As we approach Easter 2020 it seems like we have become part of some weird, apocalyptic, biological warfare movie. We are told to self-quarantine and not gather in large groups. But wait…what about Hebrews 10:25 that commands us as Christians to “not forsake gathering together”?
The solution for most churches has been to do an Online Easter Service. Many churches have found themselves streaming their services on-line for the first time. I want to help you do that effectively. Here’s how.
1. Check Your Tech
The internet has already brought streaming TV, movies, theater, concerts and even library resources into our homes, why not church? The issue is people now expect a certain level of execution. A grainy image where the preacher runs off camera occasionally or a song service where the sound is terribly mixed won’t cut it.
Excellence is doing the best you can with what you have. This is not meant to be a ‘how to’ article, there’s enough of those, but more of an ‘avoid these issues’ look. Here’s what you need:
- An HD Camera – Most smart phones will do but make sure you can record.
- A Streaming Service – There are free services such as YouTube and Facebook Live or so many paid options you can search for. For now, pick one and get started.
- Decent Lighting – What looks good in person, looks shadowing online. Don’t back light yourself. Light should come from front.
- A Good Sound Mixer – if you’re going to just broadcast the preaching, any decent mic will do (more than just your phone) but if you’re going to do music, get a trained sound volunteer to mix it. This is where we had the most trouble until we had one person mixing live and a 2nd person devoted to the online mix. With an online only, you only need one sound person.
The main thing is to do a rehearsal broadcast where you make sure ALL your tech, including your streaming services work well.
Social media a key here. Make it as easy as possible for your people to invite their friends. Create a Facebook Event they can send Evites from. Create tweets they can resend. Instagram an invite from the pastor. Be as absolutely as active as you can. Especially the week of Easter.
Email and text blast anyone who has ever come to the church! It’s an opportunity to reconnect with people who have moved away or maybe aren’t attending a church but came to visit once 3 years ago. It doesn’t matter, they may reconnect to your church.
3. Emphasize Prayer
This seems to be a given but people are out of their routines right now. I find when I’m out of my routine, such as on vacation, I actually pray less. People MOVE towards what they pray for. If you can get your people praying for salvations and for people they want to invite, they are more likely to reach out to their unchurched friends.
Since only God can save a soul, we should get Him involved in His service.
4. Offer Multiple Service Times
The main benefits is this, people need sense of urgency Don’t just put your service online and tell people they can see it whenever they want! Half of the people will never watch it. I know it seems illogical but without a dealine, a sense of urgency, we procrastinate the things we want to do for the thing in front of me. Sales people have used this to get us to buy ‘Today Only’ for years.
Trust me, give them multiple options but give them specific times to attend.
5. Plan Follow Up
God called us to ‘make disciples’ not decisions. Plan to create ways to gather people’s information during the Easter services so you can connect with them afterward.
We have an online Connect Card through our church App but you don’t have to get that fancy. Ask people to comment with their name and where they’re watching from on Facebook. Ask for an email or text, if they accept Jesus as savior.
If we will prepare, this virus attack can be an opportunity to connect with new people and grow.
If this blog helped you comment below and if you know someone who would benefit, please share it with them.
I am currently accepting application for my VIRTUAL Church Leader Coaching called Potential Leadership Coaching. To learn more about unlocking your leadership potential and your church’s growth potential go to PotentialCoaching.net or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.