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If you're streaming your services live and you have a chat feature, you assign at least one online host. The role of the online host is more than just monitoring the chat and making sure nobody says anything out of line. Good hosts encourage participation from viewers, help them connect with one another, and grow spiritually.

Below are ten things your online host should do to enhance a viewer’s experience.

1. Always welcome those entering the chat

We recommend when you welcome a guest, ask an introductory question to get to know them.

EXAMPLE: Hi johndoe, welcome to our online service! How's your day going?

2. Ask icebreaker questions

Help spark discussion, recapping key points from the message that stand out to you personally. Posting questions that help facilitate conversations. Ask open ended questions. Posting questions that help encourage conversations and interactions.

3. Offer Prayer

Offer prayer to guests in the chat area. You can pray with people right in the chat area, or encourage them to click the Request Prayer button if they’d rather talk and pray with a serving team member privately.

4. Calls To Action

Encourage viewers to take the next step in their spiritual growth, whatever that might mean to them. Remember, you’re a big part of the online service and what you say can help others.

5. Share Your Life

If the timing and moment is right, share something about your own life. This opens a door for guests to do the same and feel more comfortable in the chat environment. Relationships are built based on our weaknesses, not our strengths. If we are willing to share our experiences with others, our willingness to share can lead others to share as well.

6. Point Out Links

Point out different links on the video/chat platform. Hopefully you have a donation link, a digital connection card, as well as other links that can help people get involved in your church.

7. Encourage Viewers to Invite Friends

It’s much less intimating to attend an online service than it is to walk in the door of a church you haven't visited before. Ask your viewers to think of a friend or family member that might be willing to check out the service online. Provide a direct link for others to view the live stream.

8. Thank Viewers for Attending

Always let your guests know you appreciate their attendance! Give them contact information in case they have questions or needs.

9. Follow-Up

If you have the ability to get the email addresses of your viewers, sending follow-up for watching is a valuable tool. Don’t be pushy, but let them know you are available and always encourage them to come back to the next live event.

If you have a StreamingChurch.tv account, you can collect emails when your viewers join a live stream and setup automatic follow-up emails.

10. Direct Viewers to Archive

Your church should record live streams for an archive library (learn more here). You can also point people to other types of videos or podcasts. This will help them connect even more to your ministry.

Being an online host can make a huge difference for viewers of your online streaming. If you have questions or need help with this topic or anything related to ministry, we are here to help. We have over 20 years of experience working with churches and our team members have even more!

Reach out to us today: email [email protected] or live chat on the bottom right of this screen.