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EP279: Evan Connelly, Intercom.com, and Chat 2.0 for Churches

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Leveraging Live Chat for Enhanced Church Connection Creating Community Through Digital Ministry

The recent episode of TCD podcast EPA 279 featured Evan Connelly from Lighthouse Church, who shared insights into utilizing live chat as a tool to foster community within the church. The use of Intercom.com, a platform typically used for customer service, has been repurposed by Lighthouse Church to create personal connections between pastors and the congregation, both online and in-person.

Digital Tools in Post-COVID Era

Host Jeff Reed and Evan Connelly delved into the challenge of some churches devaluing digital tools post-COVID. However, their conversation highlighted the success of live chat, showcasing the church's services beyond expectation, building a sense of belonging for onsite and online attendees alike.

Buy-In from Diverse Ministries

The commitment to fast response times and substantial engagement was central to the discussion. Lighthouse Church has managed to get a variety of staff, including pastors, elders, and directors, bought into the idea of live chat. They achieved this through regular team meetings, recognizing and rewarding good performance, and fostering collaborative environments.

Inclusive Digital Ministry for Introverts

Acknowledging ministry's psychological effects, both Reed and Connelly, self-confessed introverts, discussed how digital ministry is particularly suitable for individuals like them. It allows for interactions that might be more draining in person to be manageable and even enjoyable in a digital space.

Expanding the Scope

Lighthouse Church's chat, developed during COVID, demonstrates an understanding of digital space as an opportunity for accessibility and support. By integrating platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google Business, the church has created a unified communication hub that allows swift responses and personalized connections.

Continued Innovation and Accessibility

Evan expressed the church's future goals, focusing on improving response times and increased awareness of their chat platform. The desire for continued innovation emphasizes the significance of adaptability and the potential of integrating new technologies for ministry purposes.

Conclusion

The conversation at TCD podcast shed light on the value of incorporating live chat into church ministries. It suggests a progressive trend where churches can develop deeper connections with their community, resonating with the needs of a modern congregation.


Timecode

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 09:05 Teasing next chat, a chance encounter discussing church project.
  • 11:15 Accessible personal support for church members expanded.
  • 16:48 Offering support, prayer, and guidance in chats.
  • 25:24 Encourage small group involvement and offer counseling.
  • 31:44 Integrating various platforms for streamlined communication.
  • 33:26 Priority on accessibility across different platforms emphasized.
  • 39:08 Skills in prayer, technology, and response are important.
  • 42:23 Impressed with getting team buy-in.
  • 45:56 Strengthening response time, integration, and promotion efforts.
  • 48:07 Passionate about discussing church leadership; open communication.

ON THE SHOW

Host: Jeff Reed
Founder, The Church Digital

Guest: Kenny Jahng
Online Campus Director, Lighthouse Church


QUESTIONS & RESOURCES

  • Intercom - http://intercom.com
  • Evan Connelly previously on The Church Digital Podcast - https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=X0VmQC43k8g
  • Churchome's Jonathan Song talking Pastor Chat on The Church Digital Podcast - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJV0gCpEBPs
  • Churchome's Pastor Chat - https://www.churchome.org/pastor-chat
  • Evan's Presentation for Church IT Network - https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1OiAVac0eaWx9L671nGTO62DPcPiqHvMjlMGKT4MGGM0/edit?usp=sharing
  • How does the platform intercom.com specifically enhance community engagement and create a sense of buy-in for different ministries and teams?
  • In what ways has Lighthouse Church adapted their use of digital tools post-Covid to continue providing value to both onsite and online attendees?
  • Discuss the balance between leveraging staff and pastors versus volunteers in a digital ministry like the one at Lighthouse Church. What are the advantages and challenges of each approach?
  • Evan Connelly mentioned the response to individuals expressing thoughts of self-harm. How does an online ministry prepare and equip its team to handle such delicate conversations?
  • What role do immediate response times play in creating a sense of availability and connection in an online church environment? Why is aiming for a two-minute response time critical for Lighthouse Church?
  • The church integrated communication platforms into one hub using Intercom. What are the implications of such a centralized approach to digital communication for church engagement and pastoral care?

HELP ANOTHER CHURCH. LEAVE A REVIEW.

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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
THECHURCH.DIGITAL

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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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EP287 - Innovating for Impact: Jeff Reed looks at Digital Church Movements

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