Digital Evangelism is finally on the rise in our church!
Whether you are a communication leader, pastor, or someone who wants to start or improve your personal online ministry, it helps to have inside information on how to improve your church or ministry’s online platform.
1. Start an active social media account.
This means more than having a Facebook page or Instagram account. Create a strategy that aims to build relationships and increase engagement. Social media is a great way to connect with people in the community around your church and learn more about what their needs are.
In addition, you can share your church’s content more easily with people all over the world. Use the platform to get to know your audience better instead of only promoting events at your church.Download social media guide
These days, before someone visits a church, they will search for you on Google. People want to see what your online presence is like and from there, they make decisions whether they want to visit or not.
Make sure the website provides relevant content, caters to visitors, shows accurate and reliable information, and meets the needs of people visiting the site. In other words, don’t just talk about your church. Also, make sure your website is updated and doesn’t look like something that got stuck in the Stone Age.
Think of all the people you can reach if your church created a podcast! Drivers and riders on long commutes, joggers and walkers, people completing house chores, and the list goes on. Approximately 90 million people listen to podcasts every month. That’s nearly one-third of the US population.
According to Ovum, the number of worldwide podcast listeners is expected to soar to 1.8 billion by 2023.
Simply put, if your church wants to reach more people, creating a podcast (or several) would be the way to go.
These days, people turn to blogs for information on a variety of topics. Large companies use blogs to meet the demands of their current and potential customers.
Churches who use blogs have a greater potential to increase their reach and drive more traffic to their website. Before you jump right into blogging, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Write for skimmers (readers who skim an article instead of reading through)
- Use attention-grabbing headlines (but not click-bait)
- Write for your audience (be relevant in your topics)
5. Launch a YouTube channel.
YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the internet. Over 30 million users visit the platform every day! Of course, there is a constant fight for the attention of users, but, this should not deter churches from having a YouTube channel.
Be creative. Know what kind of content your audience needs and create videos to meet those needs. You don’t need a heap of expensive equipment to start. Usually, a phone with a great camera works well enough!
Shoot videos in front of a window (or wherever there’s good lighting) and invest in a good mic for quality sound. Keep the focus of your channel tight. Whether you want to create videos on prophecy, finance, healthy living, or raising children, churches should keep their target audience in mind when producing videos.
6. Conduct online Bible studies.
Do a quick search online to see what people are talking about. What are their concerns and fears? Then, design a study to show how the Bible can meet their needs. Send out an invite online (or design business cards to share when you’re out and about) encouraging people to join a video study through Zoom or another video conferencing platform.
People will always have Bible questions, but they’re not always willing to step into a church building. Give a boost by providing a stepping stone that will help them make the transition to a church.Download the Guide
Like every other area of expertise, there are people who are trained to do certain kinds of work. When it comes to design work for your church, it would be wise to employ the help of someone who is skilled in that area. If you want to strengthen your online presence, show value to those who work and are skilled in the online space.
You wouldn’t hire a dentist to fix your car. You would invest in someone who is skilled in that area. On this wise, hire the right people to do the job when it comes to church digital work. Contract graphic designers, videographers, photographers, and social media strategists to do the work right.
For too long, we have been doing online church work at a mediocre level. This is no longer acceptable. If you want to be successful at digital evangelism, get help from the right places.
As the need for digital evangelists grows, more training opportunities are being made available. Church members might be intimidated by the idea of getting involved with technology. This can be resolved by providing training in areas like social media, digital ads, video and audio editing, photo editing, writing, etc.
With individuals who are rightly trained and filled with the Holy Spirit, the church would be successful in reaching thousands more.Book a Training
9. Go Live.
Going Live on Facebook doesn’t always mean streaming your worship service. The best Live videos are ones that are intentional about engaging with their viewers. There are countless ways for your church to creatively use the “Live” button.
Cooking demos, how-to videos, visiting new places, health videos, and interviews are examples of what you could do to connect with your audience.Get more ideas
If you want to drive users to your page or site, you need ads. Of course, you can reach users naturally if your content shows up on their feed. This is called organic reach. However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to reach your audience without paid ads.
This isn’t a novel idea. Churches spend thousands of dollars to print flyers and tracts. Now social media allows you to spend a fraction of the cost while being more effective in reaching people.Learn about ads
11. Get the right equipment.
As your media work increases and your audience grows, you may find it necessary to improve your equipment. Whereas it’s easy to get caught in a black hole of acquiring expensive equipment, you should focus on what your needs are and get the best tools to help you accomplish your goals.
If you are not “techy,” get advice from those who work with media gear and can guide you.
Moz.com defines keywords as “ideas and topics that define what your content is about.” When someone types in Google search, they are plugging in keywords. Google uses that keyword as a code to gather information related to that word.
The websites that Google finds to be most relevant in relation to the keyword are put at the top on the first page. Using the right keywords helps your website to rank higher. That means more people will be influenced by your ministry. Using keywords is a part of SEO (search engine optimization).
Although SEO and keyword research might sound complicated, there are easy ways to start practicing today.Learn SEO
The next time your church has an event coming up, create a Facebook event and ask church members to invite their friends and neighbors. Keep in mind, this works great if your church is located in a populated area where the demographic is most likely to use Facebook.
This also gives church members an opportunity to invite their family and friends to the event by sharing.
People are also motivated when they see who responded to attend! Facebook Events allows invitees to see who plans to be present. Facebook will even send reminders to those who indicate they will attend your church or ministry event, which is an added benefit.
14. Create infographics.
Infographics are a creative and fun way to share detailed information. Want to share scripture about the Sabbath? Sharing Bible prophecy? Put it in an infographic.
Even if you don’t know how to design infographics, sites like Canva.com can be helpful for small-scale projects. But for the bigger ones, don’t be afraid to get the service of graphic designers.Create an infographic
15. Record video stories.
Video continues to thrive as the king of content. People also love stories! People in your church have stories (testimonies) to share. Record these stories and share them on your church’s platform. Encourage members to share these videos and therefore drive traffic to your site.
Write about what your audience needs, not what you think they need. This is a common mistake when it comes to creating content; churches are not creating content or organizing programs based on the immediate needs of the community they’re in.
One church held health seminars regularly teaching healthy cooking. But they found the events were poorly attended by community members. After they did a study on their community, they found that the number one health issue facing the community involved drug use and drug overdose.
The programs were not catering to the needs of the community!
If they wanted to see a response, they had to put the content they thought was important (healthy recipes) on the back burner and create programs that spoke to the needs of the community (drug abuse). The same concept applies to the kind of content you put out.
Your platform does not have to tackle biblical topics directly in order to be considered evangelistic in nature. If you want to meet the needs of people online, consider addressing topics that cater to those various needs.
Financial management, raising children, how to be productive, and hair care, are a few topics that people find relevant and want more information about.
Create websites that tackle issues that are important to the people in your community and use those topics as an opening wedge, or a common ground on which you can connect with individuals and then share the Gospel.
Search Engine Optimization is the practice of improving the unpaid traffic to a website through various methods including editing, content creation, using keywords, adding alt text, and others. While this term might seem to have a marketing nature, it is very important to the growth of the church.
Because online seekers are looking for information regarding God and the Bible. If your website is not optimized, they will go to other web pages to get the info they want.Download SEO Guide
Collect email addresses from your visitors and send regular content you know will be useful to them. The newsletter should be an extension of the experience they had at your church.
A successful newsletter campaign will keep your visitors connected with your church and what’s happening. With regular content coming in, there is less resistance when you extend an invitation for them to visit again.
Mobile-friendly web design ensures visitors will see your content clearly on their phone or tablet. If the site is not designed to fit smaller screens, viewers will see images that are cut off and misplaced words. This looks unprofessional and can cause your visitor to click on another web page.
Do you have other digital evangelism ideas? We’re putting together a second list and want your help! Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.orgSend Idea