Should Signing Up Be Difficult?

I’ve embraced an All Online strategy for ministry functions that involve signing people up for something, mostly employing Eventbrite and Google Forms. Want to sign up for the mission trip? It’s online. Want to apply to be a leader on that trip? Online. Want to propose a course for our Youth Summer Bizarre? You do that online too.

The promise of the online sign up is ease. It’s just easier for people to fill in a web form, and even to submit payment on a website, than it is for them to scribble answers on paper, write a check, and then stuff all of that in the mail (“Where do I mail it again?”)–or even remember to bring it with them to church next Sunday.

The fulfillment rate on that promise is less than 100% though, because, of course, school and soccer and Girl Scouts are utilizing this strategy as well. People reach a saturation point with online sign ups.

Also, they have to want to do the thing your clever online form is for. Google can’t help you generate interest for events that are simply uninteresting.

Here’s my question: is there value in making it harder to sign up for some things? Is making the enrollment process for mission trips and teaching opportunities convenient actually hurting the effort? Is the willingness to complete all the analog steps a signal of commitment that we’ve lost?

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6 thoughts on “Should Signing Up Be Difficult?

  1. I may be old-fashioned, but I see all the online options as less personal. How I can I feel commitment without connection? And virtual connection is really only virtual. The physical sign-up and check writing make one stop and pay attention, if only for a moment, to consider the commitment and make a conscious decision instead of a mindless one. We sacrifice connection for convenience, and we need to focus on that unseen cost. What does it say about us as a society that we would prefer what is easy over what is, as neuroscientists tell us, a basic human need?

    1. I agree and what about all the people who either can’t use a computer or don’t like it. Church shouldn’t be mechanised.

  2. AIGH! You know i disagree about virtual connection being virtual. I know it’s real, but it’s only as real as you make it.

    How connected do you feel to the commenters on this blog, even if you don’t see them hardly ever?

    But… a blog is a lot more engagement than a form. I would say, it might be the form that’s the problem, rather than the medium

  3. Online forms can help with efficiency for us as leaders and those needing to get things turned in but haven’t helped much with belonging or community unless I’ve followed up with a thank you or personal reply of some sort.

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