Church: Virtual Access to an Essential Service

Jun 1, 2020 7:45:00 AM / by Kevin Roberts

Man on computer watching a sermon

During these times of isolation, some countries have identified churches as essential services for churchgoers. Still, accessing a place of worship can be difficult due to health and safety concerns of ministry leaders and members. As such, a virtual alternative to in-person attendance can help encourage participation from the homes of your congregation.

Video has become the most powerful communication tool of choice and enriches retention by 85% over text. Additionally, although it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, by recent estimates, one minute of video is worth a staggering 1.6 million words. Thus, video communication speaks volumes when compares with traditional forms of messaging.

Church recording sermon and computer with video reaching audience at home

Reaching younger generations with video

It’s no secret that church audiences across North America are aging, and the way people consume information is rapidly changing. And, considering individuals who have grown up knowing only a digital world, like Millennials and Gen. Zers, it is beneficial to understand that they interact differently than previous generations.

In fact, according to statistics compiled by Viral Solutions, only 28% of Millennials attend church every week, yet 71% state they believe in God. The discrepancy in these percentages indicates there is a gap between young Christians’ willingness to worship in a church. Furthermore, among the top things Millennials look for is rich content with a good quality worship service. For them, rich content and good quality might translate into the demand for a channel with which they feel comfortable and familiar.

Video library on a computer

Transforming ministry with a video platform-powered media center

Today, most churches are streaming a weekly service that usually pushes people to a third-party “social media” solution. Unfortunately, these third-party sites do not always align well with ministry-based brands and purposes. For instance, YouTube is known for being the go-to video platform for a variety of purposes from entertainment to education. Still, there are alternatives to YouTube that might better fit a church’s unique needs.

It can be advantageous to create a video platform that powers an online media center to host a variety of video content, free from conflicting content, inconsistent branding, and distracting advertising. Providing such a platform for leaders and churches to aid in promoting ministry work would equip their front line with relevant resources and rich, dynamic content.

As mentioned earlier, many churches online presence consists only of streaming weekly church services. However, ministry leaders must ask themselves whether streaming a church service once a week is enough to build an online community and discipleship. In many respects, the answer is no.

Understanding the relationship-building value of a media center powered by a video streaming platform will accentuate a church’s identity, values, and beliefs in achieving online success.

An effective method to elevate your connectivity is to provide members with a complimentary media center to share, teach, and learn, a church is then giving its community a voice through a medium on which they feel comfortable.

In particular, building and promoting a church community can be aided by:

  • Building and enhancing virtual connectivity amongst a church family beyond a weekend service to provide access-on demand every day of the week.
  • Encouraging community uploads and live chat so people can share and connect
  • Offering members an opportunity to seamlessly and securely give online while watching content on your media center.
  • Sharing special occasions like weddings, holiday celebrations, baptisms, and funerals
  • Providing channels dedicated to different church departments (e.g. children, youth, and discipleship ministries)

By offering church members a supplementary way of engaging, giving, and attending church services and events, their passion can be heard among peers and leaders alike.

What you need to get started

To make the most of a video platform, a church can optimize the content they are producing by ensuring the following technical tools and processes are in place before, during, and after your event.

  • Staging: A multi-camera setup, lighting, versatile green screen and sound stage provide a creative foundation to enrich the message within your video. Also, giving remote access to Live Event Operators makes streaming efficient.
  • Video management: Presentation should be aesthetically pleasing and meticulously organized. For instance, depending on the number of videos you already have on your website will determine whether you need a scrolling function for easy browsing.
  • Audience management: Features such as customizable embed codes, social sharing protocol and user access, customize how you intend your content to appear and subsequently enjoyed.
  • Portal management: Issuing administrative and back-end website operations permission to your digital ministry team members allows your content to be adaptable and responsive to unanticipated events.

Live sermon streaming on a computer

A platform for the next generation’s pastors

A branded media center powered by a multipurpose video platform, like Cochrane Alliance’s, can serve as much value to pastors as it does to a congregation. Having such a tool at their disposal, pastors and ministry leaders can benefit from utilizing online features to foster growth and increase engagement.

Some of the many advantages being realized by churches using a video platform with versatile features include:

  • Creating videos from home so leaders can easily serve the church in all areas of ministry
  • Hosting online training and development content for special groups and staff
  • Live streaming and recording weekly services to grow the Kingdom of God with online viewers
  • Managing a growing video library with ease
  • Sharing the Church’s values and beliefs securely online, on any device, anywhere

With these capabilities, pastors can seamlessly communicate with church members to share the Word and encourage community participation, but also to effectively and efficiently manage church activity so that all ministry work is given the attention it deserves.

 

Family watching a church service together

Investment in changing lives in changing times

According to a recent Gallup poll, 44% of respondents disclosed that they prefer to worship alone instead of in a church. Knowing that, a big question churches need to answer is how to reach and engage with people outside of a traditional church setting.

In uncertain times, developing a sound digital strategy incorporating a church media center can propel your church into promising new directions.

Ultimately, adapting to the preferences and demands of the digital age in which we live acts as a supplemental tool that encourages participation amongst followers. By offering a video platform to facilitate engagement with church members of all ages, locations, varying physical ability, and walks-of-life, churches can virtually minister to people anywhere, anytime.

To learn more about how one organization is helping churches respond throughout the changing COVID-19 environment, please visit Vidflex Faith.

Tags: Faith

Kevin Roberts

Written by Kevin Roberts

By day, Kevin is a Content Specialist at Worldplay — where he specializes in, well, content. By night, he enjoys wordsmithing his creative pieces of literary fiction.

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