Continue Engaging Your Congregation – Digitally

I often think of our church as a busy place, full of people, smiles, and the smell of coffee. But right now our church feels a little like being in the mall after closing time. While that may be the case for churches all across the country, we’re fortunate to live in a time where there are still many amazing ways to stay connected as God’s people.

As a digital company serving the Church we have the opportunity to talk with so many creative pastors and staff who are always pushing to engage God’s people and God’s word in truly unique ways. Below we’ve collected some of the best ideas and strategies from our experiences as well as from the churches we are blessed to serve.

If you have questions about any of these or would like help implementing them, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Continue to build engagement via your website and app

The first weekend after the suggested quarantine many churches saw a 300-700% increase in their app engagement and even more on their websites.

For many churches their app and website became their primary engagement vehicle. Now that users are there, how can you continue to engage them in a very personal and encouraging way? Below are a few ideas:

  • Offer forms for those that might need assistance. Many families will need extra assistance during this time, whether it be food or finances. Ensure there are ways for people to share their need with the church.
  • Create opportunities to fill those needs. Help connect those in need with those with resources via opportunities such as delivering supplies to coops or shut-ins as well as shopping runs for those at a lower risk.
  • Prayer. It goes without saying that we need prayer globally. Lead your congregation by providing daily or weekly prayer targets.  Consider adding a Prayer Wall to your app or website to allow members to submit prayer requests and to pray for each other.
  • Group Communication. Help groups or teams stay connected with the group communication tool in PocketPlatform, or using our Group SMS tool. This may even be a great time to set up a group for your crisis management team.
  • Daily/Weekly Devotionals. Many churches have already offered devotionals via the app or website, however now might be a great time to create a daily Bible reading or devotional to encourage and exhort your congregation.
  • Ensure people know about your online services. Add site banners, pop-ups and posts on your site or set up dashboard recipes in PocketPlatform to ensure your live stream is present in your dashboard. You can also send out SMS or push notifications when services start to remind people to get online. Many families will be outside of their normal routines so these extra prompts can be critical in helping them stay engaged.
  • Add additional watch opportunities. In addition to your app consider deploying a native AppleTV or Roku app for your church, providing even more opportunities for your congregation to engage in worship digitally.
  • Include Sermon Notes. Don’t forget to include your sermon notes to help people stay engaged at home.
  • Engage Donors. Help your donors stay engaged by creating communications to target specific donor groups or thank people for their faithfulness. This could include significant donors or those who are “lightly lapsing” (have given very consistently but missed one or two opportunities) or a larger group such as all members + regular attenders.
  • #hashtags. This is a great opportunity to create a sense of community around a common rally cry, or hashtag. Northwoods did a great job of this with their #northwoodsanywhere. Using hashtags wisely can create a sense of unity and belonging.

As COVID-19 continues to spread quickly we as a people are having to adapt at a very fast pace. It’s very possible that this is all over in 8 weeks or less, or this could become our new normal for a time. Either way, we have no doubt that God is in control and nothing has escaped his will and dominion.

Even as many church teams raced to setup live streams and communicate effectively with their congregation and community we are still working together to stay connected, encourage one another and ultimately glorify God. Our goal with these ideas is to provide resources, support and inspiration to you and your church.

If there is ever any way that our team can support you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.