Happy New Year!
I hope that your new year has begun well and that you are healthy in body, mind, and spirit.
This will be a longer than normal email but a very informative email. I recognize that some of you will not be interested in the data below, that is fine. I find it fascinating and very encouraging.
One of the downstream consequences of COVID has been more regular (annual and semi annual) visits with doctors as they monitor my vitals. This past week I did blood work and, thanks be to God, my vitals are in very good stead. Again like last year, the best they’ve been in my adult life.
St. Andrew’s Vitals
As we begin this new year we thought it helpful to give you a report on our vitals, St. Andrew’s vitals.
Well into our second year of COVID we are gaining insight into what normal is beginning to look like. And to be as candid as possible, our new normal looks quite a bit like our normal pre-Covid. This was on full display for our in-person Christmas services which were packed with over joyous 2000 worshippers!
What is different is our discovery that our reach (the number of people with whom we engage) has exploded.
First, what we’ve seen this past year. We performed:
- 43 Baptisms
- 21 Confirmations
- 33 Weddings
- 8 Funerals
- 47 New Adult Members were welcomed
- We averaged 91 people in Ridley (69 in-person and 32 online)
Children and Youth
- Nursery – Pre K ministry reaches 232 kids*
- Elementary School ministry reaches 431 kids*
- Middle School ministry reaches 276*
- High School ministry reaches 305*
- Day School – 170 students enrolled
NB., in these cases, by ‘reach’ we mean how many kids/students in our database with whom we are engaged. It does not mean how many show up on a weekly basis. As you might expect, our youth participation reflects their parents’ participation.
What Do These Numbers Tell Us?
All of the above numbers are right on target with our pre-Covid numbers. A few things stand out:
First, 8 funerals in a congregation our size is extremely low and surprising (all the more in a year in which Covid numbers well-surpassed those of 2020). Combined with the other numbers we see that we are a fairly young and growing congregation (of course, we see this with our own eyes every week).
Secondly, this past autumn Maddy Donaldson succeeded Kyle Holtzhower (who was called to be a rector) and reimplemented in-person Alpha and our Discover St. Andrew’s Course. Those 47 new adult members noted above are the fruit of Maddy’s first semester in her new role. Well done, Maddy
Our Online Presence
The following vitals are a direct result of Covid forcing us to offer ministry opportunities in new ways. Specifically, our online presence has exploded. I was shocked by these numbers.
We have live-streamed content from the Ridley Institute beginning in 2011 but we did not stream our first Sunday service until March 15, 2020 from Mt. Pleasant Academy and that was only on one channel. The second service was live streamed the following week. Greg Shore was in the balcony of the Historic Church with one camera and John Burley was in the pulpit. I was in the hospital on a ventilator.
Today we stream two Sunday services each week and one Wednesday service each month on three channels. Alpha and the Ridley Institute both broadcast on an interactive channel (Zoom) so people can participate remotely. Many of our special events are streamed as well.
440.5 K minutes; 20.4 K views
Viewers watched our YouTube channel over 20,000 times in the past year and watched a total of 440,500 minutes. The only content on YouTube are the live-streaming services and they only stay online for 60 days.
275.7 K minutes viewed
Again, we only keep Sunday videos for 60 days. All of our non-Ridley video content is posted here and/or on our website.
33.4 K minutes; 2.7 K views; 24+ countries
60-day shelf life on sermons. Vimeo hosts our embedded videos and archives and most traffic comes from sermon views.
Total Time for Online Video Views
749,600 minutes of video viewed online.
520 Days, 13 Hours, 20 minutes
Two years ago, we would have only produced around 23 days of video views.
Sermon Podcast Performance
7,376 plays in 2021 in 24 countries.
Largest age group 45-59 (33%). Second largest age group 28-34 (29%).
Sermons stay online for 60 days.
More information about the sermon podcast is on our website.
Ridley Institute Online
Vimeo for Ridley
82.0 K minutes; 3.5K views; 12+ countries
This is where all of the recorded content from the Tuesday and Sunday classes reside.
Ridley Podcast Performance
1067 plays in only 4 months (8 episodes) in 12 countries
37% of listeners are young – 28-34 age group
Learn more about the Ridley Institute Podcast.
47,701 users in 72.4 K sessions in 2021
152.4 K pageviews
62% are mobile users. 35% visit the website because of a Google search result. Nearly all of the rest are direct access (user types StAndrews.Church into the web browser), links from our emails, or links from other websites (Ridley, ADOC, Facebook, Instagram, AlphaCharleston).
Top Ten StA Specific Webpages, ranked by pageviews
- Staff Directory
- Day School
- Who We Are
- Prophetic Prayer
- One Church Multiple Locations
- Mt Pleasant Sermons
What can we infer about the page ranking?
- Non-StA people are looking for information about when we meet and who we are (1,6,8).
- StA people are looking for staff contact information, sermons, and the prophetic words from Sunday (2,3,4,7,9,10)
Website User Demographics
Largest age group is 25-34 (25%). Evenly split by gender.
We sent 188,066 emails in 2021.
Open rate for 2021 – 45%. Industry average 34% for non-profits.
In the last quarter of 2021 we had a 60% open rate – up 33% from the previous 90 days.
The church uses ConstantContact.com to keep members informed about what is going on at St. Andrew’s Mt. Pleasant. If you are not currently receiving the emails, you can sign up on our website.
Open Rates for Targeted Emails
- 63.2% – This Week at St Andrew’s
- 58.0% – Children’s Ministry
- 55.0% – Men’s Ministry
- 52.2% – Women’s Ministry
- 50.3% – Youth Ministry
Who in their wildest dreams could have imagined that this “little brown church on the corner” would have such engagement?!? To God be the glory! Amen and amen.
In the family,
Steve & Jacqui