What are your goals for your ministry using streaming?

  1. Grow my Local Congregation – I want to put more butts in the seats and grow my local congregation.
  2. Reach the World with the Gospel – I have a more global approach and I want to reach as many people as possible with the good news of Jesus Christ.
  3. Start Another Campus – I want to eventually plant another church either in town or at a new specific location.
  4. Create an Online Church Congregation – I want to replicate what I have going at my local church (fellowship, worship, teaching), but online with a group that primarily meets and interacts online.
  5. Provide an Alternative for those Unable to Attend in Person – I want to provide a means for those already committed to my ministry that are either out of town, or unable to attend in person for other reasons to attend the service.
  6. Add Another Service to Reach those that can’t Attend Weekends – I want to provide a worship, teaching and fellowship experience for those that can’t attend on weekends due to other family or work commitments.
  7. All or a mix of the above?

Primary Ingredients to a Successful Streaming Strategy

  • Marketing and Promotion – How, when, where and why you create awareness of your online streaming ministry
  • Message Content – How you address the online crowd, how you tailor your sermons, etc.
  • Fellowship Investment – How important is fellowship with the online attenders? What fellowship environment do I create for my online attenders.

Let’s dig into some suggestions and approaches for using these three primary ingredients in different ways to achieve your specific goal.

Goal #1 - Grow my Local Congregation

Marketing and Promotion

  • Since with this goal, my focus is on my local congregation, I will limit my marketing and promotion to those close to my physical facility.
  • Facebook and Google ads will run only in my neighborhood or within a short drive to my facility.
  • I may also create a blitz campaign to catch those in my neighborhood online Sunday mornings to drop into my online services.
  • I will promote the online service heavily on social media where my congregation is already connected with the church leadership on social platforms.
  • I will equip my members to invite their neighbors and co-workers to the online experience.

Message Content

  • Since my goal is local growth, my message can reference things local to my church (ie – the weather, the local college or pro sports team, city events, etc.). I can also reference the current time (“good morning everyone, isn’t this a beautiful cool morning here in Austin?”).
  • I will make sure to let the congregation know that we’re broadcasting and how to let their friends and neighbors know how to join the service online.

Fellowship Investment

  • Those acting as online greeters and hosts should examine where each online attender is viewing from and act accordingly (ie – encourage those nearby to drop in on a future service in person).
  • Recognize first timers and have your best online greeters and hosts observe that there are a lot of first timers and treat them special. Perhaps ask “how did you hear about us?”, etc.
  • Make people feel comfortable and give them a taste of the nature of your church and it’s people.

Goal #2 Reach the World with the Gospel

Marketing and Promotion

  • Since with this goal my focus is on reaching the world or a nation, I will expand my marketing and promotion to those around the globe or in my targeted nation
  • Facebook and Google ads will run nationally or globally.
  • Since my target is global, I won’t focus too much on my social network since that is typically limited to my friends and my area. And instead focus on tools that have a more global reach.
  • I may also create a blitz campaign to catch those online Sunday mornings to drop into my online services.

Message Content

  • Since my goal is to reach the world with the Good News, my message will not reference things local to my church (ie – the weather, the local college or pro sports team, city events, etc.). I will also not reference the current time since while it may be morning here, it may be evening for the viewer.
  • I will include a message that would be appropriate to different cultures, regions and nations.
  • Modeling my message after the tenets of a message that Billy Graham would have preached would be appropriate.

Fellowship Investment

  • Those acting as online greeters and hosts should be very gospel oriented.
  • Provide opportunities to pray online with viewers.
  • Online hosts should be equipped to answer questions about their faith.

Goal #3 Start Another Campus

Marketing and Promotion

  • With this goal, I will target the area immediately surrounding my planned campus.
  • Facebook and Google ads will run only in my neighborhood or within a short drive to this location.
  • I will promote the online service on social media where my congregation is already connected with the church leadership on social platforms.
  • I will equip the future leaders of the new campus with tools to invite those they interact with daily.
  • I may do some physical marketing like posting signs about the future campus at the campus location and prominently promoting the online services that are already underway.
  • I may do some of my initial services as video services using broadcasts from the primary campus.

Message Content

  • If the campus is in the same town or area, my message can reference things local to my church (ie – the weather, the local college or pro sports team, city events, etc.). I can also reference the current time (“good morning everyone, isn’t this a beautiful cool morning here in Austin?”).
  • I will cast the vision of the new location to generate interests, volunteers, leadership, etc.

Fellowship Investment

  • My online hosts may consist of the future leadership of the future campus.
  • Those acting as online greeters and hosts should examine where each online attender is viewing from and act accordingly (ie – alert those nearby to the future location and opening dates, invitations to reach out to them in person for a quick introduction meeting).
  • Discussions on the online platform should include discussions and details of the future campus.

Goal #4 Create an Online Church Congregation

Marketing and Promotion

  • Facebook and Google ads will target those I want to reach for online fellowship.
  • I may target a specific group that would be open to relationships online. Maybe those already socially active online, or those that would have a likelihood of making friends online.

Message Content

  • Reference those attending online as “our online campus”. Reference staff dedicated to the online campus and the ministry that occurs there.
  • Create opportunities for online participation beyond the weekend services (bible studies, small groups, etc.).

Fellowship Investment

  • My online hosts will be outgoing, welcoming and someone good at fostering relationships online.
  • Promote online activities outside the weekend services that the online viewers can attend and participate in.

Goal #5 Provide an Alternative for those Unable to Attend in Person

Marketing and Promotion

  • My marketing will be pointed to those already attending my services in person.
  • Signs and messages around the physical facility. At Alive, they have a sign as you enter the sanctuary saying “live video broadcasting underway...”.
  • My existing marketing material to my congregation (ie – newsletters, email, social media, etc.) will reference the fact that we also provide live streaming if you can’t make it in person.

Message Content

  • My message can reference things local to my church (ie – the weather, the local college or pro sports team, city events, etc.). I can also reference the current time (“good morning everyone, isn’t this a beautiful cool morning here in Austin?”).
  • I may pray for those that we know aren’t able to attend due to unfortunate circumstances (in the hospital, major life events, etc.)

Fellowship Investment

  • My online hosts will pray for those that are experiencing issues that may keep them from attending in person.
  • My online host may highlight some of the things that those attending online may be missing out on since they aren’t at the facility.

Goal #6: Add Another Service to Reach Those Who Can’t Attend Weekends

Marketing and Promotion

  • My existing marketing material to my congregation (ie – newsletters, email, social media, etc.) will reference the fact that we also provide a mid-week service for those that can’t attend on weekends.
  • Update website and other materials to list the mid-week service.

Message Content

  • Since this service is from a recorded service over the weekend, there should be no mention to time based things (ie – good morning, good evening, happy Sunday, big game today, etc.) by anyone (announcements person, worship leader, sermon/message).

Fellowship Investment

  • Even though the service isn’t actually live, having a live web host is a must.
  • My online hosts will answer questions, address guests, etc. The online host will be forthright if anyone asks if the video is live, but won’t make a point of explaining the video is recorded unless a viewer asks.

We hope this material is helpful. As always, Phil and Steve would love to get your thoughts on the podcasts and material covered. Send your emails to [email protected]

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