How have you measured success in your roll-out of The City to your congregation?
Our goal was to have the whole church on The City. We saw a very quick adoption rate and now most people are on it. If you're involved with our ministry in any level, you're on The City. 86% of our congregation is in a small group, so they're all on The City because all our groups use it.
Have you seen a specific impact on group participation?
We have seen growth in our baptisms and training classes. We've seen our membership classes increase from 15 participants before The City to 50 people now. We can't attribute all of our growth to The City, but I think we can attribute it to a couple of things – we're getting bigger, so obviously our classes should get bigger too. But with The City, people KNOW about these opportunities. Sunday announcements are a necessary evil. When people get these announcements online, I think they're more receptive to them – the announcements sink deeper into their brains than they do on Sunday morning.
We started a new program about a year ago called Capstone to discuss Bible doctrine at 7:00am Thursday mornings. Before The City, we would've been wondering who would come to this and would've expected maybe 15. We created a group for it in The City and the first week we had 60 people. People are hungry to learn and The City makes the information more accessible for people to find out about these opportunities. They get the information in an effective place – their inboxes vs. Sunday morning.
About Westside Church
Westside Church is a five and a half year old church plant. Most of its members are 20-35 and typically single professionals or young families. They emphasize teaching on Sundays and encourage participation in mid-week small groups for discussing Sunday teachings. About 85% of their members are involved in small discussion groups.