Several days ago I posted the article “5 Online Events Your Church Can Do This Month“. It was a pretty popular article, so I decided to follow up with…
4 More Online Events Your Church Can Host
1. Live blogging conferences.
If your church is putting on a conference or members of your church are attending a conference, blog about the event as it’s happening. This can allow people who are unable to attend the conference to still get much of the great information being presented.
A single person can do this, but it’s even better if you have several people posting to the same blog. They can provide different perspectives for sessions everyone participates in and, if there smaller workshops offered, the members of your group can attend different workshops and blog about each workshop.
By having multiple people posting multiple blog posts through out the day, it creates a steady stream of posts giving the people participating through the blog (not attending) more of a sense of an ongoing event as opposed to a review/summary posted at the end of the day. Let as many people post to the blog as want to and encourage commenting and responding to comments.
2. Host online prayer times.
You don’t have to be in the same room to pray for someone or to pray together. By arranging a set time when people can attend a time of prayer, you can provide more opportunities for people to pray for each other as well as opportunities for people to seek prayer who would never show up for a prayer service in person.
As much as churches try to be loving and accepting, people’s sin can often make them feel isolated and unworthy. They may be embarrassed to attend a prayer service in person and admit their struggle. By offering a way for people to seek prayer online, that can remove lots of barriers. You can even allow people to participate anonymously. Establishing an online prayer time can be a great outreach to non-church goers. Be sure to provide a way to get in contact with the pastor, counselor, elder, or someone in the church during and after the event.
3. Host live messages from guest speakers.
Having a guest speaker used to be time consuming and costly. The guest speaker would have to travel to the church and the church would have to pay for travel and accommodations. But now a guest speaker can deliver a message live online. This presents the opportunity to have many more guest speakers and for speakers to speak address more congregations.
Your church should promote these guest speaker events just like they would a real-world event. Also, while certain speakers may be well known enough to generate interest outside your church, doing events based on a topic usually attract more interest. Think about it. Which would interest you more, if I told you Tim Johnson was going to be speaking or if I told you we were having an expert on financial planning and debt reduction speaking. So, it’s usually best to focus on the topic in your promotion of the event.
A webinar format is usually the best format for this kind of event as you can have a moderator/host from the church and the guest speaker presenting the webinar and have slides or video.
4. Host an expert panel.
This is much like a having a guest speaker except you get multiple people to talk about a particular topic or event. You have a moderator from the church that simply asks questions and the panel members can respond to the questions.
Two benefits of the expert panel is that a.) the guests do not have to prepare an organized message and b.) no one guest is the sole focus of the event. For some people who don’t care for public speaking having to deliver a full presentation would prevent them from agreeing to do it. Also, for people who are very busy they may not have time to put together a full presentation. Just getting online for an hour to answer some questions is a lot less work and less intimidating.
The webinar format is once again probably the best format for this. Getting a well know name for an “expert panel” can be a huge draw for people. Also, it’s usually a good idea to give the panel members a preview of the questions or at least let them know the topics that will be covered.
Do you have any other online event ideas?
Do you have any online event stories you can share?
Please share in the comments.