Easter is here, and it’s going to be online. Pastor, you can do this. Breathe deep. Let’s go. Here’s some tips that can help you along your way.
Leading into Sunday, Give a Challenge to Your People to Invite, Personally
With all this high tech involved in the church today, we definitely need some high touch. Inviting people to share a service on social media is a big win any week, not just on Easter week. That being said, a social media share is equivalent to seed tossed on a worn-down path. Church, want to throw seed on moist soil? Get your people to personally invite… In this socially-distant world we live in today, the physical interaction we get… even from zoom or a phone call… means more today than ever before. A high touchpoint like a two-way conversation will go a far way showing we care.
Kids Will Be in the Service. Take a Moment to Recognize, Speak, and Minister to Them.
I’m really surprised more churches don’t take advantage of this. My 9 & 11 year old kids are watching the same Church Online service I am. How great would it be to include them in the service, at some point, speak to them directly? I don’t want blow up Bob the Tomato & Larry the Cucumber to walk out onstage (necessarily), but acknowledge the presence of the people in the room. As families worship together, be aware there are more people engaging on each device than ever before. Can a micro-shift of your service go a big way in engaging more people?
People Will Be Wowed by Creativity, But They’ll Be Impacted By The Teacher’s Authenticity
Knowing Creatives, even with the curveball of the “Easter Online” coming so late into the season of planning, I am sure all of the services will be creative! I for one am looking forward to seeing all the creativity in all these online services this Easter. That being said, realize that the wow factor, even in this unique season we’re in, really isn’t as important as the authenticity of who you are. Pageantry and overdramatizations are successful in large and small venues, but what you’ve probably realized by now is that these are not things that work online.
Pastor: look at the camera, preach from the heart. Land the plane in 25 min. Ted Talks are 18 minutes long, and are meant to challenge the head. Take an additional 7 minutes to get the message from the head to the heart.
Figure Out How to Have Two-Way Communication on the Sunday, and We’re Not Just Talking Chat Rooms.
The biggest challenge to your Easter weekend is NOT the lack of a venue… it’s the lack of a lobby to meet, greet, handshake, hug, and pray in. Chat Rooms can be effective, but not everyone wants to chat! Figure out ways to engage people in two-way communications in different ways. Facebook Groups are a great way to get people to engage in two way communication after the service. Plus, all these YouTube, TV App, Mobile App viewers can have a place to congregate for community.
Do a post-service debrief with your pastor, digital pastor, or worship leader in the facebook group and use the exclusive content to pull people into the Facebook Group/Lobby, and then from there, pull people into prayer. Make the post-service lobby an experience… but don’t forget to mention the experience often in the service. Work hard to push your attenders towards the Facebook Group.
Successfulness of your service isn’t gauged by Sunday, but on Monday.
We’ve talked about counting a lot. There are several different articles that have been written (by Joey Santos and Jen Miles) that go far in trying to define if your service was a success. I would suggest that these analytics may not be the best way to tell if we’re successful… maybe we should count what’s next.
What does your follow up look like? Who is contacting your visitors and guests? What ministry opportunities are you funneling them into? Our Sundays, even our Easter Sunday Service, is only as effective as it funnels new people into a discipleship process.
Your Ministry Should Not Happen at the Cost of Your Marriage
Let me tell you a story. Holy Week 2011 was one of the low points in my ministry life. Wife sick at home with two kids under the age of three, and still I managed to work a 98 hour work week. Truthfully, one of the worst weeks of my life, what came as a result was a product that brought honor to God, but didn’t honor God. Shortly thereafter came the realization that my wife really didn’t love me and my kids no longer knew my name. As busy as this season is, prayerfully establish and know where those boundaries are.