Whether you've found our platform for the first time, or have been looking into it for a while, we know that introducing any new technology platform to your community is a change, and change needs to be managed. Here are steps that we have seen churches take to successfully introduce Altar Live to ministry leaders, decision-makers, and their general church population. 

How to introduce Altar Live to your decision-makers

So you've created an account in Altar Live, tested out your first event, and now you want to get buy-in from leadership or fellow community members. Here are some tips on how you can best pitch Altar Live to your team.

Tip #1: Prepare a summary and invite your leadership to a demo

Now that you have tried Altar Live for yourself, it is time to introduce it to your leadership! To make it easy, here are some items to include as you craft your message. 

  • The Altar Live video, which covers why engagement matters, and how the product works.
  • Use this email template to share Altar Live with a decision-maker.

Invite the leaders and decision-makers to another test event, similar to how you created the first event. Busy leaders will appreciate the effort that you and your team have put into the event. 

Tip #2: Conduct a test event

Create an event and be sure to make yourself a host in the event so you can chat with them when they join and give them instructions. Send people the event link and instructions to join you for a test event.

How to successfully transition your people to Altar Live

Altar Live requires no more technical expertise than having watched a Facebook Live video or participated in a Zoom call. The learning curve is short and intuitive. Even so, communication is rarely 100% efficient, and some people in your church will not make the shift as quickly. It's important that no one is left behind.

Depending on your church’s size, you will want at least one week to prepare the congregation for the upcoming change.

Tip #1: Constant communication about the transition is key to making sure people can find you.

Tip #2: Consider a ramp-up period to transfer people from your other platforms into Altar Live. These measures may be necessary for a week or two to make sure the full congregation can receive the news and instructions on what to do. 

  • You don't have to stop streaming to Facebook or YouTube. If you have been live streaming to Facebook or YouTube, you can continue to do so, but to maximize engagement among your community on Altar Live, we'd encourage you to start linking Altar Live in all the familiar places people usually go to look for your services and events (website, emails, Facebook page, etc).

Tip #3: Utilize the host team. Remember to have someone available in the chat on those platforms to inform the much smaller audience that your church has migrated to Altar Live, and share the link. If you have been using Zoom, continue to launch that Zoom meeting with someone if they are really struggling to use the platform.

Tip #4: Consider appointing “Tech Deacons” ahead of time to help individuals who may need assistance, particularly those for whom computing and connectivity are not easy everyday activities. They may have mastered Facebook or Zoom, but another change could feel disruptive and intimidating. 

Tip #5: Contact the Altar Live team to help run a training session! We're happy to do a training event with your entire team, or members of your congregation, to get everyone up to speed and answer questions.

How to set up for your first trial Sunday or a mid-week event.

After you and the leadership team have tried out the platform, the next step is to try it out with a broader community. The best way to introduce a new experience and get your team acquainted with the platform is to host a Sunday or mid-week event.

Mid-week event: Instead of launching the platform for your first week, run a mid-week event. Invite your members to join to encourage engagement.

First Sunday event: Introduce the platform on a Sunday and invite a subset of reliable members of the congregation to use Altar Live in parallel with your current livestream or Zoom implementation.  

Running a trial event will give decision-makers and your team a degree of comfort in how Altar Live works. It will also give a subset of your church members a chance to experience it, and build momentum and positive word-of-mouth to help ensure successful adoption. 

You are all set to go now. All that is left is to gather and engage! 

One last step -- we would love to hear from you about your experience and how your church is adapting to it. Share your stories at contact@altarlive.com

FAQs & Objection Handling

There will always be questions!  Here are some of the questions we often hear from leaders and churchgoers as they encounter Altar Live for the first time. Don’t feel you need to become an expert. You can share and refer to this FAQ as needed. 

  • Outreach vs internal focus. Some leaders in your church are looking for ways to care for the congregation in such a challenging season. Other leaders feel urgency during this season to reach the unchurched and lost. Each will look at the Altar Live experience through their respective lens. Altar Live is designed to make peer interaction an integral element of an online worship experience that is equally appealing to those looking for familiar comfortable surroundings as well as those who are looking for a safe, unthreatening, relevant space in which to hear and understand new content and perspectives. 
  • Facebook and YouTube presence. Even with Altar Live, your church may want to continue to post livestreams and recorded videos to Facebook and other social media. Using Altar Live is not exclusive. You can also stream or post to other platforms. 
  • Bad actors. Every church wants to strike a balance between accessibility for all and safety and security for those gathered. Reports of bad actors who maliciously disrupt online gatherings are relatively rare but serious. An event in Altar Live is open to any visitor who has access to the link to the event, where they can watch the livestream. However, anonymous attendees are not able to interact with the congregation. Hospitality Team members can use text-based chat with anonymous visitors and can invite someone to experience the event more deeply by signing in with an email address. Once they have been logged in, visitors can participate like any other logged-in user, choosing a seat and joining a watch party at a table. If a logged-in participant is becoming disruptive or dangerous, the Hospitality Team can lock them out of the event. 
  • Watch Parties and Wallflowers. Some people want to sit with others during a church service. They may whisper and chat with each other, not entirely unlike an in-person event. Others prefer to concentrate on worshiping and preaching without distractions from their seat neighbors. Altar Live Engagement supports both modes. If you don’t want to be seated where you will be expected to interact, you can remain alone for the service. 
  • Cost and budget. Altar Live allows you to build a virtual campus online. The functionality of the platform can be used for far more than just Sunday services: meetings, Bible Studies, Sunday School, and more. The cost of the software is commensurate with the cost of serving coffee and providing hospitality to members and visitors, approximately less than $1/per person per month. 
  • Existing technology investments. Many churches just began live streaming in the Spring of 2020 when the pandemic forced closures. They made unexpected investments in technology, hardware, networks, and software. It is natural they will be reluctant to make any new purchases that do not leverage their existing investment. Altar Live uses all the same audio and video equipment and live streaming software and services and adds a layer of interactivity on top of it. 

Want to learn more? Check out: 2021 Church Word of the Year: Multi-Modal. It discusses the many "modes" churches have and are making work for them.

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