Talk with Sly King, Online Campus Pastor at The Worship Center Christian Church in Alabama, for one minute, and you’ll immediately hear his passion for online ministry. He’s passionate about building community and connection for church online attenders, and helping churches start their #churchonline journey on the right foundation.
In this post, he shares his four-step plan for launching church online. Read more blog posts about church online.
When you hear the words “church online” what are your initial thoughts?
“Sounds great, but how is it possible?”
“Is church relevant online?”
“I don’t have a huge budget or staff, so it’s probably not for me.”
Maybe you’re reading this and wondering what to do first. Getting started can be overwhelming, especially if you’re leading the charge and no one around knows what to do, but they want to launch online ministry.
If you find yourself in that position—or if you’re already doing church online—here are some vital steps that can get you started or help you course-correct if you’re going in the wrong direction.
4 Steps to Start Church Online
- Develop a strategy. Why is this important? You need a strategy and goals to know if you’re winning. Sit down (with your thoughts and with others) and determine:
- How does church online support the overall mission and goals of the church?
- What are our short-term and long-term goals for church online?
- How will you communicate about church online to your current attenders?
- Will you treat church online as a campus?
- What equipment do you need?
- What platform will you choose and who will be your streaming provider?
- Present your plan to your leadership. This is a very important step because having buy-in from your senior leadership is CRUCIAL to the success of church online. Why? Because before you can start moving forward, you and your leadership need to have the same expectations. And, leadership should see the big picture and have confidence in you being able to execute on your strategy.
Even if your church is very informal, don’t just throw something together. Have a sound presentation that clearly states your plan and how you intend to execute it. I suggest creating a 6 to 12 month plan and creating a budget before you present to your leadership.
- Create a plan of execution. Developing a solid foundation begins with your plan of execution. Put dates on the calendar and create tasks that must be accomplished to launch your online ministry. Don’t forget the people!
Remember, church online is community around content, not just content streamed online.
How will you connect people to their next steps? Encourage them to come back? What happens after people connect with your ministry online? How are you going to communicate the vision, mission and the goals of the ministry? What happens after someone gives his or her life to Christ online? These are questions you must wrestle with as part of your execution plan.
- Build your team. One thing is very certain—you cannot do this alone, and you don’t want to! You need to have a solid team around you. Look for volunteers who have a heart to serve and desire to make a difference for Christ by praying and chatting online each week with those who attend church online. Invest in your team! Help them understand how to use the platform: answer Live Prayer, respond in chat, etc.
If you’ve taken these steps and have decided that online ministry is the right move for your church, get connected with the Church Online Platform, a free tool for sharing the gospel through the Internet