Online Church: Overcoming the Fear of Technology

Church at its best is when it captures powerful storytelling, engaging people and moving them by what is said, to join us in other spaces for chat, prayer, and deeper discussion.

Online Church: Overcoming the Fear of Technology
A screenshot of the Floris United Methodist Church's online church website.
Online Church: Overcoming the Fear of Technology
A screenshot of the Floris United Methodist Church's online church website.

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Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.
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Today, most people and churches are just starting to consider live streaming as a regular part of the way they work, teach and connect. Therefore, online church is on track at being the next great tool, empowering providers of worship, and those that worship with us, to connect, create and celebrate people globally.

It helps if people see what is being provided, and feel the added value to their own lives and communities through the online site.

After live streaming for six years, Floris United Methodist Church wanted to take the next step, to be in partnership with and provide our congregation a way that is totally inclusive, while making a difference in the world. We know that partnering with our congregation is critical, to achieve the eventual level of envisioned discipleship.

Online church offers a multiplicity of ways to make this happen. Most importantly, it creates impactful connections with purpose and vision, that can be meaningful for everyone.

Church at its best is when it captures powerful storytelling, engaging people and moving them by what is said, to join us in other spaces for chat, prayer, and deeper discussion.

In these spaces, whether chatting one-on-one with a pastor, joining small groups, peer-to-peer groups, prayer groups, or being part of a real-time conversation, being held in places like a virtual lobby, during a hosted discussion or on Facebook, topics can continue to be explored in a more inspiring and fulfilling way.

Sharing and connecting may lead to discipleship through online church. It is uniquely different online, though, and at first, it can be difficult for people to overcome using technology, despite feeling strongly about a topic or event.

It helps if people see what is being provided, and feel the added value to their own lives and communities through the online site. They need to quickly know what they are getting into without having to guess, because joining an online church is partnering in a different way, which requires trust.  Explain what you stand for online, and what you support, up front and out loud.

One of the easiest first steps in creating that trust is to make sure the worship experience remains consistent, unique and interesting enough, to where it draws the viewer back each and every week.

The main key in overcoming technology is to design a site where people feel welcome, where information and participation is clearly defined, the site is easily accessible and intuitive to use, especially when a large part of the goal is to have site visitors invite friends to the online campus.


More About Keri Rafter
Keri Rafter is the Technical Director for Floris United Methodist Church, where she focuses on innovative and outside-the-box thinking to engage the church to be a catalyst for change. Keri looks for trends and shifts in culture that provide opportunities that can be turned into potential membership growth. She coaches churches and other organizations to have patience through the risk taking process of innovating and to have a diverse and inclusive focus. She is also a television director, producer, and managing principal of MediaKraft, a Washington D.C. area creative media production company.
Get in Touch: krafter@florisumc.org    More by Keri Rafter

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.


Article Topics

Technology · Streaming · Visual Arts · Multi-media · Team Management · Leadership · Campus · Connections · Conversation · Discipleship · Discussion · Floris United Methodist Church · All Topics

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