"If you aren't using Reach by Causely, you're living in the 18th Century," said Charlie Shaw, Executive Pastor of Blessed Hope Church in Danville, VA. Charlie knows that, in 2016, one of the best ways to start conversations about your church is by connecting with people on Facebook and Instagram. That's why he partners with Reach.
Blessed Hope Church is a multi-location church with three current campuses and two on the way. They strive to be a community open to everyone. "We don't care what your personal "brand" is or was, we just want people to come to Jesus," said Charlie.
Spreading the Word by Serving the Community
Because of Blessed Hope's open attitude, their approach to spreading the word has been focused on community events and service. "We don't do any kind of marketing or advertising. We just serve our community," Charlie said. "All of our small groups support a "need" organization, like our local women's shelter."
When Charlie came across Reach by Causely, he was immediately struck by Reach's mission of connecting people to church through social media. When he learned about supporting faith-based causes with Facebook check-ins and Instagram location tags, he knew it was a great fit.
"What stood out to us about Reach was its alignment with what we were already doing with our congregation," he said. With Reach, the congregation receives regular updates on their impact in the world, gains access to new organizations, and participates in good stewardship.
Charlie showed his leadership team the benefits of reach and signed up right away.
An Unexpected Benefit of Reach
Since partnering with Reach, Blessed Hope Church has experienced a major unexpected benefit. During the month of August, typically a low-attendance month, they had more visitors than ever before. "There is no doubt in my mind that the increase came from Reach," said Charlie. "When I made contact with the new visitors, they told me that they heard about our church from a friend's check-in!"
After three months of using the program, they've seen an 18x increase in their reach on Facebook. In September alone, nearly 130,000 people saw the Blessed Hope Church name!
Part of their success with the program is due to the staff's dedication to talking about the program during services, at small groups, and at community events. "We've made Reach a part of our service. We talk about it every week," said Charlie. They even have designated "check-in" people who are responsible for checking in for small groups!
Since Reach is so well received, Charlie has plans to implement the program at their new locations. "There's no question of using Reach at our new locations once we start services," said Charlie. "The program has been a blessing to our community and has fit our culture of service."
Charlie's Advice To Churches Considering Reach
"Everything about Reach just works," said Charlie. "We are extending our service locally and all over the world. And we're telling people about our church while doing it! I might be old, but I’ve got enough sense to know that social media is how to reach people."