How Tithe.ly Helped Triple New Member Applications at a Bible Church in Rural Indiana
Pleasant View Bible Church is a 150 year-old church in Northern Indiana, with an emphasis on expository teaching.
“We're a Bible church,” explains Kevin Ewton, Pastor of Outreach and Assimilation at Pleasant View Bible Church. “We're kind of known in the area for that.”
Like every other church on the planet, Pleasant View Bible Church experienced significant change during the COVID-19 pandemic. Post-shutdown, the church plunged into an effort to reach out to the larger community and bring in new members. But to do that, they needed tools and technology to make their outreach successful.
Having worked at larger churches with CRM’s and digital technologies, Kevin knew that the church needed to upgrade their system of Excel spreadsheets and paper folders. But a digital tool had to be cost-effective for a church with less than 500 people.
When he learned about Tithe.ly through a friend–and saw Tithe.ly tools in action–he knew he had struck gold.
“ I probably did demos with four to five other companies,” says Kevin. “In terms of usability, Tithe.ly is on par with the top tools out there. But it has the lowest cost by far.”
In the following case study, we’ll take a look at how Tithe.ly helped Pleasant View Bible do better follow-up with first time guests, triple their new member applications, and leverage information for better, more compassionate ministry.
Follow-Up for First Time Guests
Before shifting to Tithe.ly, Pleasant View Bible didn’t have an organized system for following up with first time guests.
Using Tithe.ly, Kevin was able to create a digital connect card that allowed new guests to input their information. That was then funneled into an Elvanto workflow that ensured follow-up with new guests.
“What I love about the flows is that they give me reminders,” says Kevin. “I can also send reminders to other staff members and ministry leaders. That helps ensure they’re also following up with people and caring for them.”
Follow-up with first-time guests has ultimately contributed to an increase in overall attendance–and new families.
“We had 300 guests on a typical Sunday. Now, we have 400,” says Kevin.
Dramatic Increase in New Membership Applications
New guests are always a “win”–but ideally, they would be involved members of the community, not just visitors on a Sunday morning.
The good news? Pleasant View Bible Church’s new guests aren’t just “Sunday Christians.”
“Up to 30% of our volunteers for our VBS were people who have just started coming over the last year,” says Kevin.
Using Tithe.ly’s Church App, Kevin has been able to create an accessible, easy-to-use new membership application form that’s available to guests on their mobile phones. As a result, membership applications have skyrocketed….and Pleasant View is seeing significant growth of people that are committed to the church.
“In the last three months, we have tripled the number of membership applications,” says Kevin.
Kevin credits this growth to Tithe.ly, which has allowed him to create forms and embed them into the church app.
The result has made it easier than ever to apply for membership at Pleasant View–and easier than ever to get involved and stay involved.
Better Insight Into Attendance & Engagement
Tithe.ly’s Church App isn’t the first app that Pleasant View Bible Church used to empower leaders and increase engagement. But it was the first positive experience.
“We had an app before, but it was horrible,” says Kevin. “I won’t name names.”
With 80-85% of the adults/young adults at Pleasant View using the app, it has certainly been a success. And so far, the Tithe.ly App has proven to be not only effective at engaging members, but easy to use for church leaders. That includes using the app to take attendance.
“I was in my office with one of our other elders, who is 76 years old,” says Kevin. “We're sitting down looking at his phone and walking through how he's going to take attendance for his Sunday school class.”
“This man is twice my age and we're both rowing in the same direction,” says Kevin.
That being said, Tithe.ly has made it easy for Pleasant View to empower all their leaders to take attendance at various groups and ministries on their phones…a big improvement from the paper-and-folder system of the past.
“If information just sits in a filing cabinet, it does us no good,” says Kevin.
Instead, having that information stored digitally means that leaders are better equipped to follow up with members and care for them as leaders.
“Using Tithe.ly, we can automate checkpoints that invite our leaders to start doing the care ministry themselves,” explains Kevin. “Let’s say Bob misses three to four weeks in a row. Bob’s small group leader will then get an email, and he can respond by calling him up to check on him.”
Ultimately, Tithe.ly makes it easier to do what Kevin calls “care ministry”–the heartbeat of the church.
“Tithe.ly is much more than a database. It’s a care ministry tool,” says Kevin.
A More Committed & Involved Community
Church growth is always by the grace of God. But when you follow up with new visitors and existing members in a way that lets them know they are seen and valued, you help grow a community that draws in people for the best of reasons.
“It's not about trying to get a church to grow,” says Kevin. “It's about giving people access and accessibility to know how they fit into your church. With Tithe.ly, everything is right on your phone.”
“That accessibility is what has helped a lot of new families,” says Kevin.
The real question–Would Kevin recommend Tithe.ly to others?
“I’ve got friends at churches of 150 or so. They say, Oh, we don't need that yet. I always respond, Trust me, you need Tithe.ly no matter what size you are.”
To learn more about how Tithe.ly can help your church grow with tools like Giving, Church Apps, ChMS, Sites, and more, click here.