There are a lot of ways to incorporate digital tools into church ministries. One effective way I’ve been using digital media is to develop online make-up sessions for church members who can’t make the face-to-face meetings.
I frequently hear objections to online meetings because there is a risk that they will pull people away from the personal touch of the face-to-face experience. It’s a valid concern because we need to keep our members physically in touch with each other in order to build an authentic church community. But a well-developed digital strategy can be used as a complement to, not a replacement for, key interpersonal encounters.
We all know that schedules are more hectic than ever. We need to be strategic about when we expect church members to gather and when some other form of interaction is appropriate. People are generally very appreciative if you make it worth their effort when you call them out of their homes to attend a gathering or meeting at church. Let’s be honest, not every meeting we hold is worth the effort they expend to get there. We could just as easily deliver the information they need digitally and prevent a lot of grumbling about unnecessary meetings.
Another consideration, and this is the one for which I’ll share an example, is make-up sessions. Rarely will you get 100% attendance at a meeting or program. Why not offer an online make-up session for some of your programs?
I’ve been offering online make-up sessions for my Confirmation program this year. Anyone who misses the gathered program is invited to participate in the online session that covers the same material they would have experienced in the gathered session. My experience is that people are not using the online make-up session as a way to get out of the program for which I offer it. Everyone who has used an online session has returned to the face-to-face session the following month. They are using the online session in the way we intend it to be used, i.e. as a substitute for and not a replacement of the gathered session. Between the face-to-face and the online session, we have 100% attendance in our Confirmation program this year!
Click on this link to experience our first online make-up session for Confirmation teens and their parents:
The digital tools we used for this session are Weebly for the website, Audacity for the audio recordings, and Camtasia Studio for the custom video production. You don’t have to be a pro to use any of these and two of them are fr
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