Leveraging Data Insights, Churches Grow Sunday Attendance & Collections

Communio organized and supported an 18-month test with 33 churches spread out between Dayton, Ohio; Jacksonville, Florida; and Phoenix, Arizona that produced a net increase of 10,000 new regular service attendees and more than $370,000 in weekly collections.*

Overall, the below graphic summarizes the growth of the full 18-month experiment, which began in November 2016.

*While the test was 18 months, it was important to track trends in year-over-year figure, because church attendance and giving are highly susceptible to seasonal fluctuations. This provides a more accurate understanding of trends.



April 2016

April 2016

in Average Weekly Giving

How it Happened

Throughout the experiment, churches leveraged “Big Data” through a groundbreaking data insights tool developed in a partnership with Communio and a mission-aligned software firm to boost millennial church membership and expand marriage ministries.

Utilizing advanced analytics and modeling, the data insights tool allowed pastors and church leadership to uncover previously unknown ministry needs and challenges within their community and their congregation.

For example, those in the community who fit a predictive model of a non-active church member with a proclivity to attend a house of worship received tailored messages to attract their participation. In many cases, churches were able to get a foot in the door by inviting prospective members to participate in ministries around specific topics informed by the data.

They created a series of ministry activities and messages for specific audiences such as:

  • Unaffiliated millennials struggling with debt
  • Couples likely to be experiencing marital difficulties
  • Those experiencing the normal challenges of parenting young children
  • Individuals emotionally open to an invitation to church but who currently are inactive

Pastor Reactions to Data Insights Platform:

In this test, Communio worked with the Leadership Network and then supported those in their accelerator to leverage data insights to strengthen relationships and grow church engagement. Below are comments gathered from pastors who participated.

“I have learned so much about Big Data and how to use it to engage people in our community who aren’t connected to a church. We have spent hours piloting new methods of advertising and it worked! I’ve built connections with other church leaders.”

“[It] led us to become a data driven church for the sake of the lost. We are passionate about discipling God’s people. We want to meet them where they are at around their felt needs. The Accelerator sent us down this path. Thank you.”

“It was wonderful to collaborate with other church leaders who are thinking about the future of the church and innovative ways to connect with the developing culture. Getting to experiment with targeted Facebook advertising was especially valuable and created some new connections with people in our community. Learning from experts who devote their time and lives to understanding data and the next generation was tremendously valuable.”

“It was a chance to approach the challenges of ministry in a new way. The collaboration with other churches and even our team was innovative to me and it definitely helped us grow.”

“The chance to be equipped with tools to reach people who would never come to our church using Big Data and other resources we would also never be able to afford—thank you team, donors, and leaders! What a gift!”

Play Video

Ministry Leader Shares Communio’s Data-Driven Church Growth Successes

Dave Travis from the Leadership Network speaks to non-profit leaders about how Communio (formerly known as The Culture or Freedom Initiative) helped churches generate 23% increases in weekly attendance and 28% gains in weekly collections by leveraging predictive analytics and target marketing.