9 Tips for Better Online Church Services
While the world starts to reopen, and many churches are easing up on restrictions, you may still notice a less than stellar turnout during your services. One way to keep donors engaged and coming back is a clear line of communication. Online church services with the possibility to stream your service from anywhere in the world have become an asset in the last year.
Don’t get discouraged with the state of the world today and assume that people’s faith has weakened. In fact, Pew Research noted that 24% of American adults said their faith has become stronger because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Check out our blog post on why leadership in the church matters even more now.)
Want to plan better online church services for your outreach ministry? The key to enticing donors and congregants to attend your services is in the planning. Here are some great tips to make your online church services a success.
Quality vs. Quantity
You don’t need to plan lengthy services online, as most people have a short attention span. Don’t waste energy on long and elaborate ceremonies. Make it a shorter, but quality experience that will have people talking about it even afterward This way, the word gets out about your online services, and donors can bring other potential donors to your doors. Online services can be as simple as a half-hour online prayer session, for example.
Consider Everyone’s Schedules
It may be easier to plan your church services for a weekday, rather than a weekend. Find out when your congregation is most likely to attend an online meeting. Would it be midday on Mondays or a Wednesday night? You also need to consider people’s varying time zones, or family schedules. Making it as easy as possible for folks to connect with you is essential.
Create a Bit of Social Media Buzz Beforehand
Apps like Zoom make it easy for anyone to join an online church service with one link. If you can promote your events on your church bulletins or social media pages, do so. Tweet about it, create unique hashtags, ask those in your community who have followers on their social media pages or a good Christian network to spread the word.
Make It Interactive
When doing live online church services, people like the opportunity to communicate and interact. Ask them to text in their questions via SMS or have your church volunteers manage the social feeds, taking questions and answering immediately. If you have guests speaking, let them also take Q&A’s from the audience live. This creates a deeper sense of community.
Make Use of Technology
If your pastors want to invest in their online church services, consider upgrading tools such as cameras, microphones, and lighting setup. The resources online are limitless, and there are very affordable solutions for better communications. A good presentation, or lack of it, can make or break the experience for others. For more tech resources, see DonorWerx’s software, built to increase online giving.
Hook Donors from the Start
Give people something to look forward to. Let them know what the service is going to be about, who your guest speakers are and why their voice matters, and what the takeaways from your service will be. This lets them know there will be a return on their investment of time. Let them know when you are doing a humanitarian fundraiser online, to ensure more people show up to give.
Consider Anyone Who Is Tech-Challenged
Don’t just assume that all of your congregation has easy access to Wi-Fi, or understands how to use livestreaming tools. Allow plenty of time before the event to teach people what they need to know and make sure everyone is connected properly when the big day arrives. If you have staff available, you can set up helplines for tech support. For those who cannot join live, give them access to downloadable content from your service. You don’t want any donors feeling left out.
Include Families and Kid-Friendly Options
If some of your donors and congregation have children, consider that they will need special attention during the online church services. Anything drawn out will not keep the young ones’ attention. You can offer some musical entertainment at the beginning or even a separate link to an online room where trained volunteers can tell the children relevant Bible stories live.
Maximize Content Shared During the Online Service
Any videos created for this online event can be uploaded to your YouTube channels and viewed at a later date. Your speeches can be turned into short blog posts. Think out of the box of a single event, and make the most of the content you are creating. You can even create future follow-up tools and give people something to look forward to.
How DonorWerx Can Help
Streaming your first online church service is often daunting. There are so many questions, and you need to be prepared. Smooth out glitches beforehand, and know what to expect with our array of tools and resources created for churches.