Thinking Outside the Ministry Box

We get creative with our online church for Christmas, Easter, and other holidays but how about those other 360ish days of the year? How can we serve our online communities year-round? Creating space for community building is what Altar Live does best, so why not gather your people together for something that’s a little bit outside the ministry box? 

When an online church community is working, you can feel it. There’s a tangible energy and excitement. So, what's the secret sauce to this elusive online engagement?

The key to an engagement model involves creating a welcoming and safe environment for people to continue the conversation.

You might be missing an online "living room": where people can get to know each other, share a laugh, build trust, and share an experience with each other. A place where two-way relationships start to happen, not just one-way viewership.

We've seen hundreds of churches host clever and fun online events with Altar Live to do exactly that, and we put it into a guide for you! 

Read on for clever and fun ideas for engaging your community online year-round.

In the Auditorium 

Rows & Event Space

The Event space in Altar Live is the perfect place for any online event that would best be held in an auditorium. In the Event space, attendees are free to take a seat in a row to join a virtual watch party while watching the live stream or pre-recorded video. Using the Event space in Altar Live brings the feeling of having a live audience and seeing people face-to-face. 

Lectures & Seminars

Who doesn’t love an inspiring TED Talk or a powerful lecture? Like your usual Sunday service, lectures and guest speakers are great ways to use the Event space in Altar Live. Whether it’s an online-only or hybrid event, using Altar Live for lectures allows you to maximize your audience size and boost engagement. The more the merrier!


Tried and true, Altar Live is the perfect place for any type of conference. No matter the topic or time of year, Altar Live takes online engagement to the next level and makes the experience more than a one-way live stream. 


Going once, twice, sold! Perfect for a charity event or fundraiser, use the Event space for an auction. Have a host or greeter join each row and be a moderator to help the auctioneer keep track of all the attendees’ bids. Attendees can utilize the chat to put in their bids as well. 

Comedy or Variety Shows

Audience engagement is key for any event. Using rows fosters the undeniable magic that comes from a live audience. Hold a comedy show, talent show, or variety show for your community. When people sit in rows they will be able to see the smiles and laugh together. 

Theater Performances 

Get thee to a theater! support your local artists by live-streaming their performances to Altar Live. Whether it’s your church community’s theatre ministry, a local company, or a professional recording, creating an engaging online option for theatre-goers is the way of the future!


Altar Live is a destination platform and it provides the opportunity to share a collective experience with people no matter the location. Treat your church community to a night of live music by live-streaming a concert on Altar Live. 

Kids Movie Night 

Give the parents a night off and host a virtual movie night! The kids will be able to hang out with their friends and watch a fun movie while their parents can still keep a watchful eye if they wish. 

Trivia/Game Night

Get together for a church family game night (invite friends!) Use rows for teams (or use rooms in the Lobby– the possibilities are endless!) and let the games begin! Here are a few ideas: 

  • Bible Trivia 
  • Bingo Night 
  • Family Feud 
  • Bible Jeopardy

Weddings and Funerals/Memorials

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live streaming events like these where loved ones can sit with each other are so special. Even if people may not want to keep their cameras on, keep the chat open so people can send warm wishes or share their favorite memories. 

Sporting events

Expand your community’s reach by hosting a watch party for sporting events. You can easily access free live streams on YouTube or other websites. Simply add the URL during the Event creation process and you’ll be all set! While this may not have an obvious ministry component, it’s a great way to bring people from all walks of life together. 

Film Festival 

Lights, camera, action! You never know if there’s a budding filmmaker in your midst. Encourage your community (church and beyond) to submit films and celebrate their hard work with a virtual film festival. 

In the Lobby 

There are many places to congregate and mingle in the Lobby of an Altar Live Event. Here are some ways to use the Lobby all year round: 


Craft Day

The possibilities are endless for this one. Break up the group into tables and have an online craft day. Attendees can relax, be in the comfort of their own home, and catch up with friends all while crafting away!

Singles Event 

Create a safe and low-commitment environment for the singles in your community. Use the Tables in the Lobby for a time of mingling, socializing, and speed dating. 

Rooms & Meetings 

Book Club

Calling all bibliophiles! It’s so important to foster a community that goes beyond a ministry setting, so why not start a virtual book club? It’s a perfect opportunity to get church-hesitant attendees involved and expand the church community. 

Writers Groups

Having a space for faith-based creatives may often be overlooked, but on Altar Live it’s easier than ever! Set up weekly or monthly meetings and encourage writers of all backgrounds to share their work, give peer feedback, and grow as a community. 

Share Your Event Ideas With Altar Live!

Using Altar Live to further the Kingdom in a unique way? Snap a picture with your congregation during your watch party, Event, or other online gathering and we’ll share them on our Instagram stories! Tag us @altarlive to get featured.