3 trends shaping church growth in 2024

January 27, 2023

Cultural and societal shifts have changed how people interact with churches. As church growth numbers continue to change across every demographic, the latest trends show new preferences around hybrid church, in-person worship, and digital resources. 

Pastors and leaders need new church growth strategies to help reach more people with the gospel and impact their communities. Ministries that aren’t equipped with the necessary tools and strategies to face the changing climate are less likely to see sustained growth. 

Let's dive into the latest trends for essential insights from three major trends for making disciples in 2023, and show how the latest digital tools are helping churches expand their reach and become more discoverable. 

Church growth trend #1: Church attendance is increasing among younger generations.

Millennial church attendance increased from 17% in 2021 to 39% in 2022, and they are the largest segment of people visiting new churches. Gen Z is no longer the “future” Church. They’re already well-established, key members in their churches. Boomers are the only generation with the same attendance today as before the pandemic.

Younger generations are also most likely to embrace hybrid worship—both in-person and online church. This means that your church growth strategy must include managing generational gaps by adapting to in-person and online engagement. 

One way that many churches are finding success is by leveraging modern digital tools for their hybrid ministry strategy. In fact, 15,000 organizations use the Subsplash Platform to connect with their people online, with the best church growth tools such as:

  • Church websites—Most people will find your church’s website before ever stepping into your building. With Subsplash, you can choose from dozens of beautiful church-related templates to quickly create your new website, along with SEO tools to attract people to your site.
  • Custom mobile apps—Create a safe and distraction-free hub where people can connect with your content and build community on their mobile devices. 
  • Live streaming—Allow your people to participate in your services in real time, and encourage communication with Subsplash’s Live Stream Chat feature. You can simultaneously stream to your website, mobile app, as well as to popular social media platforms. 

These powerful tools can help your church create a hybrid service to connect with younger people and grow church involvement. For more tips and strategies, download your free copy of the Hybrid Church Service Playbook

Church growth trend #2: Engagement is driving attendance (not the other way around). 

Pastors today say their number one concern is a need for church growth. The traditional model of church attendance has changed. People today can watch church services from around the world live or on demand. 

The key to overcoming declining attendance and reaching people online is through engagement. Church engagement is about going beyond Sunday to provide in-person and online interactions with people that allow them to embrace your church’s mission, feel a sense of belonging, and become involved on a personal level. 

Pastor, author, and public speaker Carey Nieuwhof explains it this way, “Currently, many churches try to get people to attend, hoping it drives engagement. In the future, that will flip. The engaged will attend, in large measure because only the engaged will remain.”

Fortunately, you don’t need a team of technology experts to engage your community online. Subsplash provides the best engagement tools in the market that are powerful but simple to use, including:

  • Messaging & Groups—Make it easy for people to find small groups, chat, share prayer requests, and have meaningful conversations with Subsplash Messaging & Groups. 
  • Digital giving—Allow your people to support your mission by making it simple and easy to give from anywhere at any time with the best online giving platform. No monthly fees, mobile & online giving, as well as text-to-give. 
  • SMS & email—Enable two-way communication with individuals, groups, or your entire church with text messages and emails. You can schedule your messages or send them in real time, ensuring that your community is always up to date with what’s happening. 
  • Events—Easily create, promote, and manage your church events on your Subsplash Dashboard. You can create forms, accept payments, and see who’s registered. All of this data is conveniently stored in your church’s Subsplash database. 

Engaging people beyond Sunday is a critical step in growing church engagement and building disciples every single day. 

Church growth trend #3: Churchgoers are asking for more digital discipleship resources

People today see the internet as a source for their information, so it makes sense that they’re actively searching online for ways to grow spiritually. In fact, 63% of Christians want their churches to provide more digital discipleship resources and materials. At the same time, 33% of pastors report that they’re struggling to meet their congregations’ needs for ongoing discipleship

Many churches try to post discipleship materials on social media platforms like Facebook or YouTube. Unfortunately, these channels are full of distractions like advertisements and notifications, and 23% of Christians experience cyberbullying for expressing their Christian beliefs. 

A key component of any healthy church growth strategy is equipping your people with online discipleship resources in a safe, distraction-free environment. With Subsplash, your people can engage with gospel-centered content every day of the week through your church’s mobile app, TV app, and website. You can offer powerful discipleship resources such as:

  • In-app Bible reading—Subsplash apps come with multiple Bible versions to choose from and Bible-reading plans to help everyone with their daily devotions. 
  • Media—Subsplash Media offers a distraction-free media player for your sermon videos, podcasts, and live streaming. Make your content library more accessible with Media tagging by topic, speakers, and even scripture passages. 
  • Discipleship content—Get world-class partner content from leading ministries such as The Chosen, Ligonier, The Bible Project, and more.

Give your people tools that help them grow spiritually every day with discipleship resources on the powerful Subsplash Platform. 

Ready to start growing church engagement & attendance?

From the Roman Roads in the Apostle Paul’s day to the reach of radio in Billy Graham’s time, the Church has always adopted new technology to advance the gospel. And though the message remains the same, the tools for delivering the gospel are always changing and developing. 

[.blog-contact-cta]Schedule your free demo today[.blog-contact-cta] and discover how Subsplash can help your church leverage new digital tools to reach more people and make a bigger impact on your community. 

For even more insights, check out our recent webinar where we discuss the latest trends impacting church growth.


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