Online church is much more on the minds of most church leaders than in years gone by, and with obvious reasons. If anything positive has come out of Covid, it’s that it has forced most churches to take a good look at what they’re putting online.

In the past, many pastor thought of the online services as something they (often grudgingly) allowed so that shut-ins and/or people on vacation could still see the services. Those days are gone. In addition to providing an option for those who can’t physically be there, the online service – along with the church website – is now the church front door. People can and WILL check the services out online before attending in person to see what they are like. The hard truth is that bemoaning that reality won’t change it…

Since it will be the first impression many (if not most) people have of your church, the strategy should be to make the online experience of all elements of the worship service as good as possible. Ideally, that means someone (staff or volunteer) “running” the online stream. I watch the online services of churches across the country with a fair amount of regularity, and there is a very obvious difference between live video directors that have prepared and those that haven’t. Mixing audio for online is different that mixing for your auditorium/sanctuary, and should be a priority. Knowing who is leading a song, as well as solos as vocal entrances, goes a long way. Being prepared for transitions between service elements (especially spoken prayers, etc…) can be the difference between engaging those watching and leaving them hanging…

If the church doesn’t have the resources to have someone dedicated to online, set up the best system that you can and regularly test things out to make them as good as possible.

More in the days to come…

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