Digital Church Not Working? Seven strategies to help your ministry online!

 
Online church isn't working? Attendance down? People Zoomed out? Here are some thoughts on how to respond. This video is in response to an email I received this week from a minister I know. A minister who is doing GREAT work online. What would I do? These are some guiding principles and targets to aim for.

1. Vision casting = your magnetic field

Vision casting creates the energetic (magnetic) field that gathers and holds a congregation together. This requires an intentional effort to share your congregation’s purpose, mission, and vision through your online communication and STORYTELLING.
 
2. Get to "We" ASAP!
Collaborative, Non-hierarchical. Many leaders are falling into an "us versus them" — I’m creating content for them — approach. You need to get to “We” as fast as you can. You can still have roles and responsibilities, still have bylaws, etc… but your leadership needs to be collaborative and create a sense that...
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Facing discrepancies between our IDEAL ministry and DIGITAL ministry

To have healthy conversations about ministry models and innovation, leadership teams need to be honest about the discrepancies between what they "signed up for" and what's required in this moment.  Start there to avoid conflict forcing you to go there. 

Question: Hi Peter! In the pre-social-media church world, the "membership funnel" was simple, or at least seemed simple. People entering our congregation's orbit started as visitors to Sunday worship and/or attendees of programs. The end goal, from the church's perspective, was to get those people to ... join the congregation. Is there a similar end-point in the new social media world? Is it the same endpoint?

Friends, before we can talk about specific endpoints, there are conversations that require our attention. 

We have to talk about ministry models.  And discussing new models and what's required to be of service and thrive today brings us face to face with discrepancies between what many of you "signed up...

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Embracing a Digital Ministry Mindset

The world has changed. How you lead your congregation and do ministry needs to follow!  That was pre-pandemic.  Now, with digital trends accelerated,  we need to embrace a new mindset.  This video discusses what I think this looks like.
 
We need to shift, at our core, from a focus on hosting weekly physical worship service and associated secondary activities to a primary focus on leading an online process of spiritual exploration, growth, and learning with a direct connection to small group exploration.  Groups that can be online (Zoom) or offline.
 
There are always exceptions, but I think this is the winning strategy for the majority of congregations in my training community.
 
This video is an excerpt from Video Ministry Academy, my digital ministry training focusing on video strategy. 
 
Have digital ministry questions? 
Your questions fuel my ongoing live strategy and Q&A sessions.  Submit a question and I'll...
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Digital Ministry, Faith Formation, and COVID19 - Seminary Edition!

congregations Nov 10, 2020

What do covid19 and the accompanying acceleration of digital trends mean for seminarians, clergy, and our congregations at large?     

On Thursday, November 12, 2020, I offered this live session for the digital ministry unit of an asynchronous seminary class.   

PART 1:  I share the story of how the process people use to research, explore, and connect with faith communities has transformed over the course of my time working with congregations. This has resulted in a growing discrepancy between the behavior, preferences, and expectations of digitally oriented people and what congregations and their leaders are offering.

PART 2:  I share some highlights of strategies I recommend and why. This includes how ministry leaders can use digital communication — especially video -- to engage with members, friends, and the larger world. We need to engage with people online, showing up in these digital spaces, if we want them to even consider...

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Turn your congregation's YouTube channel into a 24/7 welcome center!

congregations Sep 29, 2020
 

Congregational Leaders  - Get new posts via email including invitations to live strategy sessions, training updates, and other ministry resources. 

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In this ministry strategy session for congregations, how to turn your YouTube Channel into a 24/7 online welcome center for newcomers!

First, we need to  acknowledge a few things:

• People are online in record numbers!  You know that.

• People love video.  We've entered a "video first" world.  Its the majority of all internet traffic and content people are consuming.

• The people who are exploring your congregation online, they are looking for information, inspiration, and connection.  Video is a fantastic way for them to learn about your congregation. 

• People have massive social anxiety, and its only getting worse in my opinion, so we need to make it easy for visitors online to connect.

"By 2022, online...

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Congregations: On reopening, relaunching, and reimagining!

congregations Sep 25, 2020
 

Congregational Leaders  - Get new posts via email including invitations to live strategy sessions, trainings updates, and other ministry resources. 

• Watch Video on Youtube
Subscribe to Audio Podcast

In this ministry strategy session for congregations, I discuss the importance of differentiating between RE-OPENING, RE-LAUNCHING, and RE-IMAGINING  your ministry in response to the pandemic.

Covid19 has rapidly accelerated existing digital and cultural trends.  We’ve probably seen 5 to 10 year's worth of change over the last six months.  

It's hard enough for congregations to keep up with changing culture and technology.  This pandemic has launched us, essentially, into the future!

That's right, friends.  You're doing 2030 ministry.  It just happens to still be 2020.  

What does this mean for your congregation? 

Your congregation's health, impact, and sustainability requires that you understand our present...

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