17 Mar 2020

How Churches Can Prepare to Go Mobile

Christine Bové

Having regular meetings at a physical location isn’t always possible for churches. Uncertain times may cause a need for going mobile with your main service. This could be a result of extended vacations, inclement weather, and possible mass health concerns, like the Coronavirus.

However, it’s important to not let these things get in the way of staying connected with your congregation. And you want to keep the momentum going.

Going mobile is a rapidly growing trend for churches. Not only do churches host physical Sunday services, but they are also hosting their services online. 

You don’t have to know technology really well to have an online platform. Plenty of companies have made this easier to manage so that you can keep progressing with your ministry.

Here are five practical tips to consider when preparing to make your service mobile.

5 tips to prepare your church to go mobile: 

  • Have an alternative location at the ready 
  • Have an online presence 
  • Make online giving available
  • Make adjustments as needed 
  • Keep your congregation informed 

1. Have an alternative location

Situations can arise in which the location you are meeting has closed down for holidays, inclement weather, or unforeseen circumstances. 

If you are renting from such places, such as schools, it may be good to have a contingency location in place for when such needs arise. 

Other possible locations to look into are:

    • Local meeting spaces to rent
    • Other church buildings
    • Business buildings
    • Local government buildings (library, town hall, etc.)

For whatever circumstances that may arise, meeting together as a whole congregation may not be possible. When this is the case, planning for a non-physical location is the next course of action.

2. Have an online presence 

When times come in which you are not able to meet at a physical location, an online presence is a very creative course of action for continuing meetings.

Having an online presence is a creative solution for lack of a physical location. It is also a great way to stay engaged with your congregation and the people you are trying to reach. 

There are multiple ways to have an online presence. Here are a few things you can do:

Have a website

Having a website is like having a digital business card. It’s an open invitation for visitors to get to know your church before they walk through your doors.

A website done right will provide an accurate representation of your church’s culture, what matters to your community, and will provide general information for how someone can get connected.

Having a website allows you to have an online ministry, a place where people can go 24/7 to hear about Jesus Christ and get connected in your community.

There are multiple companies that help you create your own ministry website at various price points. Search online and see which one is right for you and your ministry.

Create a Website with StartSITES!

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Use video resources

YouTube and Vimeo are great online resources for providing a place for your recorded sermons. YouTube also provides live streaming. 

This is a great tool to use if you are not able to meet in a physical location but want to continue holding services.

Other churches will use these video platforms for worship gatherings as well as online prayer time as well. 

Use Instagram and Facebook live

Another wonderful tool for your church to use is social media. Not only are your congregant members able to interact and stay connected with each other, but they can also connect with the church!

Instagram and Facebook both have a “Live” option for offering live streaming. This is also a creative resource to use when you are not able to meet in a physical location.

In the event a church is not able to physically meet, streaming the Sunday service online is a great option to have for congregants.

As someone who has been in ministry myself, I have helped hold a service over social media before. 

We created a main service for social media because the ministry was not able to meet for a couple of weeks. Not wanting to lose the momentum of the ministry, we created a “mini-service” designed to be hosted on Instagram and Facebook. 

We chose a location with plenty of lighting so the video streaming would come in clearly. We invited a few of our key volunteers, had our worship band play, and our pastor participate. We structured our time like a normal service, except we catered it to all be on live stream. This just means we had the worship band and the pastor speak to the camera to include people who were not physically there.

We made our congregant members aware of the live stream service beforehand so that no matter where they were, they would be able to tune in and still worship Jesus. 

It was a great success! People were still able to be a part of the ministry and what God was doing from their own locations. 

Your church can do this, too!

3. Make online giving available

Another benefit of having an online presence is the ability to accept online donations. 

With the possibility of not being able to meet at a physical location, it draws the question of how to continue collecting donations. Electronic methods of accepting online donations are a perfect solution to this problem.

Electronic methods of online giving are super convenient and easy to share. There are a number of companies out there that provide help with collecting online donations. 

Here are a few:

    • Tithe.ly
    • PushPay
    • Zelle
    • Square Cash
    • PayPal
    • Stripe

With StartSITES, we use Stripe to collect online donations. Not only do you have a beautiful website to represent your ministry, but you will also be able to collect online donations!

Create a Church Website in One Hour!

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4. Make adjustments as needed

To successfully implement a Sunday service online, you have to be in sync with your volunteers and staff members.

Making sure everyone is on the same page is crucial in times of change. This ensures everything runs as smoothly as possible, and things can still be implemented without missing a beat. 

There are a few online resources designed to keep your staff and teams on track:

Another point that is crucial is to make sure your church’s budget reflects the potential changes. Whether it be a lack of giving or new purchases, make sure everything is re-budgeted to accommodate such additions and changes. 

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5. Keep your congregation informed

One of the key components to having a successful mobile presence is to provide clear communication with your congregation.

Plan as much as you are able to in advance so your congregation is well aware of any possible changes and can have time to adapt.

Social media is a great way of letting your congregation know in real-time. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are excellent resources to use to get important information out and quickly.

Email newsletters are another great way to directly let your congregation know of the changes. Emails also provide a way to encourage your congregation, as well as let them know in detail the plans you are implementing for the church.

A new opportunity

Changes bring about opportunities and chances to be creative. History has shown that when the unexpected has happened, new inventions and new solutions were born that proved to be great additions to society (like canned food and the internet!).

Through this time of uncertainty, know that God will provide for you and your ministry. God always provides for His agenda. And it’s in these uncertain times we can always count on Him. 

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27

To learn more about how our team at StartCHURCH can serve you and your ministry, please call us at 877-494-4655. Or click the link below to have a specialist call you. 

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Please feel free to comment. We always appreciate good dialogue. However, we do moderate each comment to ensure that it is on topic and not derogatory to other participants. We ask that you keep your comments brief and pertinent to the topic so that others may benefit.

Blessings,
Raul Rivera


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