3 Things That Will Work in Digitally-Engaged Ministry This Year
When we gather for the vibrantfaith SUMMIT in April, we’re going to have a different kind of day than a lot of conferences. There will be taps, notes, and splatters of familiarity with what you have experienced before, but we’re building in ways for this to be much less a peak (or valley, we hope) and much more Cape Canaveral launch pad.
We want to talk about what works. But the thing is, locality matters, so we’re also designing resource that are flexible and experiences that we’ll co-create so that you’ll immediately be applying what we’re learning together to your context. Below, you’ll find a first crack at doing just that for our Day 3 time together focused on Digital Engagement. Based on a bit of research, a little intuition, and a look at the landscape of the church today, here are three things that will work this year in ministry that is digitally-enabled and digitally-engaged.
1 // Updated graphics, branding, and photos
The maybe unfortunate (or maybe opportunistic) reality of a changed ministry landscape is that people don’t just show up anymore. They don’t offer their time as freely, and they do much less out of obligation. The church is in heated competition for time and attention. People are socialized through imagery these days, so what we offer them in terms of graphics, images, words, fonts, logos, etc. really do matter. They are “make or break” for people looking for a new church home, or a church home for the first time. By the way, remember that you don’t need a graphic designer to create engaging imagery that grabs attention and calls to action.
2 // Simpler websites
Your website isn’t a library anymore. When it comes to passing on information, people need the smallest amount of the most important info in the shortest amount of time. Whether you are doing a redesign, or just creating or updating a new page, a new way of thinking/visioning may help start a great trend. Use negative space, larger fonts, images and video, and less words. Busy is really hard for people in digital space, minimalistic and ridiculously user friendly are attractive, magnetic, and make people want to know more and be part of it.
3 // Go LIVE
When multiple platforms pay attention and begin to develop their own creative take on a concept, it’s worth paying attention to. This year (and for some so come I think) that concept is live video. People love access and they love to share experiences. That’s the difference “live” offers – that chance to share an experience despite distance. From a technical and statistical perspective, Facebook in particular will populate newsfeeds with live video more than any other type of content. When Periscope came out, Twitter bought it almost immediately, and uses that to broadcast live. More and more churches are streaming services and special events through Facebook live. You can scroll down our Facebook page to see devotions facilitated via FB live. So if you’re looking for something to try, this is the one. If you’re not, try this anyway, because in 2017 its worth it.
That’s what we expect will work this year. We’ll hit on these during Day 3 of the Summit and bake some of these in to your next steps after we gather. If you’ve got great examples of how you’ve seen these three things play out, share in the comments below!
What are we missing? If we made this list longer, what would you add? Comment below…