As a technology company dedicated to partnering with churches, our vision is to equip every church with best-in-class digital tools that enable them to make more and better disciples.
We’ve seen a recent increase in questions around how to stay connected during the COVID-19 outbreak. Churches around the world are facing the realities and uncertainties surrounding this, but now more than ever it’s important to continue engaging our communities with the gospel message.
Here are five ways to help keep your community safe while staying connected:
1. ENCOURAGE GENEROSITY THROUGH DIGITAL DONATIONS
Donations play a big role in fulfilling the work of your ministry, and your community is eager to get involved as an act of worship. Digital giving is a great way for your community to continue participating in this act of worship regardless of their physical attendance. Your members will most likely be unable to attend physical gatherings in the coming weeks, but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the opportunity to give and participate in the mission of your ministry.
This is an opportune time to set up donations allowing donors to specify where they would like a donation to go. Consider creating special campaigns and fundraisers designated to help communities and community members affected by COVID-19, or a general fund to maintain your church’s finances during an unpredictable season. A text-to-give code is another simple way that allows donors to give easily regardless of their location.
Many churches may still need a physical offering plate available for those not yet familiar with alternative ways of giving. However, keeping it in a stationary place—instead of passing down aisles—can keep your community safer by limiting the number of physical interactions.
2. CONSIDER LIVE STREAMING
Many churches are forgoing in-person gatherings and electing to stream services online. Live streaming allows your community to worship together and listen to sermons in real-time!
We have options for your organization to live stream and share your new and existing media content, and our team of ministry experts can comprehensively speak to what’s required to get started with live streaming and our best-in-class media delivery system!
3. KEEP YOUR COMMUNITY CONNECTED WITH MESSAGING
Keep communication and community building going right inside your custom mobile app. It’s the perfect tool to send prayer requests, keep small group discussions active, and check in on your community
Whether a one-on-one conversation or in group chat, your church will appreciate being able to communicate instantly with each other. Your leadership can communicate changes in staffing and schedules, answer questions, make requests, and much more. Messaging eliminates long wait times, frustration, and keeps everyone current.
4. SPREAD THE WORD WITH PUSH NOTIFICATIONS
Keep your community notified and in the loop about changes to your regular schedule, prayer requests, and more with push notifications. More than most communication methods, push notifications are easily accessible, appearing right on your users’ mobile devices. Make sure to remind your community to download your app and to enable push notifications on their devices, so they do not miss out on any important and timely information that will be shared during the coming weeks.
Here are some examples of push notifications that might help inform your community of recent updates:
- “Due to COVID-19, we are making temporary changes to how we gather. Learn more here.”
- “Help us support those financially affected by the virus. Learn more and donate here.”
- “In-person services might be canceled, but we hope to see you join our live stream worship tomorrow at 10 a.m.”
5. CREATE A DESIGNATED TAB IN YOUR APP & WEBSITE
With the government and local news agencies sharing updates daily, it’s crucial that you make the most important messages accessible to everyone in your community so they don’t get lost in the abundance of information and misinformation surrounding the outbreak.
Adding a dedicated tab in your app and a page on your website about COVID-19 is an effective and simple way to inform your community. Keeping everything in one place makes information easy to find. This creates multiple places for members to access and share this crucial information regarding changes to service times, canceled events, or tips on how to keep your community physically and spiritually healthy.
In addition, simply upload your recorded sermons, changes to your event schedule, and more to one place and watch them automatically update everywhere—your mobile app, TV app, and website. This saves time re-uploading content and gives you more time to care for your community during this unpredictable and vulnerable time.
We’re dedicated now more than ever to help churches around the world connect with their communities. If you’re not already leveraging The Ultimate Engagement Platform™ and want to learn more, let’s chat!