Maybe you’ve been hosting online services for ages now, or maybe (like many others) you’ve been forced into online church by COVID-19 restrictions. Either way, we want to help you create the best online church services you can. That’s why we put together this list of hacks for improving your online services.
Keep to a routine.
Continuity communicates stability. Find elements that can stay the same every week, and make those elements the best they can be. In this time of uncertainty, people are craving consistency. If your in-person services included the Lord’s Prayer every week, keep including the Lord’s Prayer! Help give your congregation the stability they’re craving.
Aim for simple excellence.
Keep things as simple as possible so that the end product is excellent. Here are a few ideas to bring simple excellence to your services:
- Create a graphic that appears before and after every service. This could be your church’s logo, a welcome slide, or a short countdown. Keeping this element the same every week adds a level of professionalism, and it’s easy for your staff to incorporate.
- There are two options for online services: live and prerecorded. Both are great! Choose the option your team can accomplish best.
- Don’t break the bank on new equipment. Your personal iPhone is simple and can record excellent footage.
- Film in a place with great natural lighting, like near a window. Natural lighting always looks better on camera.
Post to multiple platforms.
You’ve done the hard work to create an excellent service; post it Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, and anywhere else that will reach your congregation. If you’re posting a premier or livesteam, be sure to have pastors and/or volunteers manage the chats live so that you can welcome new people and create community.
Make it shorter.
Attention spans for online services are much shorter, so your service elements should be shorter too. A 5-minute pre-service countdown might make sense in person, but 5 minutes watching from home is more than enough time for people to get distracted and navigate away from your page. Your congregation may love 45 minutes of worship music at the beginning of service in person, but they likely won’t have the attention span for it at home.
Ask for help.
Reach out to other churches for help! Even if you think you don’t need help, you never know what ideas other churches have that would be great for your congregation. If there’s a church whose online services inspire you, reach out to them and ask for advice. We are better together!
Most importantly, don’t try to be something you are not. Create online services that are true to the culture of your church. Do what you can, not what everyone else is doing.
Churches, we’re praying for you, and we’re here to help in any way we can.