Does Your Church Have Social Proof?

Lately, I’ve been reading just about every “be a better blogger” book or blog there is. Why? When I post on my blog I really want you, the reader, to understand the point I’m trying to make. I also want to make my point in a way that engages you, rather than bores you to tears. Why? I have years of experience in what I do, but sometimes I find it difficult to express the point I’m trying to make with clarity and simplicity.

I even recently attended a blogging seminar hosted by ProBlogger. One of the key points ProBlogger made during the seminar was that to get new followers to your blog, you need to demonstrate “social proof.” Social proof is how you demonstrate that you know what you’re writing about because you’ve done it many times, you are good at it, and people see that you are good at it and come to you.

Churches often invest a lot of time communicating or promoting how friendly they are, how loving they are, how much they are into social justice, etc. When actually, they don’t really do a lot of it. Our churches often lack the social proof of who we say we are. Sure, there may be pockets of it in the congregation, but it isn’t oozing out of every part of the church community.

Let me put it another way. Have you ever driven by a restaurant you’ve heard about and it was very busy? You think it must be good so you say, “Hey! Let’s go eat there.” On the flip side, if that restaurant is empty as you drive by, you probably think it’s not really that impressive. (Have you ever wondered why restaurants always want to seat you in their main window seat? Well, now you know.)

What our churches need to know is that people are irresistibly drawn to communities that have social proof. WARNING: People will see through a thin veneer if we don’t really live up to that social proof. Another name to express the essence of who you are is DNA. I think social proof goes a bit further than DNA because it’s the public expression of who you are, which serves to attract others to you.

How do you discover what your social proof is (or isn’t)?

  • Ask newcomers how they found out about your church.
  • Ask those who are leaving your church why they are leaving.
  • Ask those who are in your church what they love about it.

You should be able to create a picture of your social proof from that. Don’t be surprised if it is more than one thing. Now it’s your turn. What do you think of the idea of social proof in the church? Have you seen it in action?

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9 thoughts on “Does Your Church Have Social Proof?

  1. I agree. many churches need to establish what their calling is as a church and stick with what it is God has called them to do. Otherwise they seem to develop split personalites and try to do too many things and end up doing none of them very well. Insighful article. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. I'm so glad you point out that it's more than just numbers of followers, etc. You can't always calculate social proof, but people can spot it when they see it. Excellent point!

  3. Love it. Great concept. I'd type more, but I'm trying to figure out how to implement this in my context. Thanks!

  4. Sometimes the clarity I am seeking slams me in the gut and thats what your article just did! Whew!! Thank you~ now, to apply the lesson…