Church Impact
Highlights

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National Center for Black Family Life at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia

You may recall that last year Communio created the National Center for Black Family Life at Hampton University in the Tidewater.  This center would oversee the execution of a five-church pilot with Black Churches applying and acculturating the Communio model to promote and strengthen marriage in their communities. 

With these churches, our team is in the middle of the “Plan” phase of our four-step implementation of the Data-Informed, Full-Circle Relationship Ministry®.  Communio’s training and support process includes the following steps:

  1. Analyze – This begins with the deployment of our mobile survey and an analysis of our consumer data on their membership and community.
  2. Plan – This includes the interpretation of data gathered in the Analyze stage, the setting of measurable goals around growth in Sunday attendance and growth in relationship ministry, and the creation of a written plan to achieve those goals. 
  3. Implement – This is where the rubber meets the road.  With the written plan created, the Communio church strategist provides ongoing training and resources to help the church execute all elements of their plan. 
  4. Review – As the strategy is executed, Communio provides tools to help the church measure and track efficacy.  This helps improve and refine the church’s Full-Circle Relationship Ministry over time. 

Already, having gathered data from these five churches, it appears a Black-Churchgoer is at least twice as likely to attend church each Sunday if they grew up with continuously married parents.  This trend echoes what we’ve seen in other churches. 

I joined most of our partner-pastors from these Black churches as a speaker at Hampton University’s National Conference on the Black Family. This conference had been held annually from 1979 until 2019.  It was Communio’s partnership with Hampton University this year that made this conference once again possible. A picture from the conference is below. 

Here’s some of the highlights from the conference:

  • My friend Brad Wilcox shared data on happiness and human flourishing from his new book Get Married.
  • Delano Squires, a former writer for Black and Married Magazine and a Heritage Foundation scholar, drilled further into the relevance of Brad’s data within the African-American experience.
  • Speakers explored the link between poverty, upward mobility, and family structure.
  • The First Lady of Virginia – Suzanne Youngkin – was present at the conference as a speaker.

Now, this conference remains part of Communio’s larger work with the pilot of Black churches.

While most are in the Tidewater, one of these partners, Higher Dimension, is in Houston, Texas. This 1,000 person Black church had 560 attendees at their Answer Conference.  This was a higher intensity outreach event than the norm.  It included robust skills ministry, both for singles and couples.  Leveraging Communio’s marketing and outreach services, 60 new guests who attended came from outside of the church.  You can check out one of the creatives our team designed below.

One of the panels at the Hampton Conference.
Graphic for Higher Dimension's Answer Conference.

Easter Outreach at Life Family Church in Austin, Texas

Founded by Randy Phillips of the famous music trio Phillips, Craig, and Dean, this multi-site evangelical church has been deploying their Ministry Engagement Ladder® since the beginning of this school year.  As the next step in their plan, they leveraged Communio’s microtargeted marketing to drove well over a thousand attendees and their staff is still sorting through first time guests – but they’ve shared there was a huge number of brand new people coming to their Easter outreach.  The church has a robust spring plan to engage and draw guests into their ongoing engagements and skills-based growth journey to produce improvements in marital health.

Marriage Enrichment Weekend in
West-Central Illinois

Flying northeast, we could visit the Land of Lincoln and head over to Lincoln Avenue Baptist in West-Central Illinois. This church just concluded a Marriage Enrichment weekend in late March. In all, 30 couples completed the two-day event with communication skill activities and sessions that concentrated on parenting, finances, intimacy, fighting fair, growing spiritually as a couple, and the 5 Love Languages.  They ended the weekend with a Date Night Meal served by the student ministry at their church.

Marriage Course at St. Joseph Parish - Shawnee, Kansas

Back across the Mississippi River in Shawnee, Kansas, St. Joseph Parish had 18 people recently complete a seven-week Marriage Course. Among participants, the total number of years married ranged from 1.5 to 38 years of marriage.

Feedback from the exit surveys was overwhelmingly positive:

  • “These videos had me and my spouse talking more and enjoying life again together. We were going through a rough patch, but after this, things are finally getting better again.”
  • “It has been an amazing experience for us! We have loved having guiding questions to navigate sensitive topics in marriage, and it has brought up things we were surprised we haven’t shared with one another before.”
  • “It has opened up my eyes to a multitude of tools I can use to not only make my marriage for the better but also handle certain aspects of my marriage that I may struggle with.”
  • “It has caused me to think through issues much better. It has been a very worthwhile 7 weeks.”

Parent's Night Out at Cornerstone Church in Lolo, Montana

Cornerstone Church sought to strengthen their relationship with the local community and draw in new members.  Communio’s church strategists suggested hosting a Parent’s Night Out once a month, which they have held since October of last year 2023. 

Each gathering provides childcare for parents and relationship skills activities within an otherwise fun date night experience at the church. This tiny church has averaged 22 attendees each month, with 80 percent of participants coming from outside of the church.

Multiple new families have started coming to their church after attending the Parent’s Night Out.