New Freedom Church, a struggling church plant tucked away in an industrial park, needed to hit the refresh button. They had 35 members and no way to find their location without a GPS. When Jimmy McDonald became the pastor, he immediately saw growth opportunities. Fortunately, Reach provided part of the solution.
When the church started back in 1999, their vision was to be a light in the community. Except, due to their remote location and zero dollar marketing budget, the light didn't reach very far. Jimmy, coming from the business world, made some big changes. He cast a vision, changed up the leadership, and created an itty-bitty marketing budget. In his words, "I broke all the new pastor rules." The congregation applauded the changes with the hope that their church would now survive and thrive.
A Small Outreach Budget can Go a Long Way
With their tiny marketing budget, they printed hundreds of brochures rather than thousands, and HAND-DELIVERED rather than mailed. Can you imagine actually walking up to people's doors with brochures? Well, they did it! "It actually helped teach our members to be more forward with their faith," said Jimmy. "But it didn't yield any new members."
Over four years, the New Freedom community grew to 125 members. But they simply couldn't reach the number of people they needed to. That's when Jimmy saw an ad on Facebook for Reach. "I was immediately drawn to the potential 'reach' of Reach." He was intrigued how, with Reach, Facebook check-ins at your church generate donations to great causes. Jimmy knew The New Freedom community would love it.
While researching the program online, a real-time chat box popped up on the Reach website with a Customer Success team member on the other end. Jimmy engaged and the two chatted right then to set up a call for the following day. "We were up and running within four days, just in time to announce it to the congregation the following Sunday," said Jimmy.
Reach Yielded Unexpected Results
Before announcing the new program on Sunday, Jimmy reported they had already experienced the benefit of Reach. Once he completed the onboarding session with the Reach team, Jimmy told one of his staff members about the program. She pulled out her phone and checked in, right away. Within hours, a friend saw the check-in, commented on the post, and then showed up for church that Sunday!
But that's not all! When Jimmy announced the program that Sunday, he asked everyone to take our their phones during the service and then walked them through how to post a check-in. They had 67 check-ins, which reached 15,000 people on Facebook. That's 15,000 new people hearing about New Freedom Church in one day! They are now averaging 22,000 Facebook impressions for their first week of Reach.
"We've benefited greatly from Reach, and we haven't done anything except check in," claims Jimmy after reading through the check-ins generated by his members. "The check-ins have sparked conversation and helped people be more comfortable talking about their faith."
Average weekly impressions
The New Freedom Church community is already encouraged after just one week of using Reach. Jimmy advises any church considering Reach (based on his short experience), that you "can't afford not to try it if you are serious about broadening your influence in the community. Reach gets everyone involved."