First Baptist Church was founded in 1900 in West Frankfort, IL. Since its founding it has been a strong presence in the city of West Frankfort. It would steadily run 400 attendees on a Sunday morning up until 2005 when the number started to decrease, now the average attendance is approximately 250 – 300 attendees. The church has a strong youth ministry and a strong music ministry. There are numerous different programs already established within the church which gives a good starting point for the church to work from as long as the programs are willing to change and do what is necessary to bring in people. The staff that is currently working with FBC have all been working there for 10 plus years which give them a strong relationship with the church members. The church has ties with the city council, school board and school administrators within West Frankfort. There is great potential for the church to reach out to the community of West Frankfort.
The church’s main goal is to reach everyone with the gospel. This can make it challenging to locate a certain public that you are trying to reach. The best way for a church to figure out who their key public will be is to look at the community around them. The demographics of the community will help the church figure out the message they should go with. This is where every church needs to start because their main goal should be to reach their surrounding community.
The two main groups that First Baptist Church West Frankfort will need to focus on are middle aged adults and teens. These are two of the largest groups in West Frankfort. The church already has a major role in the local high school and junior high school but the students only come on Wednesday and not Sunday mornings. The church needs to figure out the problem that students are finding with Sunday mornings and alleviate the problem.
The next group is middle aged adults. FBC needs to be able to find out how to bring in middle-aged adults. This is a large group in West Frankfort that needs to be reached. The church needs to provide a message that will relate to these adults and to make these people feel welcome
Close-knit community with existing members of the church
The importance of church has started to dwindle in the community
Less money has been given to the church recently which restricts the budget and activities that can be done
First Baptist Church West Frankfort would fall under the government style of fellowship. While the church governs itself it does also work with other churches in the town to make events happen and to do service activities. They follow biblical standards when choosing leaders within the church whether it be pastors or deacons. The congregation also has authority within the church for different votes on finances and officially hiring new staff members and appointing deacons. The main pastor is the head authority over the church with the deacons and other staff members performing a sort of check and balance system.
Age: The main age range for FBC – West Frankfort is 40 and over. Most of the members who are at the church have been coming to the church for their entire life. A major movement we have seen at the church is young families and children of these life-long members leave the church as they get out of the parent’s household. These people are either leaving to find a new or church or leaving church all together. FBC needs to see where their miscommunication and disconnect with the younger demographic is so that the church can stop this continual loss of members.
Music:FBC does a mix of traditional, organ style hymns and contemporary music. There is an orchestra and praise band that plays each Sunday, a choir that sings and the music minister who is leading it all. The music is toned down and played at a slower tempo than what is usually required of the song. This is a way that the music minister is trying to compromise with older members who do not want any contemporary music played. FBC needs to choose one style and stick to it so that their identity can be set and they’ll be able to attract people by showing them that they’re not trying to still discover themselves and they are established.
Multiculturalism: West Frankfort is not a diverse community at all so this means that First Baptist Church is not diverse. Every member in the church comes from a Caucasian background and they have all grown up with similar life styles. This can be difficult for anyone who is diverse to come and feel welcome because everyone else in the church comes from the same type of background.
Technology: First Baptist does utilize some technology within their services. Before each service there are announcement slides that are playing for the members to look over while waiting for the service to begin. During the music portion of the service, all of the lyrics are displayed on the screen for members to follow along. While technology is utilized, there hasn’t been any updates to the technology for the past 5 plus years. If the church wants to stay relevant they need to make sure to stay up to date with the technology that continues to change.
Specialization: The youth department in the church is the biggest area of the church. On Wednesday nights the youth service averages around 100 youth. This is known throughout the community and a lot of times this has been one of the major, if not the only reason that families will stay at the church. There is a divide between the youth that only attend the youth service on Wednesday and those that are also members of the church and attend on Sundays. The church needs to work on how to bridge this divide and make all of the youth feel welcome and get them to start attending on Sunday mornings as well.
First Baptist Church West Frankfort has been losing members steadily for the past decade and more leave each year due to a lack of communication between staff and members about the mission of the church.
The situation at FBC has become dire. With attendance and membership continuously going down that is going to start affecting every area of the church. The church will not be able to operate to its full potential if the situation does not turn around quickly. Leadership of the church needs to effectively communicate with the church body what the message and mission of the church is and how they are going to enact this message and mission in the surrounding community of West Frankfort. If this doesn’t occur, then FBC will have to begin cuts within their budget and the way they are currently operating. The church will also have to start pulling out of commitments held within the community which will hurt the church’s reputation within West Frankfort. Communication is going to be key to saving this church from the self-destructive path it is currently headed down.
To effectively communicate the mission of the church to the church members and surrounding community outside of the church.
Increase membership retention by 20%
Increase the number of visitors within a six-month time span by 40%
Increase membership participation in church functions by 50%
Enhance website traffic by 40%
Increase awareness of the church’s mission among members by 80%
Increase awareness of the church’s mission among the surrounding community by 30%
Launch event for new program
New class for new church members that describes the church mission and how to get involved within the church
*After the initial cost of the set-up items (computer, camera, editing software) the budget will drop down to $1000 Necessity
The initial needed amount is necessary because all of these set-up items are items that will eventually cut down on the costs for communications as a whole. Once these items are purchased then the communications department will be able to create all of the collateral in-house and forego outsourcing which would deplete the budget exponentially. Printing and events will use up the rest of the budget that will be normal budget in the following years. These items being printed will be essential in effectively communicating with the church body and the community.
The goal of this budget will be to effectively communicate the mission of the church to the church body and the community of West Frankfort.
The profit that will come from this budget will be 20% increase in awareness within the surrounding community about the mission of First Baptist Church and an 80% increase within the church body about what the mission of the church will be.
Compare the attendance record between January 2017 and August 2017
In January 2017, run a survey through the church to see how many members know what is the mission of the church. In August 2017, run the same survey again to see the results.
In January 2017, go out into the community to get the community’s perception of the church and to see if they know what is the mission of the church. In August 2017, run the same survey trying again to see the results.