In recent times, having an online community for your church has become very necessary. As a leader of your church, you’ve possibly discovered that one of the effective ways to reach your congregation, especially now, is through your church online community and presence.
If you have been having any sort of online meeting or engagement as a church before now, then there is the possibility that your online church community might have grown. You might attribute a spike in participation to a church’s ability to hinge on their online presence quickly.
Why your church needs an online community
A strong online presence makes it easier for churches to connect with people all over. It helps to reach more people with the Gospel.
Since the internet surfaced, opportunities for distanced communication and online social interactions have helped networks to grow faster. And as churches look to find ways to reach more people for Christ, an online church can be an option.
An online church helps to connect people and create a community. One of the most invaluable benefits of an online community is the ability to build relationships with people they would typically not be able to connect with offline.
A community can happen anywhere, offline or online. The key thing is communication and engagement. If these two can be established successfully, the only difference might just be the physical presence. Online communities can become a place of support, where people get a sense of belonging and the feeling that others value their presence and contributions.
So you’re convinced you need to ramp up your church online community and presence, but don’t know where to kickstart the journey, right? You don’t need to get overly stressed about it. Here is how to you get started on your online church community:
Chat rooms during church meetings
During an online service for a church, there is usually a chat room on the platform that allows people to make comments, ask questions, or edify each other when the need arises. This chat room is usually monitored and led by a chat host. The chat host is supposed to engage the congregation in conversations, get to know them, as well as guide them through the entire time of the teaching. Of course, not everyone who watches online engages in the chat room, but a good number will. And with more engagement spurred by the chat host, the number gets even better.
The truth is if you take the time to observe well, you will notice regular attendees. In the chat room, you cannot but identify reoccurring names or IDs. This information can help you know these people better and build relationships with them over time.
Your members can also get to converse with each other and build friendships. That’s how a community begins and develops. ChurchPad Community provides an effective communication platform for your church members and attendees to interact and grow healthy relationships.
Establish online small groups
The purpose of house fellowships or meetings established by churches, to take place regularly at different locations at intervals (which could be homes of some members) is to further strengthen relationships and the bond between church members, even as they share God’s word.
While chat rooms are great ways for your members to have great conversations, setting up online groups is another great way to build an active church community online. You can format these groups whichever way you want. You could set up a day of the week and time that works best, or you can post daily about a particular Bible subject or study. With these smaller groups, the more posting and engagement happens, the more you develop the community.
With ever-evolving digital and online tools, we can now connect people in ways never thought possible a decade ago. And as technology continues to develop, it can only get easier to connect and build community with others. ChurchPad is a complete management software to help you achieve that.
The Community feature on ChurchPad allows you to create these small groups to suit the interests of your members. You can also establish these groups based on their home locations to allow members in the same neighborhood the opportunity to connect.
Manage your community pages and track follower growth
You should not leave out your social media platforms while building an online community. In building your online church, you need to follow carefully and observe the trends on your social media pages; how well the page is growing, how many people are responding to your content and so on. Also, you should figure out when your audience is most likely to engage with your content. It will help you pick the best times for your posts.
It’s easy to track these metrics through your Facebook analytics, but there are also other tools you can make use of. For instance, Hootsuite and Sprout Social allow you to schedule, monitor, engage and analyze your social media accounts. We recommend that you get an expert to manage these accounts for you.
Setting up an online community for your church doesn’t have to be a tedious task, and it gets even easier with ChurchPad. Join a host of other churches who are already taking full advantage of the fantastic tools our unique church management software provides.