I don’t know about you, but one of the hardest things about ministry is when you're running hard, but not seeing results quickly.

Spiritual growth is not something that happens overnight, and in fact, it may seem like it takes years to see any progress at all! I don’t think I’ve ever talked to a ministry leader who doesn’t share this feeling, and it can be defeating without a fuller perspective.

I’ve been thinking about how prioritizing a digital strategy can feel this way for communications leaders, because you don’t see the results of it in a couple days, a couple weeks or even a couple months. Developing and implementing a great digital strategy will be something that requires you to keep the long-play in mind. It’s in the steadily consistent experimenting and adapting that you begin to see progress over time.

Digital Strategy

At Fishhook, we love a great digital strategy. A digital strategy has to do with the ways you’re choosing and using your digital tools (website, social media, email, etc.) to engage with people in the digital world we live in. Churches need to be where people are. And in our day and age, people are in digital spaces. 

A great digital ministry strategy means that all of your digital tools are representing your mission, vision and values in ways that are consistent with and extend the reach of who your church is. It’s an unprecedented opportunity to be able to have the reach we have in our digital world, so let’s make the most of it!

The heartbeat of a great digital strategy is your website. Social media, emails and even non-digital tactics should all point to your website, so here are a few ways churches can begin to gain some digital ground through your website.


Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process of improving your website to make it as easy to find as possible on search engines. It’s a process that helps your website build discovery (ability to find it), relevance (content people are looking for) and authority (establishing yourself as an authoritative voice on a subject). 

The work of SEO can be pretty technical (and we love doing it!), but there are a couple things you can do yourself to help including writing regular blog posts that are relevant to the needs of your community as well as making sure your content and events are accurate, updated and engaging.

More and more, search engines are prioritizing user experience. So, as long as you keep your audience and users at the forefront of your website, you’ll be making it easier for them to use and for Google to reward your strategic work.

Google Ads

We are finding that many, if not most churches we interact with aren’t aware of the Google Ads Grant for Non-profits that awards up to $10,000 in monthly ad spend. We are applying for and receiving these grants for churches more and more, and it’s a great way to help people find your church.

Google Ads help you jump to the top of the search results for topics that are key to your church or ministry. This puts you in the ideal position to be found and to help people looking for what your ministry is best at.

Running ads for your homepage and strategic pages within your website is a great way to help people discover who you are and how they can be part of what God is doing in your community.

Clear Next Steps

While SEO and Google Ads are a pretty technical component to your web strategy, I think the lowest hanging fruit is around compelling next steps on your website. It starts with accurately telling the story of your church in a compelling way that invites somebody in, but then, it includes clear next steps that directly connect with your vision and address felt needs for your audience.

A primary goal for any ministry should be to make it clear and simple for people to take next steps toward whatever your specific mission and vision are. If these steps aren’t crystal clear and compelling, it can be really challenging to get people to move.

Remember, Patience is a Virtue

This is just a dip in the water of what great digital strategies should be comprised of and in our time, it’s increasingly important to prioritize this. Remember that digital strategies feel much like spiritual growth. It takes a while, so be patient and the results will come in time!

If you’re interested in learning more about this, we would love to talk with you!