When you start looking at ways to bring your church online, some things are obvious, such as livestreaming your service and using digital channels to communicate, like email, social media, or a church app. But until recently, most churches didn’t have to think about things like facilitating an online kidmin program or running digital small groups.
In recent weeks, we’ve seen churches across the country mobilize to bring more of their ministries online and place a greater emphasis on digital community. Churches with a strong digital strategy are thriving, despite no longer being able to meet in person.
Here’s what they’re doing:
1. Using Zoom for small groups
Email and social media just don’t cut it for small groups. These church members aren’t just trying to communicate reading assignments or relay prayer requests, they’re trying to facilitate community and build relationships. And while in-person interactions are the ideal setting for ministry, video meetings are the next best thing.
Zoom certainly isn’t the only way to ensure your small groups get face-to-face time, but it’s far and away the most popular video conferencing tool right now. Whether you use Google Hangouts, Skype, or another platform, the point is to give people a way to meet, see each other’s faces, and hear one another talk.
2. Creating YouTube playlists
YouTube playlists are a great way to share your ministry-specific video content, like kidmin lessons, stories, and activities. You can also use them to curate content from other YouTube channels. You could round up encouraging messages, inspiring stories, uplifting devotionals, or helpful Bible study guides. If your church is equipped to create your own library of video content, do it. But if not, you can still serve and lead your congregation by pointing them to quality videos they can use to grow.
3. Livestreaming services
Livestreaming is one of the main ways churches are exploring digital ministry right now. Unlike recording your service, livestreaming maintains the sense of community by allowing everyone to participate in worship together and hear your teaching in real time, just as they do during your in-person services. Depending on the platform you use for livestreaming, you can also create opportunities for digital interactions through chat, prayer requests, surveys, or emoji reactions.
4. Sharing videos
There are a lot of ways your church can use videos to digitally engage your congregation throughout the week. You could start a regular devotional message or worship session shared by a staff member. You could host live Q&As or video chats to talk about specific topics. Or simply share what’s happening in your church right now.
Creating video content doesn’t always have to be a huge production. A quality smartphone works just fine for most of your needs.
5. Cultivating digital community
Some people in your church are quarantined with family or roommates right now. Others are completely alone and may spend days without seeing or speaking to another person. Use your platform as a church to show people that they’re not alone, and create opportunities for members to interact with people who love and care about them. For some, you may be their only outlet where they feel they can share and be heard.
Your staff can’t personally interact with every church member. But you can facilitate experiences for members to connect with each other. Don’t just tell them chat is available—encourage them to use it in specific ways, like sharing prayer requests, asking questions, or commenting with ideas or insights.
Let us help bring your ministry online
One of the best ways for your church to distribute documents and content with your congregation is through a quality church app. This digital hub connects members to everything that’s happening in your church and gives you valuable new communication channels to interact with your congregation, like push notifications and surveys.
Talk to an expert and find out how we can help bring your ministry online.