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20 Digital Evangelism Mistakes: What’s Causing Your Digital Ministry Not To Grow?

Don't just post it and expect people to come. These are the most common mistakes people make when it comes to digital evangelism. Discover these mistakes and how to avoid them and make sure you check out number digital evangelism mistake number 15.
Nelson Musonda
Written by:
Nelson Musonda
Published on:
20 Digital Evangelism Mistakes: What’s Causing Your Digital Ministry Not To Grow?
Updated on:
September 16, 2023

Feeling stuck with your digital ministry? You're posting all the right things but still not seeing those likes, shares, or amens?

You've got a powerful message and are eager to spread it, yet it seems like you're just shouting into the void.

If this hits close to home, you might be making some digital evangelism mistakes that keep you from truly connecting.

Stick around because we're about to dive into these pitfalls and, more importantly, how to climb out of them.

This could be the turnaround your ministry needs!

Let's dive in.

Table of Contents

Here are 20 common digital evangelism mistakes you are making.

1. Failing to define a target audience for a specific message.

Digital evangelism - defining your audience
Image with the word audience written on it.

Who are you talking to when you post online? Is it every one or no one in particular?

Not defining a target audience is number one on this list because many digital ministers entirely ignore this critical aspect.

Why Defining Your Target Audience is Crucial

Ever wonder why some messages hit home while others float away like a leaf in the wind? The secret sauce is knowing your audience.

But wait, it's not just about the message but the whole package!

Digital evangelism is like a three-legged stool; if one leg is wobbly, the whole thing can tip over.

Let's dive into the three key components that make digital evangelism work like a charm: the message and messenger, distribution, and the receiver.

The Three Key Elements of Digital Evangelism.

Key elements of digital evangelism
A handwritten letter and envelope.

1. The Message and Messenger 📜

First up, we have the message and the messenger. That's you and your sermon! You've got this beautiful, life-changing message about Christ you want to share. But a great message is only the starting point. You must also be a messenger to package that message for the digital world.

2. Distribution 🌐

Next, we have distribution. Think of this as your delivery truck. You've got this unique message, right? The internet is how you get that message from your church to people's homes, phones, or wherever they are.

This could be through your website, social media, email, or YouTube. The internet is your highway, and you've got to make sure your delivery truck is fast and reliable.

3. The Receiver 🎯

Last but not least, we have the receiver. These are the people you're trying to reach. They could be anywhere in the world and on the other end, waiting to hear what you say.

But remember, they won't listen unless the message is relevant. So you've got to know who they are and what they need.

Think of the internet as a mailman who needs a letter (message) from you to deliver to someone on the other side. Oh, but wait, we forgot one crucial thing: the address.

You see, the mailman won’t know where to take the mail without the receiver's address.

digital evangelism mistakes - no audience
Return to sender envelope.

This precisely happens when you create or post a message without an audience. The internet doesn’t know who it’s meant for. Therefore, it is held in the internet grave where no one can find it.

How to fix this common mistake.

First, identify who you want to reach. Is it new believers, long-time church members, or people curious about faith? Now, take the time to survey your community.

Ask questions to find out what your audience wants to hear about. Once you know your audience, you can tailor your message to speak directly to them.

2. You don’t have a clear gospel content strategy.

Ever feel like you're just winging it when it comes to posting online? Imagine building a house without a plan. You'd end up with a mess, right? The same goes for your digital evangelism.

Evangelism Content Strategy
Two people are doing content strategy planning on a whiteboard.

A clear content strategy is like a blueprint for your online ministry. It helps you know what to say, when, and how to say it for maximum impact.

But here's the kicker: Many folks in digital evangelism make the mistake of posting what they like or sharing Bible verses.

While that's all good, it's not enough. Your audience has specific needs, and your content should address those needs. It's like inviting people to a party without having any food they like!

The fix.

Create a content calendar based on your audience's needs, not just what you want to say.

Mix it up with different types of content like articles, videos, and testimonials from your community to keep things fresh.

Quick Tips to Remember:

  • Use a Digital Tool Like Vista Social: This is a game-changer, folks! Vista Social is a nifty tool designed to help you plan, schedule, and post your content across multiple social media platforms. It's like having a personal assistant for your digital evangelism. You can set up a content calendar, plan your posts, and get insights on what's working. It's super user-friendly, so you don't need to be a tech wizard to use it.
  • Listen to Your Audience: Share stories or testimonials that resonate with them.
  • Consistency is Key: Aim to post at least once a week to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.

3. Overlooking the power of email evangelism.

Are you using email to connect with your congregation, or is it collecting dust in your digital toolbox?

Digital evangelism mistakes - email
A phone screen showing a mail icon with a mail notification

Think about email as a cozy coffee chat with a friend. It's a more personal way to talk, share updates, and nurture relationships.

Most churches focus on social media and forget that email can be a powerful tool to connect and nurture their congregation.

If you're curious how to make the most of email, check out this Email Evangelism Growth Hacks article.

Now, let's see this mistake in action.

Imagine your church sends a weekly newsletter, but it's just a list of events. There's no personal touch, no stories, and no inspiration. It's like sending a postcard that says, "Wish you were here," but not telling people why they should come.

So, how can you fix this?

Start by segmenting your email list. Email new visitors, long-time members, and people curious about your church. Make your emails engaging by adding stories, testimonials, or a short devotional.

Quick tips to remember:

  • Use an email service that allows you to segment your list quickly.
  • Personalize your emails. A simple "Hi [Name]" can go a long way.
  • Don't bombard people with emails. Find a balance that keeps them engaged but not overwhelmed.
  • Check out these ten free email tools to use right away.

4. Not having a digital ministry blog.

Do you have a blog, or are you missing out on a goldmine of opportunities?

digital evangelism mistake - blog
Someone is typing on a laptop.

Think of a blog as a library. It's a place where people can find all sorts of information and is always open. Unlike social media posts that get lost in the feed, blog posts are evergreen.

They stick around, and with good SEO, more and more people can find you online. If you're wondering how to make your blog successful, check out this article on How to Run a Successful Christian Blog.

Now, let's see this mistake in action.

Many of us are sharing excellent sermons and articles on social media. But after a week, they get buried under new posts. It's like writing a great book and locking it in a safe where no one can read it.

What to do now!

Start by setting up a blog on your church's website. Write about topics that matter to your congregation and community. Use keywords that people might search for so your blog appears in Google searches.

Quick tips to remember:

  • Use tools like WordPress to set up and manage your blog easily.
  • Don't just post sermons. Mix it up with articles, testimonials, and even guest posts.
  • Update your blog regularly. The more you post, the more chances people have to find you.

5. Focusing on social media evangelism only.

Are you only using social media to reach people?

digital evangelism focus on Facebook
A gentleman is looking at Facebook analytics on his computer screen.

If so, are you ready for your message to disappear in a flash?

Think of social media as a busy marketplace. It's bustling and noisy; only a few people might hear you if you shout something once. Therefore, if you want more people to hear you, you must shout it repeatedly.

Social media posts have a short lifespan. You'd need to post several times a day to make an impact.

Why posting on social media only is a mistake.

Imagine you post an inspiring message on Facebook. It gets some likes and shares, but it's buried under a mountain of new posts by the next day. It's like writing a message in the sand; the tide comes in and washes it away.

How can you fix this? The answer is simple.

  • Don't put all your eggs in the social media basket.
  • Have a website where your content can live permanently.
  • A website is like your home online.
  • It's where people can always find you, no matter what's trending on social media.

Here are quick tips to remember.

  • Use social media to drive traffic to your website, not as the end goal.
  • Ensure your website is easy to navigate so visitors can find what they want.
  • Update your website regularly with new content to keep people coming back.

6. Having a poorly designed church website.

Is your church website a welcoming space or more like a cluttered bulletin board?

Think about it this way: Your church website is like your online church. Just like you wouldn't want your physical church to look messy or confusing, your website should be clean, welcoming, and easy to navigate.

Many church websites are built on old technology and aren't even mobile-friendly. That's like having a church that's hard to get into and doesn't have enough seats for everyone.

Why you should invest in a good website.

Imagine visiting a church website with outdated announcements, broken links, and pixelated images. It's like walking into a room where everything is out of place. You'd probably want to leave, right?

Let's fix this problem.

Start by updating your website's design to make it more user-friendly.

Use the right imagery and well-written content, and ensure it's optimized for search engines (SEO) and local searches (Local SEO).

Your website should support your visitor's journey, guiding them from curiosity to engagement.

Here are quick tips to remember.

  • Make your website mobile-friendly. A lot of people browse on their phones.
  • Use high-quality images that reflect your church's mission and community.
  • Keep your content updated and make sure all the links work.

7. Neglecting Analytics and missing out on Vital Engagement Insights.

Do you know how many people visit your website or read your emails? Or are you flying blind?

digital evangelism mistakes - analytics
A screenshot of the Google Analytics dashboard.

Think of analytics like a report card for your online activities. It tells you what's working and what needs improvement.

Many churches and evangelists skip this step and miss out on valuable insights. It's like cooking a big meal but never asking anyone if they like it.

If you're new to analytics and want to learn more, check out this helpful guide on How to Use Google Analytics for Your Church.

Why analytics are essential.

Imagine you've been posting sermons online and sending out weekly newsletters. But you have no idea if people are watching or reading them. It's like throwing a message in a bottle into the ocean and hoping someone finds it.

Analytics will help you get insights into how people are consuming your content. You’ll get insights such as:

  • Time spent on content
  • Popular content
  • Traffic sources
  • Bounce rate
  • Device preferences

How can you fix this?

Start by setting up basic analytics on your website and email platform. This will show you how many people visit your site, what they look at, and if they take any actions like signing up for a newsletter.

Here are quick tips to remember.

  • Use free tools like Google Analytics to track website visits.
  • Look at your email open rates to see if people are interested in what you're sending.
  • Make it a habit to check your analytics at least once a month to see what's working and what needs tweaking.

8. Overlooking personalized gospel in digital evangelism.

Do you treat everyone in your online community the same or try to get to know them?

evangelism mistakes - personalization
A lonely soul looking through the window with a hand leaning on the window.

Think of personalized ministry like a custom-made suit. It fits you perfectly because it was made just for you. The same goes for your online ministry.

When you personalize your messages, people feel seen and heard. If you're curious about how to make your ministry more personalized, check out this article on Personalized Ministry.

Now, let's see this mistake in action.

Imagine you send the same email to everyone in your congregation, whether they're new visitors or long-time members.

It's like giving everyone the same gift for Christmas, regardless of their likes and dislikes.

So, how can you fix this?

Start by segmenting your audience. Send different messages to different groups based on their needs and interests.

For example, new visitors might get a welcome email, while long-time members might get updates on upcoming church events.

Quick tips to remember

  • Use tools that allow you to segment your audience quickly.
  • Personalization goes beyond just using someone's name. Tailor your content to fit their needs.
  • Test different messages to see what resonates most with each group.

9. Not being relevant to people's needs.

Do your online messages resonate with today's world, or are they stuck in the past?

Think about relevance like tuning a radio. You'll hear static noise if you're not on the right frequency.

Being relevant means you're tuned into what people care about today. It's about meeting them where they are, not where you wish they were.

If you're wondering how to balance timeless truth and modern relevance, check out this article on Should the Church Strive to Be Relevant?

Now, let's see this mistake in action.

The world is more connected than ever, and people are bombarded with events and news every second.

As a result, your members or audiences are part of these events; they are directly or indirectly affected by what’s happening. Therefore, if the church is not addressing some of these issues, your members cannot get their information elsewhere.

Imagine your online messages are filled with outdated references or topics that don't resonate with your audience.

It's like trying to sell cassette tapes to people who only use streaming services.

So, how can you fix this? Start by listening to your community. What are they talking about? What are their concerns?

Then, tailor your messages to address relevant and accurate topics to your faith.

Quick tips to remember

  • Keep an eye on current events and trends to see how to incorporate them into your messages.
  • Don't chase after every trend; focus on what genuinely aligns with your mission.
  • Use language that's easy to understand. Avoid church jargon that might confuse newcomers.

10. You are not segmenting your audience.

Do you know who's in your online community, or is it just a blur of faces?

Think of segmenting like organizing a big family reunion. You wouldn't put the toddlers at the same table as the teenagers, right?

Each group has different needs and interests. Segmenting your audience means paying attention to those differences and tailoring your messages accordingly.

Now, let's see this mistake in action. Imagine sending the same email about a youth retreat to your entire congregation, including the senior citizens.

It's like announcing a skateboarding competition at a bingo night.

So, how can you fix this? Start by dividing your online community into different groups. Maybe you have new visitors, long-time members, and people just curious about your church.

Once you know who's who, you can send messages directly to each group.

Quick tips to remember

  • Use tools to segment your audience, like specific email marketing platforms easily.
  • Test different messages to see what resonates with each group.
  • Don't be afraid to get specific. The more tailored your message, the more impactful it will be.

11. Neglecting automation.

Do you find yourself overwhelmed with managing your online ministry, or have you discovered the magic of automation?

Think of automation as a helpful robot. It can do some tasks for you so you can focus on more important things.

Automation means using tools to handle repetitive tasks automatically, like sending welcome emails to new subscribers or posting scheduled social media updates.

Now, let's see this mistake in action. Imagine spending hours every week manually sending emails, updating your website, and posting on social media.

It's like washing dishes by hand when you have a perfect dishwasher sitting right there.

So, how can you fix this? Start by identifying tasks that can be automated. Maybe it's your weekly newsletter or the way you collect prayer requests.

Once you know what can be automated, find the right tools to help you do it.

Quick tips to remember

  • Look for tools that offer automation features, like email marketing platforms or social media schedulers.
  • Start small. You don't have to automate everything at once.
  • Test and tweak. Make sure your automated tasks are working the way you want them to.

12. Ignoring SEO and keyword research.

Do you know how people find you online, or are you just hoping they'll stumble upon you?

Think of SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, like a big, bright sign outside a store.

It helps people find you when they're looking for something you offer. SEO makes your website and content easy to find on search engines like Google.

Now, let's see this mistake in action. Imagine you have a great website and excellent content, but you haven't done anything to make it SEO-friendly. It's like having a treasure but not giving anyone a map to find it.

So, how can you fix this? Start by doing some keyword research. Find out what words or phrases people use to search for topics related to your ministry.

Then, use those keywords in your website content, blog posts, and even social media.

Quick tips to remember

  • Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords.
  • Don't stuff your content with keywords; make it natural and easy to read.
  • Monitor your website's performance to see how your SEO efforts pay off.

13. Focusing on conversion and not nurturing.

Do you celebrate when someone joins your online community but forget about them afterward?

Digital evangelism nurturing
Someone is nurturing a plant in his hands.

There are two sides to the Christian equation. On one side is (conversion) when someone becomes a Christian, and the other keeps them in the church (Nurturing).

Think of nurturing like taking care of a garden. You can't just plant seeds and walk away; you have to water them, give them sunlight, and protect them from weeds.

Many churches and evangelists are great at bringing people in but not so good at keeping them. In fact, over 29% of people who grew up in the church have left.

Imagine you have a significant online event, and lots of people join your community. But after the event, you don't do anything to keep them engaged. It's like inviting someone to a party and ignoring them once they arrive.

So, how can you fix this? Start by using technology, including AI, to nurture your audience. You can use chatbots to answer common questions, automated emails to provide valuable content, and analytics to understand your audience's needs.

Quick tips to remember

  • Use tools that allow you to automate follow-up messages.
  • Keep Monitor engagement levels to see if your nurturing efforts are working.
  • Don't just focus on numbers; build genuine relationships with your online community.

14. Failing to identify people’s challenges.

Do you know what keeps your online community up at night, or are you just guessing?

Think of identifying challenges like being a good detective. You must ask questions, listen carefully, and assemble the clues. If you don't know your community's challenges, how can you offer solutions that genuinely help?

Now, let's see this mistake in action. Imagine posting content that you think is helpful but doesn't address the real issues your community is facing. It's like offering someone a Band-Aid when they need stitches.

So, how can you fix this? Start by asking your community what they're struggling with.

You can gather this information through surveys, social media polls, or direct messages. Once you know their challenges, you can tailor your content and messages to offer real solutions.

Quick tips to remember

  • Use tools like online surveys to gather insights about your community's needs.
  • Don't assume you know what people need; always ask and listen.
  • Use the information you gather to create content that solves real problems.

15. Trying to be on every media platform.

Do you need to be everywhere online, or are you focusing your efforts where they matter most?

Think of being on every media platform, like juggling too many balls simultaneously. Eventually, you're going to drop one. It's better to be good at a few things than mediocre at many. If you're wondering how to choose the right platforms for your ministry, check out this article on Digital Evangelism Methods.

Now, let's see this mistake in action. Imagine posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube without engaging with your community. It's like being at a party but not talking to anyone.

So, how can you fix this? Start by picking one or two platforms where your community is most active. Focus your efforts there and engage with your audience. Once you've mastered those, then consider expanding to other platforms.

Quick tips to remember

  • Quality over quantity. It's better to be active and engaged on fewer platforms than spread too thin across many.
  • Use analytics to see where your audience is most active and engaged.
  • Don't be afraid to let go of a platform if it's not serving your goals.

16. Not utilizing groups or online community platforms.

Do you have a space where your online community can connect, or are you the only one doing the talking?

Think of groups or community platforms like a cozy coffee shop. It's a place where people can gather, chat, and get to know each other better.

These platforms offer a more intimate setting than the broad reach of social media or a website.

Now, let's see this mistake in action. Imagine your online ministry is all about broadcasting messages, but you never give your community a chance to interact with each other.

It's like being a teacher who talks non-stop but never lets the students ask questions.

So, how can you fix this? Start by creating or utilizing existing groups or community platforms.

This could be a Facebook group, a forum on your website, or even a dedicated app. The goal is to provide a space where your community can engage with you and each other.

Quick tips to remember

  • Make sure your chosen platform aligns with your community's needs and habits.
  • Be active in the group to guide discussions and offer support.
  • Use these platforms to gather insights about your community's challenges and needs.

17. Ignoring people’s stages in the Christian journey.

Do you offer the same spiritual guidance to everyone, or do you recognize that people are at different stages in their Christian journey?" Think of the Christian journey as a road trip. Some people are just starting, while others are well on their way. Offering everyone the same guidance is like giving someone the same map in New York and California.

Now, let's see this mistake in action. Imagine you're sending out daily devotionals that are too advanced for newcomers or too basic for long-time believers. It's like serving baby food at a dinner party or a gourmet meal at a kids' table.

So, how can you fix this? Start by recognizing that your online community is diverse. They're at different stages in their Christian journey and have different needs. Tailor your content and interactions to meet people where they are.

Quick tips to remember

  • Use surveys or direct interactions to discover where people are in their spiritual journey.
  • Create content that caters to different stages, from newcomers to seasoned believers.
  • Be sensitive to the varying needs of your community and adjust your approach accordingly.

18. You don't get involved in your local communities.

Engaging with your local community is crucial as it represents your online community in many ways.

Participating in local events, activities, or projects builds connections and fosters a sense of belonging. Your local community is a microcosm of the online world, with individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

By not getting involved, you are missing out on the opportunity to learn from others and contribute to the growth and development of your community. Furthermore, when you solve one person's challenges in your local community, you also solve millions online.

Many issues individuals in your community face are not isolated incidents but shared struggles experienced by a larger population.

Engaging actively can have a positive effect beyond your immediate surroundings, benefiting many others online. By neglecting your local community, you are denying yourself valuable experiences and missing the opportunity to make a global impact.

19. You are not repurposing your sermons.

Are you simply posting your sermons online and calling it a day?" If that's your digital strategy, you're missing out on a golden opportunity.

One sermon can be so much more than just a Sunday message. It can be repurposed into various types of content to extend its life and reach more people.

Now, let's see this mistake in action.

Imagine you've just preached a sermon about "Finding Peace in Christ." You post it online, and that's it. But what if you could turn that one sermon into a newsletter, a series of social media posts, or even short videos? You'd engage your audience throughout the week, not just on Sundays.

You fix this by thinking of your sermon as a content goldmine. Here's how to dig deeper:

  • Turn key points into social media posts to keep the conversation going.
  • Use snippets for a newsletter to nurture your online community.
  • Create short videos highlighting the main takeaways.

Doing this will spread the gospel and maximize your outreach efforts. This is an innovative digital evangelism strategy that helps you connect with different types of audiences on various platforms.

Quick tips to remember

  • Archive your repurposed content so you can refer back to it.
  • Use analytics to see what types of repurposed content resonate most with your audience.
  • Get involved in the comments and replies to further engage with your community.
  • Learn how to use AI to repurpose your sermons here.

20. Not optimizing your sermons for online consumption.

Are you simply transferring your church sermons to the digital world, expecting the same level of engagement?"

If so, you're making a common digital ministry mistake. When you preach in church, the title of your sermon might not be a big deal. But in the realm of digital evangelism, titles are crucial. Why? Because people search differently online, often driven by their specific challenges.

Now, let's see this mistake in action. Imagine you've delivered a powerful sermon about overcoming fear through faith in Christ.

In church, you might call it "Sunday Sermon." But online, that won't cut it. People looking to overcome fear won't find your sermon with such a generic title.

So, how can you fix this? Start by asking critical questions before posting your sermon online:

  • Who is this sermon for?
  • What problem does it solve?
  • What's a searchable title that reflects its content?

By answering these questions, you'll reach more people and connect with those genuinely interested in your message. This strategy will help you spread the gospel more effectively.

Here are quick tips to remember.

  • Use social media platforms to tease the sermon and gauge interest.
  • Archive past sermons in an organized manner, making it easier for your online community to find them.
  • Engage with your audience by asking for feedback and insights on the sermon's impact.


Don't Let These Digital Evangelism Mistakes Hold Back Your Ministry.

So, you've reached the end of this comprehensive guide on common mistakes in digital evangelism. What's the big takeaway? Simple: To effectively spread the gospel and connect with your audience, you need more than just good intentions. You need a solid digital strategy.

Most Important Things to Remember:

  • Define Your Audience: Know who you're trying to reach to make your message more impactful.
  • Content Strategy is Key: Don't just preach; plan how to deliver your message across platforms.
  • Email is Your Friend: Use it to nurture and engage with your community.
  • Blogs Extend Your Reach: They're evergreen and help you rank better on search engines.
  • Social Media Isn't Enough: You need a well-designed, mobile-friendly website.
  • Analytics Offer Insight: Use them to understand your audience and tailor your strategy.
  • Personalize Your Ministry: One size doesn't fit all; tailor your message to individual needs.
  • Repurpose Your Sermons: Turn one sermon into multiple pieces of content to extend its life and reach.

You're not just another church online by avoiding these common digital evangelism mistakes and implementing these strategies. You're a digital missionary equipped to engage and grow your online community in Christ.

So, are you ready to move forward and make a more significant impact? The next step is to implement what you've learned. And remember, you're not alone. The Center for Online Evangelism and other digital missionaries are here to help you get started.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Digital Evangelism Mistakes

1. What's the biggest mistake churches make in digital evangelism?

The biggest mistake is not having a clear digital strategy. Many churches transfer their offline activities to the online world without tailoring their approach. This often leads to less engagement and reach.

2. Why is email so important in digital ministry?

Email is a powerful tool for nurturing your online community. Unlike social media, where your posts might get lost in the feed, emails land directly in someone's inbox. This makes connecting, sharing sermons, and spreading the gospel easier.

3. How can analytics help my church's online ministry?

Analytics offer valuable insights into who's visiting your website, what they're interested in, and how long they stay. This data can help you better understand your audience and tailor your digital evangelism strategies accordingly.

4. What does it mean to "repurpose" a sermon?

Repurposing a sermon means turning one message into multiple pieces of content. For example, you can create social media posts, newsletters, and short videos from a single sermon. This extends the life and reach of your message.

5. How can I make my church website more engaging?

A well-designed, mobile-friendly website is crucial. Use high-quality images, well-written content, and clear calls to action to guide visitors. Also, implement SEO and local SEO to help people find your church online.

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Nelson Musonda
Written by

Nelson Musonda

Hi my name is Nelson Musonda, founder of, husband, father of 4, media designer, digital evangelism consultant, and blogger. You can follow me on twitter , instagram or facebook.

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