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BETA02: Pushing Church Online While Managing Reopening Transitions



We’re going back to the building, right? But we’re not supposed to go back to February 2020. How exactly are we supposed to do that again? Lay the groundwork for your digital strategy to complement your phygital church.

Answering Your Questions: THE BETA SHOW

We are launching a new show over here at THECHURCH.DIGITAL. But we need your help. Text your questions to 4THECHURCH (484/324-8724) and we'll answer them here on THE BETA SHOW. Seriously. Grab the phone. Text 484/324-8724 and tell us your questions. Where you're stuck. What questions you're asking of leadership. What questions leadership is asking of you... and let TCD help your church take some practical next steps, and give you some advice on how to BETA the situation at your church.

If you're enjoying BETA, subscribe for free using your favorite podcast app below:

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Co-Host: Rey DeArmas
Christ Fellowship Miami Online
Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Host: Jeff Reed
Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // LinkedIn


Q: What are some ways to structure to advance online ministry while managing the tensions of reopening?

  1. Korey Deck, Grace Community Church (EP099 from The Church Digital Podcast)
    • Recognize majority of people are not in the building.
    • Do the majority of your resources need to go into the building?
  2. Realize Online Complements, not Competes with, Physical. Highlight the Complementary Opportunities.
  3. What We Don’t Like About Online, If We’re Honest, We Can Probably Say About Physical.
  4. Develop a Digital Strategy for Your Church: STADIACHURCHPLANTING.ORG/PHYGITAL


We know these conversations are out there are hard. Even the best of churches haven't figured out... If this podcast is helping you and your church work through what Church Online is, then help us impact other churches! Take a moment and leave us a brief review!

By leaving a positive ranking and review of THECHURCH.DIGITAL PODCAST & THE BETA SHOW on iTunes, you're helping to get this podcast in front of new people who are most likely asking the same questions you are. Head over to that Ratings & Review section on iTunes and drop a good word for us!

Feedback on the podcast is vital as well. Leave comments on the podcast, or comment on this post! I'd love to know your thoughts and how we can serve your church better.

Love you all! Praying for your Churches and your Ministry Online.

Jeff Reed

THE BETA SHOW Transcript

Jeff Reed (00:00):
Welcome to The Beta Show. Here we are at episode two here, kicking off a new live broadcast with The Beta Show. Jeff Reed with Stadia Church Planting and The Church Digital here joined once again by Rey DeArmas, Digital Pastor, Christ Fellowship Miami. And so looking forward to having this conversation where we are answering your questions here with The Beta Show, we're rededicating this point in time, really to answer questions in context of on line ministry. So digital church, phygital church, micro church, trying to get back into the building. Online discipleship, small groups. There's so much social media. There's so much, that's all intertwined into this. So as you have questions, we want you to text us at for the church (484) 324-8724. If you speak alphabet, a telephone alphabet, it's number four, the church texts those questions, and we'll be answering those questions in coming weeks here with The Beta Show.

Jeff Reed (01:02):
And we've really, Rey, we've got a great question lined up for this one. I saw this one came in and I was like, Oh yeah, we're going to hit that one right now cause it's certainly relevant to where a lot of churches are today. So here we are with the quest the topic for today, how do we advance online ministry while reopening our physical buildings? And here's the exact question you're going to love this. What are some ways to structure, to advance online ministry while managing the tensions of reopening? If you're an online pastor out there, you are feeling these tensions, Rey, you just launched your week two here, relaunching, reopening. Tell you, tell me what tensions are you feeling?

Rey DeArmas (01:46):
There's a lot of different tensions, right? In terms of what matters more, I think it is kind of the biggest tension that everybody's kind of feeling and part of what I've tried to guide some of our leadership too, is just understanding the impact of what can be made through those cameras. Because at least still here in South Florida, we're still kind of kept as far as like what's the largest amount of people that we're able to reach in the room and the largest or allowed to reach in the room is 25% of what fits in the room already pre COVID are larger audience was being reached online, but now even more so as we enter a quote unquote post COVID reopening phase, cause COVID still, hasn't gone anywhere by the way, right? Like it's still existing and not everybody's ready to come back to physical audiences.

Rey DeArmas (02:29):
Part of what we've tried to make sure and help folks understand is, Hey, listen, what happens in those cameras still matters. And this is where having alignment and strategy in terms of what happens in person and what happens online is so important because those next steps are crucial. So you don't want to abandon your online next steps, but the entire time is Jeff and I are constantly preached throughout this entire thing. And if you want go back through some of the podcast episodes, alignment of next steps and making sure what happens in physical and what happens in digital is always crucial.

Jeff Reed (03:00):
Yes, love that. And in this season where we're trying to go back to their buildings, to reinitiate, to get our queen, the queen has been off the table for six months. We're trying to reactivate that queen. We've talked about that a lot here. We got to get our buildings working, but not at sacrificing what we have online because the reality here upfront let's recognize the majority of our bill of our people are not back in the building yet. Not sure what's actually happening there. I can just tell you from stories that I've heard churches across the country, they seem to start at about 30% of pre COVID numbers attending. And traditionally it drops before it comes back up. So it's not this massive throng of people trying to get back into the building. We're not seeing that for a number of reasons and even my own church, we've not reopened yet.

Jeff Reed (03:55):
So some churches haven't even gotten back to that place yet. So recognize the majority of the people are not in the building, which has a followup question. Do the majority of your resources need to go back into the building? It's so easy for us to fall back into that February, 2020 mindset of, Oh, well that's the way we used to do it in February, 2020. That's the way that we have to do it here mid October, 2020. But the fact is there's more people not in your building than are. And so keep utilizing the digital to stay tapped in with those people are crucial to help your church moving forward, right? What are you thinking?

Rey DeArmas (04:35):
And you know, Jeff just kind of cap off there on, on one D right? Like on resources. And so recognizing that, Hey, as we reopened, we're kind of dealing with less resources. Like a lot of things that sources are telling us is that less resources are coming in because Hey folks have lost jobs. Businesses closed due to the pandemic, recognizing that digital resources go further, faster for less money. I was talking to a friend from another church. he leads kind of their communications department. He was telling me how he was convincing his leadership to move away from billboards to, you know, they wanted to spend. and for some of you smaller churches, forgive me for these numbers because I know this is gonna sound kind of astronomical when you hear about how big churches work, but they wanted to spend a 100K on billboards. And he was saying, no, no, no more. Give me 30K in digital marketing. And also you I'll reach more people in than that 100K in billboards. And so this is where churches, you need to understand. Don't go back to what was, if you're rushing back to what was you're kind of missing the point, Amazon, Walmart, they're all moving on. They're moving on to, okay. Now we're living in a digital space. We can reach more people for less. How can we leverage less resources wisely to reach more people?

Jeff Reed (05:41):
Yeah, definitely. And learning that lesson here mid COVID post COVID coming out of the season into whatever the next normal is. Number two, realize online compliments. It does not have to compete with physical. I know this is crazy. Just take a moment. It does not have to compete with the physical building, highlight the complimentary opportunities here. You know, so much we talk about it. It's it's that old mindset, right? Getting back to like February, 2020, where we're driven by this idea of butts in seats, and that's this the goal of what we're trying to do. It doesn't, it doesn't have to be that way. We don't have to put online service to physical service and let those compete for those butts. And if online butts gets more than physical butts, well, I've already said, butts more time in this broadcast than I'm really comfortable with.

Jeff Reed (06:33):
So I need to kind of back off that, but Rey, we were just on a podcast with Jim Tomberlin, we're going to roll it out here in a couple of weeks and end the conversation there with Jim. We were really talking about this idea of how digital becomes almost the glue that connects all of these individual silos. Like we talked about. Weekends is a, is a silo. Small groups is a silo. Social media itself sometimes can be a silo. Kids is a silo students. Isn't well, we've got an opportunity with digital to now create a unified experience that connects all of those silos together, drive them in a specific place. And so digital or online is not in conflict with your physical service. It can utilizing social media and utilizing small groups be more effective in making that physical experience

Rey DeArmas (07:30):
Better. Right. And Jeff, the hard thing is, is that digital was never meant to compete with physical. I think that's where a lot of churches have that kind of misconstrued. Oh, well, people aren't showing up to our services because they're watching online. Well, they're, it's, they're still engaging with your content. The question is, are they engaging with the rest of your church? Are you helping them through your discipleship pathway? Are you helping them take next steps? And don't just talk about giving, I mean talk about like tangible things like community and serving some of those other aspects. you know, those are the things that really get people kind of queued into and glued into the life of the church. So physical and digital were never meant to compete with each other. They do compliment each other and especially in an ever changing world.

Rey DeArmas (08:08):
And mind you, you've heard us talk about this over and over again on this podcast, digital in many ways is the front door. It is the way that people are gonna engage. First. If I'm moving to a new city, you better believe that I'm checking you out online before I bring my family before I bring that commitment of, okay, I'm ready to bring my wife and my kids to your front door. And especially in a coven season already at Christ Fellowship, two weeks reopened. We've seen a lot of visitors and guests who've connected with us digitally first. And now that they're finally able to engage with us physically, they're starting to.

Jeff Reed (08:39):
Yeah, love that. And so utilizing that digital, the strengths of digital, we'll talk more about this, but it's really this phygital approach. Stadia Church Planting. We've been, we've been really championing this idea of phygital physical and digital, utilizing the strengths, working. Don't look at it competing. Let me get to number three here. And if you thought number one was an hour, here's number three. What we don't like about online. If we're honest, we can probably say the same thing about our physical because more often than not, digital online ministry is a mirror of what happens in physical space. It's a force magnifier. And oftentimes if we say, Hey, you know what? online ministry manager, we're really just creating consumers of a product. We, as a church, we need to be more than just creating the consumer. So like I would rather dive into to the physical if maybe you're different. I don't know your church, but if you really looked at your church, maybe there's an opportunity to observe maybe some of those same consumerism practices, maybe not getting people on mission or the mobilization at your church. Maybe there's an issue at the overarching issue. It's not just the digital.

Rey DeArmas (09:52):
Yeah. You know, and this is a discipleship conversation. So, you know, if you have somebody come up to you and says, well, why do I have to come in person? If I can just watch it online? That right. There is a discipleship conversation because all they're concerned with is consuming content. Hey, if I can watch it at home, what's the difference between me watching it at the theater? You know, it's the same thing I can tell folks about, Hey, why should I go to an NFL game if I could just watch it at home? Why would I spend all that money if I can just watch it at home? Well, the difference is is at an NFL game. I'm not invited to take part in it with courage. I'm supposed to be an active participant in church. And I don't just mean clapping my hands and raising my hand and raising my hands during worship.

Rey DeArmas (10:26):
I mean, I'm supposed to be one of the players. I'm supposed to be one of the coaches I'm supposed to be involved in the game. This is the big difference between attending an event and partaking in a team, which is what I'm supposed to be as part of a church. Now of you view church as just, Hey, the people show up and then they go home. Okay. That's fine. Yeah. I agree. Online is completely competing with your physical stuff. But if you're trying to move people along a discipleship pathway, then it kind of doesn't matter how they consume the content, whether they're in person or whether they're at home so long as they are moving along your discipleship pathway. Right. If they're engaging through all the different things, if somebody is in a small group, if somebody is serving, if somebody is giving, if somebody is participating in those things, if they're serving their community through your church, then yeah. You know what? They might show up once a month, physically in person. But they're more active than a person who shows up four times on Sunday and doesn't do any of that stuff.

Jeff Reed (11:21):
Yeah. And what's awesome. Is Rey, I'm just learning more and more functionality here. We're actually getting comments from the outside. Let me throw some of them up here that are just vibing just with us. Like we're doing this in real time, Christian, by the way, on Facebook, isn't reopening that way and allowing people online to look into the room, essentially going back to in the building ministry is more important and more effective. This consumer mentality, isn't this what we're trying to avoid. Like Christian's making a great statement right here. Andy Hill also on Facebook, Andy says so much, my face is literally covered at this moment. Can't even see me on the broadcast. I've never looked better, Andy, you are a beautiful man wearing that hat, at the end of it here. so it's still personally online. Congregation is not just a camera in the room.

Jeff Reed (12:12):
So what we're hearing from both of these guys is this idea of creating more than just a camera in the room observation, where it's not going back to the old, but it's creating this digital discipleship pathway, a physical discipleship pathway, a unified discipleship pathway engagement pathway because the end game isn't nuts and seeds or viewers on our Facebook feed. The end game truly is let's get to that disciple maker. And now let's figure out how, how to do that, utilizing the physical and the digital approach. Right? And what's, what's beautiful about this is this is exactly what we're doing through the church, digital and Stadia church planting. It's what made this question. So, so relevant. It's like, Hey, we got to talk about it because churches are struggling with this. They're struggling with that digital strategy that works with the physical strategy and how it all comes together.

Jeff Reed (13:07):
And so if you're interested in more information and learning how to do this checkout Stadia church,, phygital P H Y G I T a L we are helping organizations like yours, churches like yours, learn how to take advantage of the strengths of physical, the strengths of digital and help you learn how to develop that digital strategy, that discipleship pathway, so that your church can thrive, grow and multiply looking for more opportunities. 2021 is going to be incredible year. So much exciting stuff happening, in context of how we stayed here. Yeah, we, the church digital are going to be able to help out in that, by the way, there's plenty of other beta resources @ other blogs podcasts that we've done recently, we're coming up on our 100th episode. That'll be launching here of the church podcast starting next. That's publishing Monday, right around the corner.

Jeff Reed (14:04):
So all sorts of great stuff coming up. I wanted to give a homage here. So, so this question was asked, I didn't know who it was. It was a phone number who was texted. I didn't have the phone number saved, had no idea who the person was. And so I just thought, man, that's a great question. When want to come back to it, let's drill into it. I scheduled it. I was like, Hey, we're going to do it. And even just last night I texted the person like at nine or 10 at night saying, Hey, just wanna let you know, we're going to answer this question by the way. Did you want to get mentioned on the podcast? No pressure, but just wanted to ask if it was okay. The person said, yes, it's Korey Deck out of grace community church up in, in New York. He's actually the guy that was our guest on the most recent podcast, episode 99, where we were talking about shepherding pastoring people digitally. So Korey, great question. It is Korey week here at The Church Digital. We are nothing but Korey, all Korey all day long. So it's going to be awesome. Hey Rey, just as we're wrapping up here, any closing thoughts on all this stuff?

Rey DeArmas (15:06):
Yeah. You don't have to agree with Jeff and I on any in any of this stuff. If you disagree, make sure and let us know in the comments or share with us some of your thoughts. You know, these are just some things that we're observing and that we've kind of been piping into you. And the other thing is just keep the questions coming. You know, we in no way consider ourselves experts. We are talking about this stuff because much like you, we are testing these things out in real time. We're all learning together. And that is important. The important thing is, is that we share what we are learning as well. So if you're learning something new, let us know what the church digital as well.

Jeff Reed (15:35):
Awesome. Love that. Christian just asked another question. Can you talk about ways that your attendees can engage that's outside, beyond a physical building? Yes. Christian. Yes, we can. In a future episode of beta, we will tackle this when that's a great question. I'm going to make sure to save that. If you want to text me once again, text all questions to, For The Church. (484) 324-8724. See what I did there. I kind of channeled my inner DJ from way back in the nineties. Modern rock. Good times. The choice.

Rey DeArmas (16:09):
Yeah. I was feeling like a 1960s Batman. Join us next time. Same bat time. Same bat plan.

Jeff Reed (16:19):
What is that? That's beautiful. Alright, we're going to wrap. For Rey, this is Jeff with The Church Digital, Stadia Church Planting. Text in those questions. Let's continue moving forward. Thanks for joining us here at Beta Show. We'll see you next time. Y'all have a good day.

PODCAST 099: Korey Deck - Shepherding, Pastoral Care, & Mourning Digitally
BETA02: Pushing Church Online While Managing Reopening Transitions

About Author

Jeff Reed
Jeff Reed

With about 20 years experience serving the church in the digital/technological realm, Jeff loves working with churches. As passionate about Discipleship as he is Technology, Jeff uses his passion to help Churches develop technology systems to bring people far from God closer to him. Oh, and he loves Digital Church & Church Online.

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