How a Small Church Can Leverage a Church Online

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I had coffee with a friend who planted a church a few years ago and he asked me how my job as an online campus pastor could in anyway help his new church. I loved the question because at first I wasn’t sure, but after some conversation and caffeine I had an idea and I wanted to share it with you.

All brick and mortar churches offer up a limited amount of church services on a weekend. You can’t offer more than 8 services at a given location because of daylight, volunteer time, and resources. This means every week there is on average around 4 hours your church location is ready for a new attender to experience your church and 164 hours underutilized. What if there was a way to leverage all 168 hours a week? What if there was a way for a new attender to experience what your church is all about on-demand anytime? Church online is the answer.

Five Steps to Get Up & Going:
1. Weekly capture your church service in high definition quality (welcome, music, & message).
2. Launch a church online experience page
3. Apply for a Google Grant to get $10,000 a month of online advertising through Google AdWords
4. Set up an advertising campaign targeting people within a 30 mile radius of your church address and direct traffic to your new 24/7 church online service page with your Google Grant money.*
5. Create a video and banner advertisement (place invite video/banner directly under your video player on your church online page) for everyone who visits your new online church experience to attend your local church (have your senior pastor do the invite video).

With five simple steps you will have a church service running 168 hours a week for new attenders to watch and get connected to your church targeting your local community.

*When setting up a Google AdWord campaign with your nonprofits’ Google Grant money use local language in the headline of the ad copy people from your city can identify with like “Watch LA Church Service” or “Live New York City Church Online” (insert your city name where the underline is located).

Examples:

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Explore my top posts to learn more and check out www.onlinechurchleaders.com. If you want to accelerate the learning process I can coach your church on how to get an online church experience up and going easily by signing up here!

Full Screen is How the Average Attender is Watching

All church online experiences are 1/4 video and 3/4 everything else.

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The problem with this approach is people consume video in FULL SCREEN mode. You watch Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube videos in FULL SCREEN mode. We all hit the expand button.

The average visitor to our church online experience doesn’t see the important response elements. The response elements are essential because the response buttons is how an unconnected person gets connected. The response elements is how the large church can feel small. Those response elements allow for a person to reach out and be known. We need to be thinking of more development and design ways to target the FULL SCREEN attenders.

Let’s think bigger and better, so more can come to know Jesus, get connected into a healthy small group to live out their faith, and grow closer to Christ in the process.

Online Church Leader Gathering > iMinistry Conference

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Are you overseeing a church online right now? Are you thinking about launching a church online experience? If you answered yes to either of the previous two questions this conference is for you!

The iMinistry Conference will feature guest speakers, large group sessions, small group sessions, and my favorite part of interacting over breakfast, lunch, and dinner with fellow church online leaders.

The conference is happening October 14th-16th in Dallas, TX. If you use the code “facebook” when you register the event will only cost $99.

Learn more at www.iministryconference.org.

See you there!

4 Questions a Streaming Live Service Expert Can Answer

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Knowing the details of how to stream a live service and/or do a rebroadcast service can be confusing. This is where Stream Monkey comes in to help. I don’t work for Stream Monkey, but love their passion for helping churches. Here are four questions only a streaming live service expert can answer (responses by Nicholas from Stream Monkey):

How can Stream Monkey help a church setup a church online experience? 
Through the years, Stream Monkey has been able to capture the needs and desires of our clients. If we listen, we hear. If we hear, we can create something that our clients want. Stream Monkey’s platform provides a back end client dashboard that enables them to manage their streaming assets, live or on-demand. We provide a super easy way to then embed and monitor the streams. Our various analytical report packs help the client to adapt and develop their own content to better the experience for the user (viewer). Over time, Stream Monkey continues to research and develop tools and features that can be utilized to engage and enhance both management and experience with reliability. Beyond that, we can help integrate the content into a third party online campus, abounding with numerous other ways to engage with the user. Stream Monkey doesn’t want to stop at a product or technology; we want to culminate an experience for the user by delivering a solution, not just content.

How much should a church expect to pay for streaming their services online monthly? 
There is a range depending on the need. Obviously if you build a personal budget for utilities and necessities, those numbers are based on the amount of what you need. You will need more gas for your car if you drive more every month. We are structured like a utility. We start low, $50-$99/month and grow with the client as needed. We provide 1 year term commitments to alleviate the need to pay overages monthly. Monthly allotments can get away from you, so we provide an annual bucket to pull from all year long. But, our biggest difference from anywhere else is our support and reliability. Our on-call support wait time is non existent, and our up-time is through the roof. We can handle entry to enterprise level plans and support.

What would you say to a church thinking about streaming their services online? Any advice? 
Thinking about it? Form a plan on your end. Think of your goals and vision for what you want to accomplish. This technology is designed to work for you, and not the other way around. Then, come to someone like us and you’ll learn that we can come alongside that plan and make it happen. Advice? You’ve got a message that you want to deliver and engage your user with. That’s your most precious asset. Make sure to choose a path that will make your delivery a success. The more consistent you are at doing that, the more your viewership will grow. I worked at a church for almost a decade. We were able to take an online congregation of maybe a few hundred people to 4,000 in just a couple of years by simply being consistent and designing an experience that was just for them, as if they were another campus or venue. Stream Monkey sees our clients the same way. The more consistent we can be and the better experience we can provide you, the more successful you can be in the very same way to your congregation.

How did Stream Monkey get started? What is the vision of Stream Monkey?
Stream Monkey started as an answer to a call. The call came from churches wanting a simple, consistent streaming company that offered decent support. The founder and I worked together at a large church in the Orlando area and came in contact with these other churches in need constantly as our department was giving away what innovation we had been developing. We still had our full time commitments to manage as well, and as a church, we couldn’t handle their hosting needs. That just wasn’t in the scope of our budget. So, Chris (the founder) decided to do a one-off project. He then formed the company. We went to play golf together one day and I pitched my idea of helping him take this to the next level…basically to two clients! That’s how we started, and our vision, at a basic level, hasn’t changed that much. Stream Monkey wants to provide a simple, working solution to improve the experience of our customers. We want to do this with a one by one customer experience, but be able to scale with ease so that we can support the masses. I feel, 3 years later, we are still doing just that and doing it in strides! Our support has proven itself necessary and Stream Monkey wants to continue developing and innovating as far as we can go.

Thanks Nicholas and the entire Stream Monkey team for all you do for churches.

You can learn more about Stream Monkey at www.streammonkey.com.