With how much of our interactions happen online now, more and more churches are using technology to encourage spiritual growth and fellowship throughout the week.
This is not to replace face-to-face teaching and fellowship, but to reinforce it, providing opportunities to learn and build relationships in addition to the few times a week people can get together.
Here are five tips for engaging your church online—and how ministry tools like Faithlife Groups and Faithlife Sites can help.
1. Post your sermon online
This is an easy one, and most churches are already doing it—which is good because more and more learning is happening online through video.
Even if you just post audio, that’s a win, as podcasting is on the rise, too.
Either way, a lot of people will look to your church website and other communication platforms for your sermon. Maybe they missed the service, want to hear a certain part of the sermon again, or want to use your sermon as a launching pad for small group discussion.
When your sermon is available online, you create one more avenue for people to engage with God’s Word.
Faithlife Proclaim, Sites, and Groups are a powerful combo for sermon sharing. You can record, edit, and publish your sermon in Proclaim, and it will automatically populate your church website (Faithlife Sites)—with accompanying visuals, too. The sermon will also appear on Faithlife Groups, your church’s online community hub.
2. Host discussions
Get your congregation talking. Post a discussion question in your church’s online newsfeed—for example, in Faithlife Groups—and encourage people to weigh in on the comments.
There are endless questions you can ask, from personal/devotional ones to more thought-provoking questions about the Bible:
- What passages or truths about God have been on your mind lately? What is God teaching you?
- We’re planning our January sermon series. What topics would you like to learn about?
- What is everyone reading these days? Give each other some suggestions for what to read next.
- What book of the Bible do you find most difficult to understand? Why?
- There are parts of Genesis 1 and 2 that overlap. Why do you think that is?
Opening up discussion is a great way to invite your church to share how God is stirring in their lives, what God is teaching them, or how they would like to grow.
Faithlife Groups is a great place to do this. You can use the standard news feed to post a quick question, or you can use the Discussion feature for an even better experience.
3. Post photos and videos
This is a fun, easy opportunity that carries serious power for building relationships.
Seeing pictures and videos of your community reminds you of the gift of fellowship God has given through your church and inspires members to keep digging in.
It also typically elicits conversation. People can’t help but comment on pictures of their life together, and so face-to-face interaction leads naturally to online interaction.
This is also a great way to drive traffic to your church website, where people will be just a click away from other important information, like how to give online or get more involved.
Faithlife Sites comes with 50 GB of storage your church can use to post photos, videos, and more to your church website. You can also share them on Faithlife Groups for online interaction, and people can download media straight from your church’s file vault.
4. Post blogs
Churches are in a prime position to publish blogs. With all the studying and teaching pastors do, they are finding valuable material all the time that others would love to know.
Additionally, church staff like children’s ministry pastors, youth pastors, and more are probably doing a lot of research on issues related to children and teens—issues that parents would love to know about.
Share the wealth.
Host a blog and invite your church to read it. You may even invite gifted writers from your church who aren’t on staff to contribute.
Depending on the expertise covered between your church staff and members, you could host multiple blogs on specific topics, like:
- Biblical studies and theological resources
- Current events and social trends
- Marriage and family
- And so on
Blogs like these are also a great way to drive traffic to your church website, which will increase your ranking in online searches and make your church more discoverable.
Faithlife Sites Premium will soon support blog hosting, but in the meantime, you can use Faithlife Groups’ article feature the same way. Post photos and format your text for an attractive, readable post you can share with your whole church. And in Faithlife Groups, you can create subgroups in your church—say a group just for parents of teens—and then post articles just to that group.
5. Take surveys
Get a pulse for what your congregation thinks about virtually anything. This is a great way to help your church plan for upcoming events, sermon series, and more.