Many churches are considering offering either online-only or hybrid worship services that their congregations can enjoy from their devices and the pews.
But having an online church service poses a whole new challenge to pastors who don’t have experience in digital ministry yet. You don’t get that ready connection and response you can gauge from people in person.
There are a few more challenges that church leaders face when deciding to take their services online:
- How can they ensure that people are going to attend their online services?
- How can they keep up the level of engagement?
- What kind of services can they offer to small groups?
And these are only the tip of the iceberg.
That’s why in this quick two-minute guide we’ll be teaching you how to do virtual worship the right way and make it just as great as your in-person services.
What Is Virtual Worship?
First, let’s talk about a few definitions. What really is virtual worship?
There are many ways for people to meet with others online to share their love of His word that go far beyond a television-like broadcast.
Virtual worship can include anything from online Sunday services to small one-on-one counseling chats and even extend to meeting in virtual reality. The sky is the limit, depending on how the church decides to offer its online services.
What Is The Purpose Of Virtual Church?
The purpose of virtual church isn’t necessarily to replace in-person services. The goal is to extend the reach of your church’s community beyond what is possible for meeting in person alone.
Think of what happens during school holidays for example - people go on holiday with their families and church attendance takes a nosedive. When you offer in-person services only, you lose out on the time you would normally spend with your congregation.
But if you have an equal online counterpart to your services, suddenly the opportunities open up. People can attend your church from wherever they are, and now those pews are filled with virtual seats.
It also goes further than your normal Sunday service. Think about small prayer groups, Bible studies, and other gatherings that churches usually cater to. These can become remote too, and churches can schedule them throughout the week to get engagement every day instead of just on Sundays.
How Do You Conduct A Worship Service Online?
For pastors learning about digital ministry, it’s important to know how to conduct a worship service online.
Much of your messaging and preparation will remain the same as a pastor, but there are a few things to keep in mind when you are going to stream.
First of all, equipping yourself with the right hardware and software is going to make a massive difference. Pastors don’t need to buy top-of-the-line audio and video equipment but they do need to choose a camera and microphone that is clear and delivers good quality video and sound.
Once the hardware is covered, it’s time to look into the software. This is where many churches fall short, finding their online services lacking attendance and more. Streaming from Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube is a means to an end but it won’t offer people any more engagement than watching TV does.
What pastors and churches need is a platform that is made for all the purposes religious communities need. This includes video and audio streaming options, the ability to create small groups, allow people to greet their neighbors, and more.
That way they know their congregation is actively engaging in their services and connecting with what the pastor is saying.
How Do I Start Online Worship?
The best thing to do is choose the right platform straight out of the gate. This way churches can build on the foundation of the platform and build their media team and virtual presence around it.
This is why when deciding how to start online worship, churches should go no further than using Altar Live.
Altar Live is unlike other streaming platforms in the sense that it was built by people that are passionate about both faith and technology. This means the Altar Live platform was built with both in mind, so it offers:
- The ability to stream straight to your congregation that can join from any device
- Spaces for smaller groups and one-on-ones
- Special engagement tools that help audiences connect with the pastor
- Metrics on who is joining and how these services are performing
And that’s just the top of the list. Altar Live has also created a dedicated academy that teaches churches and interested pastors how to transition to offering online and hybrid services that catch attention, draw engagement and see people coming back for more every time.
Over a thousand churches have already chosen Altar Live as their virtual home - yours can be next! Contact us today for more information and a free trial for your church.