7 Tips to Engage Your Virtual Community During In-Person Worship
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
We can all learn and grow from our virtual worship experiences. As in-person worship becomes more frequent, we want to share some creative ways your church can merge your virtual and physical worship communities.
GATHER A TEAM
Operating a virtual worship program and engaging that audience is a team effort. Coordination between your worship team, tech team, and communications team is needed to pre-plan engagement opportunities within your worship experience. Your team can be creative and use engagement tools on social media and platforms like Zoom. These moments are opportunities to transfer the love you share in-person with your virtual community and require a coordinated team to execute.
PLAN ONLINE ONLY ENGAGEMENT MOMENTS
During your worship program, plan special moments for your online community to engage with each other. You could place links in the comment or chat section for your announcements. Also, you could place sermon points and quotes in the comments for creating opportunities to actively engage the Word of God virtually.
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR ONLINE CROWD
Looking into the camera and speaking directly to your virtual audience is a great way to communicate your appreciation for them joining you in worship. Also, with an abundance of virtual worship experiences to attend, their viewership of your service should be acknowledged.
CONSIDER ADJUSTING STAGING OR LOCATION
Reimagining your worship space can be a great way to create connections with your virtual community. Adding “home elements” to your location and staging can help your virtual audience connect with the worship experience. This is also a great reminder for viewers that they are not alone in their adjusted worship experience.
PRE-RECORDED WORSHIP ELEMENTS FROM VIRTUAL MEMBERS
Invite your virtual members to submit pre-recorded prayers or announcements that you can play during the service. These can be participation moments for virtual members. Scheduling a time earlier in the week and recording a prayer from a virtual member allows your worship team to reset and participate as audience members in moments of worship. You could also pre-record call and response calls-to-worship.
EMBRACE THE MISTAKES
Mistakes will happen. Embracing them will help your team adjust in the moment and learn for the future. Also, you should embrace the uncomfortable elements of online church. These moments are often when worship leaders try to be innovative and think outside the box. Dive into the challenges of virtual worship will expand your ministry's digital capacity. Explore how God can use your ministry team’s gifts and talents to gather in Christ’s name.
DIGITAL CONNECTION CARDS
Creating a series of comments that encourage your online community to like or follow your social handles and subscribe to your newsletter will grow your digital audience. Also, you can create a digital form through a platform like Google Forms or Survey Monkey for private and secure prayer requests. Direct your virtual and in-person audience to follow the links in the comments and connect with your ministry digitally.
These are just a few of the opportunities available to your ministry when merging the digital and physical communities. For more help like this contact UMC Support’s Connectional Relations team and set up a virtual audio/visual assessment from our A/V specialist.