Loomis Basin UCC
THE BURNING QUESTION
How can a faith-based organization focused on eliminating injustice, bigotry and racism, and dedicated to working for human rights and equality, better engage its members and grow its congregation?
Like many other churches, Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ (LBUCC) in Loomis, Calif., is a refuge for area residents seeking a closer relationship with God and for guidance in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Setting itself apart from other churches, especially in the local area, LBUCC takes a progressive approach to its ministry, promoting itself as a house of worship and supportive community for all, including those who have found themselves marginalized or alienated by other faith-based organizations. Such an approach is a hallmark of the UCC denomination, founded in 1957 under the ideal that Christians could — and should — come together in harmony and without fear of judgment.
LBUCC is an “open and affirming congregation,” with a formalized commitment to welcoming members from the LGBTQ+ community, as well as those committed to equality and inclusivity, in church and beyond.
Churches are only as strong as the congregations they serve, and LBUCC is no different. As church membership and attendance continue to decrease across the US, churches are searching for ways to stay relevant, create meaningful community connections, and ensure those who are searching can find them. As a self-identified “small church” with an aging congregation, LBUCC sought to leverage its newly-installed young pastor, progressive teachings, and community outreach programs. It focused on improving and expanding its communications tools and strategies to better engage its current members and find new ones.
THE SNYDER STRATEGY
Snyder Strategies conducted an audit of LBUCC’s communications channels and target audiences, and provided recommendations on how to improve and expand them. This included comprehensive branding, communications, and marketing strategies designed to promote the mission and vision of the organization and increase interaction between LBUCC and the greater Loomis Basin area.
Based on its audit and supporting recommendations, Snyder Strategies helped LBUCC transform its communications platforms. In one year, LBUCC grew its member newsletter from 45 subscribers to 250. It also grew its social media presence, increasing its Facebook followers from fewer than 100 followers to nearly 300. Additionally, it started an Instagram account to reach a younger, more diverse audience.
But the real measurement is in “butts in the seats,” as they say. During this same time, the average attendance at its Sunday service was around 60. Currently it is 120 and growing. LBUCC has also added numerous family programs, youth outreach programs, and a Wednesday night “happy hour” service. Due to its intentional strategy to modernize its communications channels, LBUCC is thriving and growing at a time when churches around them are dying.
DON’T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT
“If you are looking to expand your digital footprint and make your organization better known in your community, Bethany is the person who can help you achieve that. Bethany’s personal dedication and professional approach to communications is superb. Her experience and passion for this work is tangible and infectious.”
— Pastor Casey Tinnin, Loomis Basin UCC.