EquipCast 15: Digital Church
One thing is for sure, the digital church is not going away. Many have tasted its potential and while our buildings begin to open up, our online churches should not be shutting down. For those who want to take full advantage of the potential that digital church offers, it will require more strategy, more thought, and more planning than merely pointing a camera at your in-person events and services.
Fr. Jeff Lorig – Director of Pastoral Services
Jim Jansen – Director of the Office Evangelization and Catechesis
Your Next Step
Use our Digital Church Conversation Guide to talk with your team about your online strategy for church.
Should we plan for Church to return to normal or should we keep investing in was to improve our online ministries?
Answer: It will be harder than ever to get people back into our buildings or into them for the first time. Online ministry will continue to serve as a “front porch” for our Churches. Through online media, provide small incremental steps to help people move from anonymous internet users to individuals in relationship with Jesus.
Tip: Our online ministry strategy should align with our in-person strategy. Once you know your in-person ministry strategy, you can define your online strategy.
How do we know whether we’re winning in an online ministry world? Which metrics matter?
Answer: Only the numbers that help you make decisions about your big picture ministry goals are relevant numbers. Focus less on number of views and more on conversion rates (the number of people who followed through on the next step). Views tell you that you piqued someone’s interest, but online conversion rates tell you if someone was compelled to take the next step.
Tip: Ask yourself, “What is the next step I want a family/individual to take?” Then measure how many take that step.
There’s so much noise online. How do we reach those who are unconnected and unchurched online?
Answer: The hard truth is that you can’t. You probably will not get the unchurched to randomly stumble upon your website. But, your parishioners can! Ask them to share and invite others, and give them something they would be excited to share with people.
Tip: The ministry or next step that you ask your parishioners to share with others doesn’t always have to be churchy. Give your parishioners something easy to invite others into like a session on money or communication skills. These helpful events can still give a taste of redemption by showing how Christians deal with everyday issues.
How should we be interacting with people online? What kind of engagement really matters?
Answer: Wherever possible, start conversations. Be social on social media! Through conversations, you can build relationships, and through relationships, you can invite people into the next step of the journey.
Tip: Every comment is an opportunity for a conversation, but don’t answer with another comment. Ask a question! Questions keep the conversation going.
Church of the Nativity – Check out a Catholic Church in Maryland that is doing digital church right!
Check out the podcasts Fr. Lorig listened to as he studied this topic.
Church Marketing University Podcast – 15 Digital Church Game Changers (Episodes 4, 5, 6, and 7)
The Unstuck Church Podcast with Tony Morgan – Episode 61: Why Church Communications is Stuck in 2004 and Episode 144: Clarifying Digital Engagement