In-Person Services Cancelled: Taking the Gospel Online

Many states have ordered or recommended that gatherings be limited in size to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in communities. These orders and recommendations have caused ministries to cancel weekend services and other ministry activities. Ministry leaders face the challenge of rethinking how they “do” church if they can’t deliver the word in-person. We’ve gathered some practical ideas to help you continue the work of the gospel online while your doors are temporarily closed.

If taking your church service online seemed daunting before, use this time to explore its benefits. And don’t go it alone. Reach out to your staff and volunteers to see what experience they have with taking videos and posting online. Ask your congregation for help, you’ll be surprised how many people have expertise in this through their own work or just dabble in it for fun. You can begin low budget/low tech and expand later. Your attendees will understand that getting the gospel out to them during this difficult time is your goal. Don’t forget to communicate with your congregation and the community about the where, when, and how to attend your online service or activity.   

If your church has a website, a Facebook page, or Facebook Group page, then you already have a virtual space to house your video. Additionally, take advantage of some the tools on Facebook such as the Learning Unit. You may want to create an account for free video hosting with a site like Youtube. You can film video sermons or messages for your congregation on a smartphone or a webcam and then upload from there. 

If you’re considering going with a more high tech with livestreaming, check out this tutorial from the creative team at The Digital Pastor, for tips on everything you need from equipment to streaming services.

Additionally, a platform like Subsplash helps you with most of your virtual needs including church website, posting video sermons, group text, and online giving/tithing.

The communication specialists at Church Juice encourage churches to get creative in how you can design a worship experience virtually. It doesn’t need to be a complete reproduction of your regular services. Ask your team for their ideas. Some questions to ask include:

  • What tools do we need for an online experience?
  • What elements of our worship service can we do online?
  • How do we make the transition to online as easy as possible for people while we are temporarily closed?

Additional Resources:

Coronavirus and your Church – Thom Rainer,24663

Love in the Time of Coronavirus – Andy Crouch

Church Communications Blog About Facebook Groups

Church Shares Coronavirus Messaging

Communicating in a Time of Coronavirus

Posted March 16, 2020

The information provided in this article is intended to be helpful, but it does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for the advice from a licensed attorney in your area. We strongly encourage you to regularly consult with a local attorney as part of your risk management program.