Pandemic Exposes Non-Readiness of Churches to Do Online Services

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Every Sunday, social media sites are flooded by “church services” or “church mass.” They vary from the central locations of mega churches, to their localities or community churches. Each will have a different flavour but not only depending on the congregation but also the type of leadership it currently has.

However, it seems that attendance has been far from what the church is getting from its usual gatherings. Churches with over 4,000 attendees might show 300-400 views on social media while community churches that have around 100-200 weekly attendance might have 10-20 views.

There’s no specific science to explain this unless a survey is made but here’s what we think are the reasons:

  1. They’re Pulled to Church
    Sunday is not only labeled as family day, but also church day. Families attend to church together and there’s a great chance not everyone wants to go but was pulled anyway out of respect for a parent, guardian, friend or leader. There are some that drag themselves to church because they know it’s the right thing.
  2. Audio/Video Quality Sucks
    Churches have been trying to pull off what is normally done live by singing a song or two. Some try to record a video and involve a lot of singers/musicians who do not have any recording equipment, thus using their phones, which produce poor quality of sound. Invest in a mic, camera and audio interface. There are budget friendly ones.

To drive our point, here’s a video of well recorded song with different video angles.

Using your phone is the basic or laptop is the easy way to do it. Having an interface, USB Mic, background, better camera, dual broadcast on different platforms is the way to go. Churches have not viewed much on why PODCASTS have so much views and engagements and yet theirs has a few. More on this later but here’s one of the video tips on how to set it up in your home

  1. Internet Connectivity
    This has always been a challenge for everyone, especially in 3rd world countries and YET VLOGGERS, who live in the same area, same country, using the same Internet company are able to engage their audience with much less resources.
  2. Speaker is Not Concise
    Some may get away with being not concise when speaking on stage in front of a live audience. However, online, things are fast moving. People have a short attention span. Speakers cannot repeat the same point several times or aim around pointlessly.
  3. Not Engaging
    Ummmm…Ummmm….ahhhhh….ummmmm. That’s what you will typically hear from speakers who are looking for their words. It’s ok to be imperfect but cant be done in 20 minutes. . This does not help engage your audience. Churches have to give up the idea that the same format live can be done online.
  4. Forcing To Go Live
    Whenever a speaker goes live, he is confident that he will not say anything wrong, be engaging with nothing to correct or assumes that things will be perfect. Why is that?
    The only reason for preachers should go live is if they are engaging their audience in a live manner as they read through comments while preaching. Otherwise, there is no need for this.
  5. No Media/Social Media Team
    In our social media age, graphic designers, developers, database managers, analytic reporters have mostly been designated as presentation clickers during a service. Churches should have this by now and can get them at the cheapest rate: free aka volunteers. Social Media is flooded by news sites and other influences while the church has few engagements. That has to change.

Big companies and influencers and have social media teams. As mentioned in point #2, social media managers create posts, content and frame it in a way to catch a target audience. It’s time for the church to be more active in social media as they are losing the battle.

Churches are not only able to reach new people but are also failing to keep their current members engaged.

Church was never meant for entertainment but there’s a reason why mega churches use better lighting, video editing, transitions and presentations to engage their audience in the best manner possible to drive a point.

700 Club was ahead of its time. Their program engaged hundreds of thousands of people and many have come to know the Lord through them. The testimonies were not simply explained by Pat Robertson but was cinematically done. It’s time for 2020 church to start adapting practices used in the 90s, maybe tweak a few things, to reach this generation. This is now the arena for it.

We applaud churches that have done well with their online services as they have built a team and equipment for this but this post is for the many that have yet to admit that they need to exert more effort to go digital. Online Church will be a norm until this pandemic ends or longer but our leaders cannot keep giving excuses and take the easy way out.

Churches can dismiss this post but their post engagement numbers don’t lie. Online Church does not suck but they way it’s being presented currently does.

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