Due to COVID-19 churches have been looking for ways to move their online church experience from streaming to a more engaging and relevant worship experience. During this pandemic, the church was confronted with the fact that the overall church experience would not be able to rely on the creative delivery methods of the past. On-stage special elements, enhanced sound, intentional transitions on stage from music to message…you get the idea. These things, which are great things by the way, allow people to experience the message in a very different way. They provide a REAL experience, not only by listening or watching through a screen but also through appealing to three of our basic senses: sight, sound and touch. They are simply ALL GONE. Today, we are challenged to provide this overall experience through the screen of TVs, computers and mobile devices.
There is one thing that remains from our pre-Covid-19 worship experience. Content. The same content that we used to deliver every Sunday that appealed to all those senses, is the same content that we are using today. I believe we are finding new ways to engage with our audience and through engagement, we are leading people to commit to God and His Kingdom more than ever.
Online engagement is necessary, but should not be our final goal. Our goal is to lead people to a point of commitment to God. Here are the top 3 commitments we can already see happening through the online church experience:
1. Commitment to God
People are focused on the message. It is now available to them 24/7. They do not have to wait for Sunday, and can choose a time where they are able to devote their time to the message. People have access to daily Godly content more than ever before, and we need to continue to invite people into a relationship with Him during every opportunity we have. There are always people seeking Him for the first time, or even after reconciliation. Either way, we need to make it easy for people to feel connected. We do this by making ourselves available through different channels to talk, pray and receive confession.
2. Commitment to Discipleship
I see more and more people asking for resources to grow closer to God, and becoming more like a disciple of Christ that we are called to be. By engaging with your audience through relational discipleship on online platforms, you allow attendees to experience God and each other, through community in a more meaningful way.
3. Commitment to Make Disciples
The next natural step for a disciple of Christ is to make disciples. We need to increase the commitment in our churches to drive disciples to GO and MAKE.
When it comes to the online church experience we have one thing we can count on to drive people from watching to engaging, and from engaging to committed followers of Christ. That is content, and content alone. I do not think this principle is exclusive to the online church experience. As we start to consider going back to holding worship experiences in our buildings, we need a fresh look at how we can turn the great content we are currently creating, and apply our creativity to be more intentional on how we make our experience with God more relevant to everyone who may come to both physical and digital churches. Again, our goal is to guide people to see Him through everything we do, not us. By seeing Him we will be part of a plan that will multiply disciples of Christ like never before.