How do you know if your microsite is successful? That’s a question you’ll need to grapple with before you even launch. If you don’t, you’ll have a tough time measuring the effectiveness and helping your microsite team know what to focus on.
Teams without solid goals will make up their own. They’ll focus on details that may not align with the church’s vision. And you’ll end up with a silo… or some serious animosity when you have to realign things down the road.
Head off the pain by thinking this through before you get rolling.
Define Your Wins
First, work through why you’re launching the microsite in the first place. If you want to reach people who are traveling a long distance to get to your church, that’s your baseline for success. If you’re trying to connect with people in a certain apartment complex, start there.
Don’t be afraid of numbers here. Look at the population of the area where you’re launching and set some expectations about how many you should be reaching. Granted, the size of your space may temper that a bit, but if you can fit 50 or 100 people in a space, then aim there.
Ideally, your measures should be tied to your vision statement. If you’re excited about life change, then measure how many people have come to know Jesus. If you’re a church that focuses on mobilizing to missions, then set goals there. If you love seeing people get plugged in, set some expectations there. Discipleship pathway, markers for maturity, growth factors… whatever it is, make sure you’re keeping those at the forefront.
Just keep one thing in mind: Your first microsite will likely take longer to mature than you think. Moving people through your pipeline will be tougher because you’ll still be figuring out the details and making tweaks along the way. Don’t be discouraged if your numbers are lower than at other campuses for the first year or two.
Set up a Dashboard
Once you’ve targeted your key measures of success, make sure you’re set up to keep track of them. Think through what would prove you’ve met a goal. Baptism? Membership? Volunteering? Attendance?
To measure any of that, you’ll need systems in place that help you keep track of the numbers. Don’t leave this to chance. Your launch strategy needs to include how you’ll capture this data.
I highly recommend church management software for this because most of the best ones can spit out reports quickly. (Also, I’m not a spreadsheet guru… so, help is good.)
Setting up your dashboard is great. But far too often, churches and ministries set them up… and then ignore them. Make sure that your microsite leaders have access to the numbers and can see where they are. Review the markers with the leaders so that they understand the why behind them. (You’ll have to do this over and over because the vision behind goals will slip over time.)
Celebrate when you move toward your goals. The microsite leaders need to know that you truly value what you claim to value. And when goals aren’t met, course correct to address where things are lagging.
In other words, accountability shows you’re truly committed to success.
At least once each year, meet with your team to review the stats, goals, and expectations for your microsite. Talk through the what the stats show. The truth is your friend here; so, don’t be afraid to be honest about where you are.
Here’s what I’ve consistently found as I coach churches: Low or skewed stats point to underlying issues. They are symptoms of deeper problems. Avoid the easy excuses. Take time to think through what may be causing the lagging numbers. Have someone write down the challenges you’re facing on a whiteboard and look for underlying themes.
The idea here is set expectations for your microsite like you would for any other ministry or campus in your church. People will rise to those expectations, but they have to know you mean them. Ultimately, you need to keep your microsite aligned with the bigger vision God has given the church.
After your review, determine the next steps for the microsite. Are leadership changes needed? Will you provide more funding? Should you adjust the goals?
The point of all this isn’t to add complexity; the point is to make sure your microsite stays healthy. Taking its pulse regularly allows you to keep it on the right track.