few habits that all healthy parishes share. The good news is, these habits are simple and effective growth strategies that are easy to apply and get results. Let’s look at four healthy habits that any parish can implement to help grow and fund their vision:
1. Giving is accessible for all generations
It’s vital that your parish makes a habit of providing accessible ways for all generations to give. The primary reason is that people from different generations have different ways they prefer to donate. But, every generation is giving online more frequently, so it’s important to add this option. Many of the healthiest parishes accept:
- Mobile gifts
- Text gifts
- Online donations via the parish’s website and giving kiosks
- Contributions on their parish app
- Recurring giving
By offering multiple ways to donate, you equip (and inspire!) every age group to give during mass, throughout the week, and even on vacation. Plus, when you add online giving, text donations, and other ways to give using credit, debit, or eCheck, it’s easy for administrators to manage and track gifts.
2. Extra attention is placed on the welcome
Whether you’re greeting new visitors or welcoming active parishioners, apply growth strategies that healthy parishes make a habit. Some of these include making the first 10 minutes easy on guests by stationing greeters in the parking lot and entrances. Other best practices are placing welcome stations at accessible areas and setting time aside for active parishioners to meet newcomers. Here are two more articles that help elevate your parish’s welcoming strategy:
- How to Better Engage with Your Church Visitors – Part One
- How to Better Engage with Your Church Visitors – Part Two
3. Staff and volunteers are trained regularly
Healthy parishes make it a habit to train staff and volunteers regularly. While it may feel like overkill to review the same training before each outreach event and mass, repetition is a great learning tool. The more you train staff and volunteers, the more comfortable and knowledgeable they’ll be in their position, and visitors notice!
4. Sharing the parish’s vision is a priority
Some parishes don’t realize they aren’t sharing their local and global vision often enough with their parish, community, and visitors. By incorporating your parish’s vision in newsletters, bulletins, on your website and parish app, and mentioning it during announcements, you’ll ignite generosity! Here are three examples of how healthy churches share their vision and keep the message fresh on everyone’s mind.
- Set-up a recurring giving program and share how scheduled donations make an impact via monthly newsletter or annual luncheon.
- Include your parish’s mission in welcome packets and show progress with images and stories.
- Keep your website and social media updated with generosity campaigns and details of how they’ll help locally and globally.
By adopting these parish growth strategies that healthy ministries practice, you’ll create habits that ignite giving and promote growth. While it takes time to build new habits, know that the results are worth it in the long run!