One of the biggest reason for taking your church services online is you want to reach more people. At the same time, one of the biggest questions I hear from churches that I work with is, “Is our church online it’s own campus”? Yes and no. It can be. But should it be?
What is the goal of your church online?
I want to help you clarify this through 4 different experiences your church online can be. I gave this talk at CITN conference in 2017 but it’s more applicable now than it ever has been. With more and more churches taking their services online, it’s important to know what you’re doing in the online space.
All 4 types of experiences have their own pros and cons. None are better or worse than the others. Read through this with open eyes and ask God what He wants to do through your church’s online experience.
The first type of online experience you can have is a Viewer. Imagine a one-way glass window. Simply a window in which someone can look through to see your services happening. There is no interaction with those watching. There’s no follow up, there’s really no way for them to connect with the church. But it’s ok, at the end of the day it’s not for connecting with the church. It is simply for people that call your church home to view a service when they’re not there physically.
The second type of experience is an Outreach. In this experience, imagine an old fashion Saturday sidewalk kids outreach. You invest some money, some resources, and hope that a couple people loved it enough to check out your church the next morning. The return on investment (ROI) is very low. Your prayer is that through showing your services online, people in your area may find it, check out a few services, then come check out your church in person.
The third type of experience is a Ministry. In a ministry, much like one in your physical church, there is a budget, goals, and a mission as to how you’re going to accomplish the goals. You may even have a review process to see if those goals are being met. A ministry ROI is higher than an outreach because you are putting a higher level of investment in to it.
The fourth type of experience is a Campus. This is where many churches go straight to, and as the old saying goes, “too big, too fast”. With a campus, an online attender should be able to experience everything online that they could at a physical campus. Because this helps accomplish the Great Commission, it takes much more strategy, time, and resources than the other three.
I would love to walk with you and your church through these deeper. If you are interested in coaching, and learning to identify what your church may be capable of or taking the next step in the online experience you offer, visit the Contact page and fill out the Ministry Development form to start the conversation!