Quick Digital Wins

While some of the things you need to do to bring your church into the 21st century might take time and planning there are some things which are a little bit easier to tick off the to-do list and will help step up your game. Not only will the short list below help improve your church’s digital presence but it could also help disprove some people’s misconceptions about what church is like and what they expect a church to do and offer:

Offer Free Wi-Fi in the Church
While this is not always easy, depending on how rural your church is, setting up free internet in the church is a great idea. Not only will it benefit the community but will mean your church can do so much more using it. Read this story from a church in Norwich Diocese to see how successful it was for them. Once it’s set up, don’t forget to put signs up to let people know how to access it (and also ensure you’ve amended the filtering settings so any children using it can’t access anything they shouldn’t).

Encourage people to tweet/keep their phones on during the service
It’s a really simple thing. Instead of asking people to turn their phones off before the service, ask them to not only keep their phones on but encourage them to tweet throughout the service. By doing this, your service will reach a few more people and could be the first steps for some people in wanting to know more.

Hold social media classes
The problem with social media is that there’s always a divide between those who know how to use and it and those who don’t. If you’re wanting your church to embrace social media, you might end up leaving those people behind. To counteract that, why not set up a few informal classes and get those who know how to use it to sit down with those who don’t, to teach them a thing or two. (Why not make it into a cafe style event) Hopefully they’ll gain a better understanding of the church’s social media strategy and you might even get a few more Twitter followers in the process.

Make it clear you’re on social media
This might seem obvious but don’t forget to tell people and remind people that your church is on social media. Places such as your website, email signatures and your church notice board are great places to display any logos for social networks your church is on. You can also include details in any e-newsletters or magazines you produce, the service sheet and front of church projection. Don’t forget to tell people in conversations and in any notices you do during the service (having free wi-fi in the church means you can encourage people to follow your social media accounts there and then!)

Offer Skype
Got a baptism or wedding couple with a family member unable to make the service? Why not offer for them to watch the event via Skype? All you need is a laptop which has a webcam set up at the front (and of course that internet again!). It’s a great extra service to offer which is often greatly appreciated.

Keep your ACNY page up to date
When was the last time you updated your www.achurchnearyou.com page? Every Church of England church has one and it can be one of the first places people encounter your church. If the information is incorrect or out of date you’re doing yourself a disservice. Even if you check it every two or three months, it will give the people who want to learn more about your church a better chance to see the real you. Not only should you keep the information up to date but makes sure you’re including as much information as possible to be as helpful as possible.

Got any questions? Let me know in the comments below.
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3 thoughts on “Quick Digital Wins

  1. Pingback: 10 Things yours Church should do this year on Social Media | DigiProud

  2. Great blog post. Other ideas that I’ve seen churches use is recording the service as both audio and video and then repurposing these as YouTube videos and podcasts. Excellent ways to expand the reach of the message being preached. Training days are also massively beneficial, like you pointed out with social media training. Keep up the great blogging!

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  3. I think this is a great initiative but is wobbly side on video and poor quality sound the way forward. Periscope is great for a few minutes but to watch a whole service and to take part in that service from afar I think is really hard.

    At Romsey Abbey we have for the last few years recorded and podcast sermons, which has found a large following not only in our own congregation but further afield as well. At Christmas we streamed our major services using Livestream.com and these proved to be very popular again with our own congregation who were not able to attend but also those abroad looking to worship in an anglican tradition at Christmas.

    As a result we are now continuing to stream our major services initially, but are already in discussion with local nursing homes for a weekly feed. We have this week also had out first wedding couple book to have their service streamed as they have family that are not able to attend.

    If the CofE wants to develop this mission it needs to be done to a high standard, yes that means investing a little bit of money in to technology but the rewards are there, lets not undersell ourselves to keep attracting people back to online services the quality counts.

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