According to Barna Group research, 1 in 3 Christians have stopped attending church (both in-person and online) during the COVID-19 pandemic. [Source]
When churches first “closed their doors,” some thought it would be a quick break — but now, it feels like the new normal. If your church doesn't have a strong web presence, members can easily fade away or find another online ministry.
Don't let your congregation slip through the cracks! If you've been live streaming and active online for the past few months, your members may be suffering from "online burnout." Stop the fatigue by following our steps below!
1. Accentuate Your Assets
Remember to record your services! Once your religious broadcast is recorded, it's a valuable asset. Make sure it's widely available and easily accessible. Share it on social media accounts, email it to your audience, make a webpage for it.
Cut-up the best parts of your church videos — social media loves quick, digestible, content. Post 1-2 minutes of the most spiritual or impactful parts of your pastor's sermons and link to the full version of the recorded broadcast.
2. Don't Expect People to Find You
Nowadays, people are more likely to "shop around" for ministries. Especially with the rising amount of churches solely online, make sure your church stands out. Setup live stream notifications for your congregation so they remember they are apart of your church family.
Assign members of your staff to respond to online chats. Don't expect your church members to jump online and be active during the sermon — make sure you have online hosts. Check out our to-do list for online church hosts.
3. Switch It Up
Don't get in a digital rut! Don't have the same announcements, the same call-to-action artwork, the same background images. You can make a couple small changes at once, but make any big changes one at a time. The goal is to make noticeable differences, but don't overwhelm your audience.
If you have a StreamingChurch.tv account, change your Dynamic Area images and switch out different buttons. When weekly visitors join your live stream, their attention will be drawn to the specific changes.
4. Add Something Fun
A great way to set your church apart is by adding a bit of fun to the mix! Hold trivia games before your weekly sermon or as a break during bible study. Have a fundraiser to help a community project or a local charity. You'll have a strong strategy if you pair interactivity with a good cause.
5. Incentivize Social Media
Offer rewards for various social media interactions. For example, garner social media followers by holding a giveaway for a $10 gift card. Announce the giveaway with a beginning and end date — anyone who follows your page within the timeframe will be entered into the giveaway.
You can have the same sort of incentives for sharing a post on Facebook or re-posting an Instagram story.
6. Remember Positivity
Being honest about the negatives of the world right now is important, but it’s equally important to remain positive! Your church members need moments of hope and laughter during an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear. Make sure you emphasize the loving and protecting nature of God.
Don't downplay the pandemic, but always foster a community of support.