Explore ways to drive online visitors to reach out and connect with your church.
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Guest: Matthew Schultz, pastor and ministry consultant, has successfully shepherded multiple churches through times of transition and change and has helped not-for-profit agencies and churches of all sizes reimagine their ministries. Matthew currently pastors a congregation in New York state.
Introduction: For many churches that went online during the COVID-19 pandemic, online visitors are a blessing and a challenge. Discover some ways to connect with these new visitors.
The digital world can be a great way to connect with people. Sometimes the visitors will reach out to let you know they’re watching: Facebook Messenger app, emails, phone calls, etc.
What drives online visitors to reach out? Try these ideas:
- Put an invitation—a call to action—into the service. Make it both visual and verbal.
- Ask visitors for prayer requests.
- Have someone from church comment live on Facebook and YouTube to engage visitors.
- Ask to meet with people in need—perhaps team with other churches.
- Utilize online visitor cards.
Find ways to facilitate the transition from digital connection to in-person involvement.
- Recognize that the online visitors are often partially connected because they’ve been invited by current members—already starting the conversations.
- Rejoice in the baptisms and other opportunities for ministry.
- Encourage members to invite others to “join them” in watching, either physically or on their own; this is a very easy way for church families to share Jesus with others—near and far.
- People get a taste of what your church is like before they visit in person.
- Digital connections lower the barrier for people to invite others and for those who are invited to feel connected to your ministry.
- Which one of the “connecting” ideas shared could you implement in your next online service?
- Who—on your staff or in your congregation—could tackle another “connecting” idea from the list?
other church websites—see what they’re doing!