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During times of change and uncertainty, people often lean on churches and their religious communities for a sense of stability. Houses of worship serve as gathering places for their congregation and offer resolve for those seeking salvation during hardship.
Traditionally, churches have relied on word of mouth and physical ministering to reach and expand their following. Today, modern technologies allow their reach to go beyond physical walls and provide options for those who cannot attend service in person. Live streaming services have become a new way for religious communities to gather, despite distance.
When houses of worship cannot meet at all, such as during the COVID-19 outbreak, these technologies offer a solution for churches looking to support their congregations remotely. In this blog, we will share our favorite tips for strengthening your church’s online presence.
With just a digital camera, a few cables, and a computer, religious leaders can deliver online sermons to their following. Live streams, Zoom study groups, and downloadable information all provide opportunities to maintain engagement within the community.
We reached out to Scottsdale Bible Church (SBC), located in Arizona, to discuss their online strategy. From pre-recorded services to study sessions, they are creative in the way they keep their congregation connected.
Offer Pre-recorded sermons
In addition to live streams, pre-recorded services give your followers the freedom to participate on their own time. SBC posts replays of their services on their website, Vimeo, YouTube, and Facebook in an effort to make their content accessible to everyone. It is also beneficial to create a familiar schedule to help maintain normalcy for the congregation.
Build Community Through Discussion
In response to questions and concerns in their community, SBC uses Facebook and Instagram live to provide real-time updates. Live features on social media channels provide space for you to host devotionals, facilitate Q&A sessions, provide church updates, and lead prayer groups.
There is also opportunity to create discussion boards and topic groups to encourage conversation.
Maintain Your Group Ministries
Despite not having a physical space to meet in, group ministries are still an important element of religious communities. When unable to meet in person, SBC’s study groups maintain their schedule by moving their sessions to a live stream. With tools like Zoom, you’re able to virtually connect with group members and address weekly topics, sermons, and other action items your ministry would normally discuss in person.
Maintaining these groups gives your congregation access to intimacy that may be challenging to achieve during larger live streams.
Use Brand Assets to Grow Your Following
Each of our tips present opportunities for graphic content that will strengthen your Church’s visual identity. From video thumbnails that accompany pre-recorded sermons to illustrations used on your website, there are plenty of ways to evoke brand recognition and emotion from your audience.
As more religious content becomes available online, it’s important that your messages are easily identifiable and digestible. To help expand your reach, invest in website graphics, logos, and video elements that build a cohesive brand for your Church. Design Pickle is available to help guide the creation of these assets, and provide creative inspiration for connecting your community.