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?