Increase Engagement with Data-Driven Strategies: Ronee de Leon on Unlocking Your Church Database’s Potential

Thanks for joining us for the unSeminary podcast. Today we’re talking with Ronee de Leon, the Director of Executive Project Management from Grace Fellowship, a multisite church in Ohio.

Many churches have some sort of church management software and mountains of data. But figuring out how to make it actionable so you’re connecting with your congregation is a different story. Listen as Ronee shares how you can make your data actionable and track people’s engagement in order to better shepherd and disciple individuals in your flock.

  • Making data actionable. // Like many other churches, Grace Fellowship had a wealth of data from their congregants but struggled to know who to reach out to and when. To address this, they developed PATH Engagement Software, an add-on to their church management software. PATH is compatible with both Church Community Builder and Planning Center and provides user-friendly, holistic reports, such as an engagement index to track an individual’s engagement over time. 
  • The Engagement Index. // PATH Engagement Software currently offers five modules including an Engagement Index. Through this program, a church can track both the long-term and short-term engagement of an individual. The long-term engagement lets you track a person’s engagement over time whereas the short-term report helps you understand as people disengage. And because the software refreshes multiple times a day, churches can access the trend report in real-time.
  • Understanding disengagement. // Many times, there are care issues related to disengagement. By helping to identify disengagement, a church can reach out to individuals and families in order to provide pastoral care and support where needed. The short-term report provides the names of those who are disengaging and the staff that is closest to them can then reach out. Seeing these reports gives churches more clarity so they can come alongside as well as shepherd and disciple people who are disengaging.
  • Cast vision. // As a church grows, people can start to fall through the cracks, but acquiring good data can help close the gap. It can be difficult to get people to engage with attendance tracking systems so it’s important to communicate the heart and the why behind it. Ronee stresses that every data point represents a soul and churches will be able to better come alongside individuals on their faith journeys if they are gathering good data. Talk about these things consistently with your staff and lay leaders. Enforce the vision to make sure the right data is being collected at all levels of the organization.
  • Unique Individual Engagement Report. // Another report that PATH supplies is called the Unique Individual Engagement Report. It tracks each individual person that your ministry touches over a period of time so that you can understand the reach of your ministry beyond weekend services. PATH is seeing that through groups or other ministries and activities over and above weekend services, healthy, growing churches are typically serving an additional 35-40% more people than what attendance numbers show at weekend services alone.
  • Pastoral shepherding. // At PATH they’ve also discovered that the most fruitful discipleship conversations are happening with people who are mid-range engaged. People who are highly engaged and disengage for a time often find their way back on their own. People who are nominally engaged are much harder to win over. But people who are mid-range engaged in the church are very responsive to pastoral shepherding when they begin to disengage.
  • Leverage your data. // Leveraging data also helps with having effective pastoral conversations. However, staff members or lay leaders need to have the skills and training to engage congregants. PATH Engagement Software offers a free resource called “Shepherding Tips and Ideas,” which provides practical guidance on starting and deepening these conversations. 

You can learn more about Grace Fellowship at www.gracefellowship.cc and PATH Engagement Software at pathengagement.com/UnSeminary.

Plus, click here to download Shepherding Tips and Ideas to understand how to start a shepherding conversation and dig deeper with people at your church.

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Episode Transcript

Rich Birch — Hey, friends, welcome to the unSeminary podcast. Super excited for today’s conversation because we’re talking about one of those things that I know, listen we got a lot of executive pastors, a lot of people who lead in those kinds of areas at a church, and I know that today we’re talking about a problem that is near and dear to our heart. In fact I would say that today’s issue is one of the things that I bet you earlier this week you were in a conversation about, and we’re going to get a chance to help you take some steps in a practical direction today. Super excited to have Ronee de Leon. She is from Grace Fellowship and PATH Engagement Software. So Grace Fellowship, if you don’t know, it’s a multisite church in Ohio with five physical campuses, if I’m counting correctly, and church online. PATH Engagement, which is what we’re going to talk about today, is a solution that works really hand-in-hand with your church database, if I understand correctly, and applies some logic to really help ah, you understand and move people towards deeper engagement. This is what we’re trying to do, friends. We’re trying to get people engaged, and Ronee is going to help us with that. Welcome to the show, Ronee. So glad you’re here today.

Ronee de Leon — Thanks Rich! It’s a privilege to have this conversation with you today.

Rich Birch — Yeah, so honored that you would take some time to be here. Why don’t you kind of tell us give us the kind of Grace story. And then how does that connect to PATH, kind of how do all those things fit together?

Ronee de Leon — Yeah, well, Grace Fellowship is a church that is always pursuing forward movement. We want to help people meet, follow, and share Jesus. And we’re we’re willing to do everything we can to make that happen.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Ronee de Leon — And so like a lot of other churches, we have a church management software and we have mountains of data, right?

Rich Birch — Yes.

Ronee de Leon — But making that data actionable and figuring out how we can know who to reach out to and when in a timely manner, it was a struggle for us. And so we started building a solution that would make our data actionable and just give us reports that were easy to use, user-friendly, holistic, and making us as a staff more efficient as we wanted to chase people.

Rich Birch — Yeah, love it. So good. Well one of my um so I’m excited for this on multiple levels. But one of my convictions is, gosh, like so many of us are sitting on so much data, but we’re really not sure what to do with it. It’s like how do we, how do we figure out how to move people? Like how do we figure out how to identify people and then where you know, kind of what their next steps are? Let’s can you kind of give us a bit of an insight into PATH specifically? So talk us through how does your solution actually help us do that with the data that we have already?

Ronee de Leon — Yeah, PATH is an add-on to your church management software. We’re currently compatible with Church Community Builder and Planning Center.

Rich Birch — Ok.

Ronee de Leon — And what it does is it takes the data you already have and puts it in really user-friendly reports that quickly let you know who to reach out to and when. So that it’s kind of built around this measure that we created called the engagement index, and that’s a measure of people’s engagement. There’s two different pieces to that: a long-term one and a short-term one. And the long-term engagement really helps us watch people as they increase their engagement over time and the short term one helps us understand as people disengage. It’s It’s really reactive and like I said just gives us really actionable data, so that we know who to reach out to to shepherd and disciple them as they’re disengaging from the programs and activities of our church.

Rich Birch — I love that. Let’s talk about that one first, this short-term disengagement. Um, what does that functionally look like in churches? Are they generating… so I understand get a sense of what what your what your solution does. But are you running this like on a weekly basis, monthly basis, and then you’re pulling people together in a team or like in a meeting? What’s that look like?

Ronee de Leon — PATH refreshes multiple times a day…

Rich Birch — Okay.

Ronee de Leon — …and so you’ve got the downward trend report live in real time at all times. And so the way that a lot of the churches that we work with are using it is at least weekly they’re looking at that downward trend report and that’s that short term report telling us. Somebody’s engagement has changed in the last eight weeks versus their prior eight weeks. So it’s really timely and just really clearly gives you the list of names of people to go chase. And and the way that a lot of churches that we work with do that is based on the team, right? Who on staff is most closely connected to that individual who’s been missing, and how do we reach out to them and encourage them to to come back. Or a lot of times—Rich, you know this—there are care issues related to disengagement. You know, how how can we come alongside and care for as well as shepherd and disciple people who are disengaging?

Rich Birch — Yeah, and how are you actually measuring disengagement? Like what does that what’s that look like? How are you able to ah, you know, because what I understand you’re saying is, hey we’ve got the data already. You’re just helping us see it in a different way that gives us clarity around disengagement or or increased engagement, either way. Um what data points are you actually, how are you able to discern that from from the piles of data?

Ronee de Leon — It’s based on the age group of the individual that we’re looking at. So we’ve we’ve got different indicators. A lot of churches, you know, kids are checking in on the weekend services.

Rich Birch — Right.

Ronee de Leon — So we’ve got that indicator to look at for them depending on what programs a church has for middle school students whether it’s groups and a weekend service or just groups. Adults then we’re looking at grouping, giving, and volunteering. And so we can we can see over all of their engagement that holistic level of involvement and we’re able to see as the attendances decrease based on their personal pattern, historically.

Rich Birch — Okay, so oh so that’s clever. So like I I might be the kind of person that comes 3 times a month. And and over the last three months I’ve only come twice a month or once a month and that would then flag oh hey, something has shifted. But it’s not just a raw report around who’s all the people that have only come once a month, because maybe I only come once a month and that you know that isn’t actually a change. Um or you know, is is that the kind of thing we’re we’re trying to pull apart?

Ronee de Leon — That’s exactly what we’re doing.

Rich Birch — That’s very cool. I love that. Now, so we all know at scale. In fact, recently I was talking with a church that’s that’s trying to break the the 2000 barrier. That’s what I do with coaching, help churches do that. And um, help me with this – I’m going to gonna steal your brain here to help you in this coaching relationship. One of the things I’ve said intuitively is it seems like a lot of times church is less than 1000, there’s like somebody in the church that feels like they they feel like it’s their job to know everyone. And they and there’s a guy at this church particularly, standing out, you know, be standing up in front of the church and it’s like literally everybody that comes in they know them. They know them. They know them. Well that actually can be, I’ve said, that can actually be a lid to your growth. Because you can only ah you can only accommodate so many people in your brain. But what we want to do is actually have our database do that work for us actually ah, you know, retain all those people. Talk us through how um how we can leverage data to to really close those gaps those places where, you know, people might fall through the cracks and ultimately not feel known. Um, what would be some of those kind of key moments maybe in their journey where they could fall through and we just miss them?

Ronee de Leon — Yeah, what’s true, Rich, as a church grows, people do start falling through the cracks. You’re you’re unable to know everybody and see if everybody’s been around every weekend. And so as we’re able to take the mountain of data that we have and make it actionable, viewable ah, we know as people disengage in a way that maybe we wouldn’t be able to if we didn’t have the data that we were looking at. So as people are disengaging and we’re reaching out to them, we’re getting the flags. It’s really clear and concise for us. So we’re able to do that. You know, we’re we’re not reaching out and saying, hey your engagement, ah, it’s falling off.

Rich Birch — Your engagement score has gone down.

Ronee de Leon — Right!

Rich Birch — This is the engagement police calling.

Ronee de Leon — Ah, we’re we’re really genuinely going at it. You know we believe that every data point represents a soul. And so…

Rich Birch — That’s good.

Ronee de Leon — Yeah, every data point truly represents a soul and we’re talking about real people on faith journeys. And if we’re taking full advantage of the information we have, we can help them as they’re in this journey of meeting, following, and sharing Jesus. And so when we reach out, there’s there’s a story we have recently. One of our campus pastors got a flag on one of these reports about an individual who had disengaged from group. And ah you know his his campus is around 500 people. There’s no way he can see everybody, but because of the report he got to reach out to this individual. And so he calls him and finds out that he had recently lost a job, was battling some depression. And so his disengagement really represented one of those pivotal moments that matter in people’s lives, and we have the opportunity to come alongside him and support him through that that difficult season.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I can I can see that. That’s very clear to me for sure. Now a part of this is, you know, your solution can only deal with the quality of data that you have. And so if I’m assuming, you know, there’s got to be some best practices on getting attendance in groups like that. Or getting you know trying to get the right data in the front end. Coach us a little bit around those issues because that that to me seems like a problem I know in the churches I’ve served in. Man, can we just get people to click on the “yes they were here” buttons on our systems. That… talk us through what what’s some best practices on that that we should be thinking of. I know that’s outside of the scope of PATH. You’re just dealing with the the, okay, the data that’s in there, but man that’s critical piece of the puzzle.

Ronee de Leon — It absolutely is and and some of the churches that we work with are asking that question. You know, we really see the value in this. We really want to have the data, but we can’t get our group leaders to take attendance. We can’t get our staff to prioritize making sure that kids or volunteers check in. And so it it really is a cultural shift, Rich. Everybody has to be bought in. But I believe that it’s easy to get people to buy in when they understand the heart and the why of it.

Rich Birch — Right.

Ronee de Leon — You know when you put in front of people, ah when you help them understand the real life change, the real shepherding opportunities that we have because we have the data and are able to to understand where they’re at and their engagement, it’s easy to win people over, but it is something that needs to be consistently brought up. The vision behind that needs to be enforced, and and we need to be making sure that that’s happening at all levels of the organization. But it but it matters. It really really matters. And again, when when people understand what you’re able to do once you have that data…

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Ronee de Leon — …it’s much easier to get buy-in from your staff and your your volunteer leaders.

Rich Birch — Okay. Yeah, totally. Ah um, let’s pivot in a different direction. I feel like so many of us as church leaders, we’re feeling people. We’re people people. We like it’s like, a lot of intuitive leadership. And then that only goes so far, and then eventually we have to actually come up against like real-world data. Talk us through how your tool helps us add real-world information into our leadership as we’re making, particularly making decisions. What how are teams using it? Was is there maybe a story about of an effective use of, you know, of this this tool or this approach? Talk us through that, you know, this kind of feelings versus data. How do we, how do we use those together, or how do we use more data?

Ronee de Leon — A lot of times you feel like you haven’t seen somebody around for a while. You’ve got a couple people on staff who are in the lobby looking for people and maybe they’ll on Monday morning get together and ask, you know, have you seen this family, have you seen this individual? And a lot of times we’re we’re working on feelings. The data helps confirm those feelings and really gives your staff the confidence to reach out, knowing that it it really there really has been a disengagement of some sort for the individual or family. You also mentioned decision-making. We really believe that facts are our friends. Some people will see truth and in the data and and they’re afraid of it, or they don’t like what the data tells them. But facts are our friends and data drives decisions. You know this is true in other industries and it and it works. So why wouldn’t we apply that to our decision-making in church world as well?

Rich Birch — Um, have you seen um, any… so I feel like post covid, all of us are asking this question like people are attending less. It seems like that it, feels like that. Um you know, is that really true though? Who knows? Um you know, have you seen any trends with the churches that you’re working with in the last couple years that are say different than ah than pre-covid? Any any kind of conversation around that?

Ronee de Leon — Yeah, what you’re saying definitely seems true across the board. You know, people who pre-covid were maybe 80% attenders feel like they’re now 60% attenders. And so ah, you, you it’s hard to measure the reach of your ministry. You know, your average weekend service attendance is just a portion of the people that are connected to your ministry. And so one of the reports that we provide in PATH is called a unique individual engagement report. And what that report does which is track each individual person that your ministry touches over a period of time. And we’re only counting them once so that you can really measure and understand the reach of your ministry.

Ronee de Leon — And across the board what we’re seeing is healthy, growing churches have a unique individual engagement number that’s about 135, or 140% what their average weekend service attendance is. So if you’re serving 100 people in your average weekend service attendance that you’re seeing attend every weekend, you’re probably actually serving that week around 135 to 140 people, whether that’s through groups or or other ministries, activities outside of that weekend service attendance.

Rich Birch — That’s interesting. So that number, so just so I’m totally clear on that because that’s an interesting number. So what you’re saying is if I’m, yeah, if I’m a church of it staying with a hundred because that’s an easy number, then in other things that are non-Sunday oriented I’m picking up an additional 35, 40% in groups or in, you know… How does that relate to the multiplier number? Because there’s like people will say this thing, which it bugs me, where they’ll be like, oh so we have a…(sticking with the hundred number). It’s like we have a hundred people on average attend, but we know people only attend one every three weeks, so we’re a church of 300. I hear pastors say that kind of thing all the time – nutty language. You know it’s like, well we’re, you know, and course it’s none of the people that listen to this podcast say that. They’re, none of them would say that.

Ronee de Leon — Of course not.

Rich Birch — But ah, other kinds of church leaders say that. But what how does that relate, like this idea of churn and like I’m not, you know, we’re seeing people come through. Do you have any kind of insights on what’s happening on that front?

Ronee de Leon — To be honest, Rich, I think you can assume based on your average weekend service attendance that that’s happening, but until you have real data to to support that, you you really can’t say that.

Rich Birch — No. Yeah.

Ronee de Leon — Based on the unique individual engagement number, that again doesn’t include doesn’t include ah, individual attendance for adults sitting in a weekend in service because most churches are not taking individual attendance for adults in that space. Ah, but until you’ve got data to say that, it feels like a little bit of a stretch to assume that that’s the size of your church.

Rich Birch — Right.

Ronee de Leon — And that’s why the unique individual engagement number is so unique. A lot of churches are chasing this and wanting to understand this. You know, even leadership is looking at it saying, okay are we staffed appropriately, you know? If if we think this many people are in our our ministry pond, if you will, but really it’s 30 to 40% larger, ah you know, should we be staffing differently? Should we be adding activities outside of the weekend services if people are engaging outside of that space more often? There’s a lot of questions to be had, conversations to to have…

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Ronee de Leon — …around that number and understanding the real size your ministry.

Rich Birch — Yeah, the thing that’s interesting about that to that number that 135 to, you know, 140% number is interesting because um there’s this benchmark that’s often used that like a healthy church staff size is 1 to 100 so one staff member for every hundred attendees. But the irony of that 1 to 100 number is like I don’t know any churches that are actually at that 1 to 100 number. There… unless you’re very large, like unless you’re above 5000, 10,000 then they typically get that kind of, you know, economies of scale. But, you know, when you do an audit and say, okay, well let’s look at the staff. Where where are they actually spending their time? Like, you know, oftentimes we’re like we’re maybe a little bit overstaffed here but it doesn’t feel dramatically less. It doesn’t feel like or dramatically more. It doesn’t feel like, oh gosh, we have like we’re swimming in staff. It’s like we could always add more. But that 135 to 140 might be a part of the reason why. Because hey we’re serving a bit of a larger community.

Ronee de Leon — Right.

Rich Birch — That’s ah that’s interesting. Any other kind of insights like that that are interesting um, you know, kind of benchmarky type things that that you guys have noticed across, again leveraging the fact that you see multiple churches through PATH.

Ronee de Leon — Yeah I would say a few things that we’re noticing in an ongoing manner – it’s just true across a lot of the churches that that we’ve seen. Most fruitful discipleship conversations the most fruitful discipleship conversations are happening with people who long-term are sort of mid-range engaged. So people who are highly engaged over a long period of time, if they fall away for a season, they’re often finding their way back on their own. People who are nominally engaged, it’s it’s a little tougher to win them over.

Ronee de Leon — But people who, you know, attend your church maybe once a month – that’s 12 times a year. They go to group maybe once or twice a month. They fall in that midrange level of engagement. When they start disengaging, they’re really responsive to the pastoral shepherding conversation when we reach out to them. And so that’s been really encouraging to understand who is most responsive to that conversation, and and how to get the most fruit out of making these pastoral calls. Um, yeah, it’s it’s been really helpful.

Rich Birch — Um, that’s a fascinating insight. So if just let me reflect that back to you. What you’re seeing is if we put people on a scale and there are people who are highly engaged, if they start to kind of slip away, chances are they’re going to reengage over time. People that are mid-range, if they start to become disengaged, they they respond maybe even better or more they’re more likely to become more engaged ah than, you know, then maybe obviously low-engaged people or high-engaged people. So there’s there’s an interesting target there around, hey these people that are kind of mid-range engaged, let’s go after them, figure out a way to connect with them. Are churches, is that true is that am I understanding that correctly?

Ronee de Leon — That’s correct. Yep.

Rich Birch — Okay, so how are churches following up? Like is this following is this so let’s ah, let’s just say again. I’m going to use you for coaching. Let’s say you’re a church of a thousand people. You know, they’re listening in. They’ve got you know I’ve got a number of staff on my team. I’m an executive pastor, I use your tool, and I see those mid-range people. Is the coaching to have like staff follow up with those people, or should I be building a volunteer team? Who is actually doing those? You know, and then we’ll talk next about what’s that call or those engagements actually look like because I’m intrigued on what that is. But let’s first talk about the who who should be following up with these people.

Ronee de Leon — Yeah, there are a couple different ways that you can approach that. Um again I think we said earlier that the staff member closest to the individual who’s disengaging is somebody is one approach you could take. Somebody who would reach out to them somebody that it means something that they’re connecting with them and notice that they were gone.

Ronee de Leon — Another approach you could take is having lay elders or, or some churches are calling it navigators, so these are highly bought-in people, mature Christians who love reaching out to people who love engaging. They’re kind of ah an add on to your pastoral staff, but it’s a volunteer role that’s really high capacity that you are giving the names of the individuals to follow up with to this group of people and they’re they’re somewhat of an extension of your pastoral staff. We’ve also seen that be really fruitful in some churches.

Rich Birch — Okay, that’s cool. Love it. Even that’s a great takeaway, friends, like if I could see this kind of working itself out. We have somebody who’s like a data person who’s going to get these reports pulled them together. They’re going to pull the conversations together say, hey, here’s some people either on a weekly or monthly basis, Hey let’s have these… You know we were doing these quarterly based on on ah just on giving data. I was we would look at like who are the people that are giving less, and we would pull people to get we’d pull our campus pastors together and say, okay, who’s slipping behind trend? And and they’re again not doing collections calls or not like, hey, you’re giving less money. Ah, but and usually what would happen is you would unearth like all the time we were unearthing, yeah, stuff’s going on in our family where, you know, my wife’s…

Ronee de Leon — That’s right.

Rich Birch — …dad died. Or you know, that kind of stuff, which was which was great, but man, having a more holistic view even better. Let’s talk about the actual engagement point. So I’m I’m a staff member. I’ve been engaged to follow up with someone and you’ve actually got a practical resource to kind of help us with that. Why don’t you talk us through that as well. Like how do we actually make this, how do I engage with somebody? What are some best practices there?

Ronee de Leon — Yeah, I’m glad you asked this question because you can have all the data in the world and check on as many people that you’d like, but at the end of the day leveraging your data is only as effective as you are and your staff is having the pastoral conversation. Ah, many churches have staff members who aren’t pastors who haven’t gone to seminary that are required to make these calls and sometimes they’re they’re difficult. They’re challenging conversations. And some of them haven’t been equipped to have that conversation. You know, we we have found that some church staff are having the conversation without having the conversation.

Rich Birch — Yes.

Ronee de Leon — They’re reaching out and someone is saying, you know, well soccer’s busy and and the staff member says, oh okay, we understand; great – have a good day. You know, how do you push beyond that and have the conversation…

Rich Birch — Right.

Ronee de Leon — …and say, you know, I understand it’s a busy season, but when you and your family was highly engaged in our church, what were the benefits of that? Why did you do that? You know, and they’re going to get into ah parenting support, and community, and ah the the kids learning about Christ, you know.

Rich Birch — So good.

Ronee de Leon — That that doesn’t matter now? You know, and and pushing back on that a little bit. How can we help you reengage…

Rich Birch — Yes.

Ronee de Leon — …because that still really matters for your family. you know and even maybe being a source of accountability for them. You know, soccer ends in three weeks. Great.

Rich Birch — Yeah.

Ronee de Leon — I’m going to text you. I’m putting it on my calendar in three weeks.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Ronee de Leon — Can I text you and reach back out and help you do that? So you have to be careful that you’re actually having that pastoral and shepherding conversation.

Rich Birch — So good.

Ronee de Leon — And we believe that this matters so much that we’d like to provide a gift to the listeners. Um.

Rich Birch — Love it.

Ronee de Leon — It’s it’s a resource called we call it we’re calling it Shepherding Tips and Ideas. It’s just a little bit of content. It’s a quick 2 pager for any level of staff. It’ll be helpful for them to to understand how to start a shepherding conversation and then really dig deeper and have the conversation.

Rich Birch — Yeah, I love this. So friends, we’re going to put a link to this in the show notes. You you should pick it up. And um I could say even if you’re not gonna… this isn’t this alone is like gold. It’s only two pages, but having read through this, I’m like, man, there’s some great coaching on here that’s just super practical. This is like right down the zone of unSeminary, which I love. It’s like just take this ball and run with it. Some great conversation starters. Um you know, my my wife is a people person. She’s like one of these people she’s like this very high bandwidth for caring for folks. And she is um, like lots of people think that they’re her best friend because she just has just that kind of person. Um and she’s very good naturally at that. I’m more of a systems guy. I’m more of a like build a checklist and, you know, all. I’m friendly, but this kind of resource super helpful. Like man, some good conversation starters. So I would encourage you, friends, check out that. Ah, that in the show notes. So ah so good.

Rich Birch — This has been a this been a great conversation. Now as we’re thinking about the future when you think of kind of the future of PATH and the tool, where’s all this going? Like where you need to look up over the horizon, what are you guys hoping for, how are you hoping this will help churches? How are you hoping it’ll, you know, any kind of changes in the future or that kind of thing to help make this even better for, you know, for us as we’re thinking about these issues?

Ronee de Leon — Well we always have ideas for future development. We’re listening to churches or getting ideas and…

Rich Birch — Sure.

Ronee de Leon — …and we continue building out the program. Currently, there are five modules in the program. It’s connection statistics reporting.

Rich Birch — Yep.

Ronee de Leon — It’s attendance reporting because everybody has that giant spreadsheet like 15 staff members have access to and there are multiple versions of the truth. And we’re not we’re not going to do that anymore. We’ve we’ve got attendance reporting. The engagement index and those trends that we talked about earlier. There’s some financial reporting and some executive reporting which includes that unique individual engagement number. So there’s there’s a lot in the program right now. But to be honest, Rich, our goal our hope is to help churches pursue people. We we are passionate about the success of the churches that we’re working with. And we want to help them leverage their mountains of data to help people meet, follow and share Jesus. And so right now we’re working towards sharing the tool with as many churches as we can because it’s making the staff more efficient. It’s reporting holistic data really user in a user-friendly way. And we’re we’re seeing real fruit from having these shepherding and discipleship conversations with people.

Rich Birch — Love it. So good. Any kind of last words just as we wrap up today’s episode any last nuggets you want to make sure that we, and then we’ll make sure we get people to connect with you guys online. But where any other kind of last pieces you want to talk about?

Ronee de Leon — Yeah I know, Rich, that there are some people that are skeptical about data and leveraging data and they’re they’re afraid that somehow you’re going to become obsessed with numbers and and forget the people. But I just think it’s important for church leadership to remember what we said earlier: every data point represents a soul. And when people deprioritze activities and programs at your church that were once a priority to them, they’re going through something whether it’s doubt in their faith, depression, divorce, diagnosis, economic duress. There’s there’s something going on in their life that we as the church have the opportunity to to reach out and care for them.

Ronee de Leon — We we think about Matthew 25 and the parable of the talents. You know, the the one who brought five more talents heard “well done good and faithful servant.” And we as the church really need to make sure that we are stewarding the the people that Christ has entrusted us with well. And we we’re doing everything possible, including leveraging data, to make sure that that we’re able to tell the Lord that we did everything we could to to steward well the flock that he gave us.

Rich Birch — Love it. So good. This has been, what a encouraging conversation. And friends, we’re just scratched the surface here. There’s a ton more we could talk about. Ah but I want to encourage people to to drop by your website to learn more. Where do we want to send them online to learn more about PATH and to take step. I’d really encourage people. I know there’s church leaders that are listening in that are like, hey, we should let’s just take the next step and learn more about this. Where do we want to send them online?

Ronee de Leon — Yeah, to learn more about the tool they can go to pathengagement.com. To get the resources we talked about earlier, it’s pathengagement.com/unseminary – we’ve got that free download. And we’re going to do a deep dive on November sixth at 1 PM that we want to invite people to. We’re going to look at PATH, really get into the nuts and bolts of the engagement index and the trends, what these reports look like. Um, and if anybody has questions or or wants to reach out to me personally they can find me at [email protected].

Rich Birch — Love it. Thanks so much, Ronee. I really appreciate you being here today.

Ronee de Leon — It’s my pleasure.

Rich Birch — Thank you for being a part of this. Take care.

Ronee de Leon — Great. Thank you, Rich. You too.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.