Engaging New People and Being Welcoming During COVID-19/Online Worship

An all-digital ministry is the new normal, at least for the near future, but that doesn’t mean we stop empowering our congregants to invite new people into our community. It DOES mean we will have to get creative by equipping our people with a few new ways to digitally invite someone to connect.

During this time of social distancing, keep in mind that many people feel more comfortable inviting
friends to Church via social media than they would in person, so if we offer our congregation the right
tools, we can actually see an increase in visitors to our online experiences.

Here are just a few things to keep in mind when building a culture of invitation in completely digital landscape:

Download infographic here.

1. Expect Visitors

Take the time to say WHO you are and WHAT your church is all about during your online services, don’t assume everyone knows. In other words, expect visitors.

2. Experiment

Particularly if you have a younger congregation, don’t be afraid to experiment with newer platforms like Houseparty, TikTok, or IGTV.

3. Weekly Zoom

Have an easy, weekly online small group that you can always point visitors to. This group should have a simple, consistent format that doesn’t leave newcomers feeling out of the loop. For instance, this could be a 30 minute ZOOM meeting that asks three check-in questions each week:

  • How are you caring for your mind?
  • How are you caring for your body?
  • How are you caring for your soul?

4. Create a Buzz

Encourage your congregants to do the church a favor by commenting and liking your posts, Facebook live services, and other events. It creates a buzz and increases your church’s visibility.

5. Create a Hashtag

Create a hashtag and encourage people to use it when posting about opportunities. “Can’t wait for open Small Group on Wednesday!” #ArrivingAtHope

6. Communicate

If you pre-record your Sunday service, arrange for a Facebook “watch party” on Sunday so people can communicate with one another during worship.

7. Inspire

Share an informational picture/graphic on Facebook or Instagram and ask your congregants to tag three friends.

8. Dance Party Playdates

Host Zoom room dance parties or playdates for kids to see and interact with one another and close in prayer together.

9. Invite Someone

Every week, ask: “Who are you going to invite?”

10. Engage Youth

Organize Zoom room scavenger hunts for youth.