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Sly King shares practical takeaways and advice from his experience building The Worship Center's online ministry, from the ground up. 1 in a series of 3.

Building Your Church’s Online Ministry

I’m truly excited to have this opportunity to share with you and I want send a special thank you to the Kindrid Team! You're awesome! Now let’s get to it.


People are now more likely to check out your church online, first, before they ever step through your physical doors. The way you present your church online reflects how well you’re taking advantage of the opportunity to engage new people.


The internet is a deep space of never ending information. You must make the effort to ensure that your online service doesn’t feel like a second rate experience. I’m sure at this point you’re saying, “Ok, Sly, I hear you. Tell me what steps I need to take in order to provide the right online experience…” Well, I’m glad you asked!

 

7 Steps for Developing an Online Campus

 

1. Choose a platform provider. My recommendation is Church Online from my friends at Life.Church. Oh and it’s FREE!

 

2. Choose a streaming provider. There are a lot of options, like Pikselfaith, Livestream, and Streaming Monkey, to name a few. Best to choose what’s going to fit your church’s needs. 

 

3. Decide what level of engagement you’ll provide. Are you just going to stream a service or will you offer in-service giving, as well as next steps (small groups, prayer, etc.) for those that join you?

We have giving available via text-to-give and online giving through Kindrid and our online campus goes through the same part of the service where we give at all of our campuses. Our online campus team pushes a slide on the online campus that prompts people to give as well!


My philosophy is simple: treat the doors of your online campus like the doors of your physical campus. NEVER assume that a person who logs on and chats with your online campus staff has been there before. Saying “Hello, we’re so glad to have you with us today” sounds basic, but it can have a huge impact. Our team throws out the welcome mat to all of those who join us each and every week.

 

4. Define your next steps. What happens when someone decides to accept Christ? At TWC, we have people complete a connect card and then our A Team follows up with them regarding their decision. And we’re always working to make this process even better!

Not only do we chat with those who join us, but we pray with them and do whatever we can to meet their needs. One of the ways we do that is through a detailed follow up plan.

 

How can someone make a decision to give his or her life to Christ if they don’t know what’s involved? What are the steps needed to start that process? What happens after they pray the prayer? You have to be able to answer these questions when you decide to create an online campus.

 

5. Build a team. This is important because your team will serve crucial support and engagement roles.

 

6. Train your team! I cannot stress this enough! Your team needs to know the heart and the vision of the ministry and be able to extend those ideas to the people who join you online, each week. At TWC, our support team actually trains new team members.  We ask new volunteers to sit with our team each week and watch and learn and then jump right in, as our team feels they’re ready. We’ve found that some of the best learning comes from hands on experience. I meet with the new volunteers weekly via conference call and we meet in person as well.

 

7. Never stop learning and growing! Always research and work on ways you can make what you do online even better. Remember, technology is continuously changing! Don’t forget to adapt.

Once you’ve developed an online campus, it’s important to figure out how you’re going to interact and share what’s happening through social and community engagement. Subscribe for our next post in the Online Ministry series, where I’ll share how TWC fosters a true online community!

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Author
Sly King
Sly King
Social Media and Online Campus Coordinator, The Worship Center
Sly King spent 10 years behind the mic as a radio personality at Hot 107.7 FM in Birmingham. Today, Sly lives his life 140 characters at a time in the constantly changing world of social media (which he loves by the way!). Sly is the Social Media and Online Campus Coordinator at The Worship Center in Birmingham, Alabama.