Plenty of churches broadcast their services online. Take your service and put it on Facebook Live. It's super-easy. Why not do this? Our traffic reports show us people are watching, but who are they? What are they looking for? Let's dig in while we look at the three different types of people who attend Church Online.
1) "Front" Door People
This is the easiest, and most tolerable group for churches today. Front Door people are those who are interested in visiting your physical campuses, but want to check out your Church Online first to see if they like your physical church service. Maybe they received an invite card from a friend, or saw something on social media or the website. Typically, churches who only want to reach the front door attender want to connect these people to the physical campus to do ministry. Often, the underlying philosophy with the church is that discipleship cannot happen virtually. It has to happen in physical spaces.
2) "Side" Door People
This happens more than most churches care to admit. Side Door people are those who are already connected at your physical campus. For whatever reason they could not attend physically any given week, and rather than missing the service they are watching online. Maybe they're on a vacation or business trip, or have a sick child and unable to leave the house... maybe they are staying at home in their pajamas staying on the couch this Sunday. For most churches, this is perceived as good, and bad. For some churches, they love people that can stay connected, but they fear the competition that Church Online is competing with the physical locations. Churches who use Church Online to reach Side Door people view Church Online as a beneficial, but necessary, evil.
3) "Digital" Door People ("Only Door")
For the church, this is often a controversial group of people. Digital Door people are people who do not attend your physical location church, or anyone's physical location church for that matter. The Church often perceives these people as those with physical limitations, social issues, time constraints... whatever the issue is Digital Door people have connected with you and your church. As much as we want to paint Digital Door people as freaks and weirdos, Digital Door people are more than these stereotypes. The best part of Digital Door people is they have, without any work from the church, bought into the church's DNA. They believe the mission and vision of your church. What they need is for the church to disciple them... to help them develop spiritually just like the church would at their physical locations.
The key to reaching Digital Door people is to meet them! They are used to attending Church Online in isolation, which is horrible. Discover who they are. Meet them. Put a name to the stat on the traffic report. Encourage them to be part of a Discipleship Pathway designed to help them grow deeper in their faith. Create a Biblical Community.
Whether you like it or not, the Digital Door people are there. If you are effective reaching Front Door people online, you will impact Digital Door people who cannot make it to a campus. Church, remember, we're responsible for their life change as much as we are at the physical locations. What's the plan?
For many of us, it's time for Church Online to grow up! We've been broadcasting our services for a while now, but there's a next step... and that is to tackle biblical community online as well as discipleship online. How do you get started? Download our eBook What Happens When Church Online Grows Up and discover effective ways to create a healthy discipleship pathway for your church online, one that can effectively reach, impact, and disciple people Online.