CTA, Inc.

The Basics of Online Church

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Our guest shares practical advice for implementing or continuing online worship.

To download this summary, click here.

Guest: Matthew Schultz, pastor and ministry consultant, has successfully shepherded multiple churches through times of transition 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:

Summary:

What obstacles did you face in doing online church during the COVID-19 shutdown?

  • How will I lead by example?
  • How will I make this sustainable? (For example: in-home, devotional service; no music; readings and PowerPoint running on a television behind him)

What advice do you have for churches to consider in doing online church going forward?

  • Think about your audience:
    • Current members will want it to be familiar.
    • Expand options to include traveling members.
    • Can be outreach for those not familiar with your church.
  • Consider the time factors:
    • How long does it take you to put your online service together?
    • How long can or will your audience watch?
    • Will you do parts—or all—of a service?
  • Is outreach a priority?
    • Be conversational
    • Avoid “churchy” words
    • Make it accessible (use a Bible translation that’s easy to understand)
    • Be mindful of time length
  • Equipment is important!
    • Lighting: consider purchasing a camera light
    • Camera: many options are available, but it should work well with sound system in use
    • Sound system: consider an external microphone
  • Length of online offering—optimal length for engagement seems to be 35–45 minutes
  • Cost of materials, a wide range of options exist:
    • Consider short- and long-term options
    • Consider production quality and ease of use
  • Expertise
    • Do you have members (young or old!) who can advise you or take ownership?
    • Explore options for professional companies who can set this up for your church

Thought Starters:

  • Do you need to upgrade or tweak your processes or equipment?
  • Take a close look at what you’re currently offering. Is it reaching the audience you intend?

Resources:

Mevo.com (camera and app mentioned)

 

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