One of the most important elements in helping people feel connected while doing video is having a host to virtually “greet” people as they log in to your online streaming service. This person can interact with the viewers during the service, provide important information, answer questions, add encouragement, and walk guests through their online experience.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live life and the way way we “do church”. Even if some restrictions are getting lifted about people meeting in groups, many folks will be hesitating to just jump back into “going to church”. Streaming your services live, or simulated live, will continue to be very important part of your ministry.
Whatever medium you use to stream, it should have a live chat feature. This ability to interact live with your congregation is essential–it is how you turn viewers into participants.
Here are 10 things your hosts should be prepared to share in the chat:
1 – PERSONAL GREETING
Introduce yourself and greet people personally as you see them log on. If you have a small congregation and want to make people feel truly known, you can say something personal (but not too personal!).
2 – ASK SOME QUESTIONS
It’s important to seek feedback and participation. Let them know you are listening. Ask simple, non-intrusive questions that people will want to respond to.
3 – PRAYER REQUESTS
Explicitly invite prayer requests, either right within the chat or through a link to a private page or email address.
4 – LINKS
Make it as simple as possible for people to fill out a connection card, go to see the sermon notes, or your church website and blog. It’s important to make the link open into a new page without taking them away from the streaming video.
5 – ENCOURAGEMENT
Everyone needs encouragement, and the live chat of your worship service is a great place for that. Post a brief Scripture verse related to the sermon topic (or used directly in the sermon) or a simple reminder of biblical truth.
6 – QUOTE THE PASTOR
People generally need to hear something (or read it) multiple times before it sinks in. Help your congregation really take in the main points of the sermon by putting them in writing. Repeat a significant point after the pastor says it.
7 – YOUR NEXT STEPS
Perhaps the very best way to turn viewers into participants is to help them take the next step to engage beyond their device screen. Make sure you provide a clear invitation for people to take whatever their next step may be and include a link or clear instructions on how to take that next step.
8 – PRIVATE CHAT
If a particularly sensitive or private issue arises, or you sense a need to pray more specifically or have a longer conversation with someone (chat messages usually have a limited number of characters), hosts should be prepared to take the conversation somewhere else.
Encourage your volunteer hosts to spend some time preparing before the service. If you have access to the pastor’s notes, have hosts read them over so they can be ready to reiterate the main points, the “take away,” or application challenge when it is said.
9 – GIVE ONLINE
Giving is part of worship and people need to be reminded that their faithfulness in supporting the church is still important. A gentle reminder will help and providing a link where folks can donate will be very helpful.
10 – FOLLOW UP
If you are able to get email address or some type of contact information from your viewers, a follow up will add to their online experience and help people more fully connect with you.
StreamingChurch has all of these features and more in the video/chat platform. We have designed our streaming services specifically for the church. Let us know how we can help you.
Go to StreamingChurch.tv for more information.