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5 Things You Can Do To Make Your Easter Online Service Awesome

By Jeff Reed

Discover the 5 Things You Can Do To Make Your Easter Online Service Awesome

Can you believe it? Easter is upon us! Hopefully Easter prep is in full swing at your church. Marketing campaigns, social media posts, stage designs, worship sets…a lot of hype goes into Easter planning (and execution) at churches around the country. 

Prayerfully, Easter goes incredible for your church… but what can you do to make it awesome online? What can you do in the coming weeks to ensure your online experience is awesome for Easter?

Here are 5 things you can do to ensure an awesome online church experience for your Easter guests:

#1

Make Sure Your Easter Service is “Online Friendly”

First, a lot of work goes into designing the physical church service. Maybe it’s more musicians, a larger choir, or a giant cross—or you’ve got to figure out how to wheel that Harley Davidson Hog out on stage for the sermon without anyone seeing it (true story).

So much thought and planning goes into the physical production of these physical services. But honestly, sometimes, the online audience is secondary. Quite literally, they’re out of sight and out of mind. 

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Take a couple of hours and walk through the service completely as an online attendee. Can they see everything they should? Hear? Are there special elements in the service exclusive to the physical service? Can online attendees see something else online? When there’s still time to plan, take the time to ask the hard questions now.

Historically, I’d have a staff person or a high-level volunteer and tell them that they should think “online first.” In any meeting they sat in, or any prep work they did, they prioritized the online experience over physical. Everyone else’s default will be physical first. Find someone who can prioritize the online church experience. They’re digital first!

#2

Make the Commitment for More Engagement

As great as the online service will be, with the camera work and the incredible online audio mix, studies have shown that “engagement” keeps people tapped into church services longer.

Quality production is essential, but getting your comment section on social media hopping will keep your viewers listening longer. Remember, people are looking for community. Your physical audience gets community vibes from the people around them in the physical building. Online audiences often get that same feeling from an energetic comment section on social media.

So, how are you preparing your social media chat hosts to bring that energy? Do they have access to the songs in advance to create talking points? Or complementary Scripture they can share during the worship set? Do they have access to the sermon in advance or a series of thought-provoking questions they can share? Or to know when the jokes will be so they can laugh? Do they have access to all announcements for the service, with links to sign up? What about the physical location(s) of your church? Can your social media chat hosts help someone even make it to a physical church service?

Churches report a high level of first time guests attending Easter services online. Your social media chat hosts are the literal front lines for your online audience in many ways like the Guest Services team is the front line for your physical church audience. Focusing on chat hosts will increase engagement. But how do we get more energy into our social media online chat?

Recruit more chat volunteers, and don’t be afraid to bring in ringers

Chat can be heavily informational, but sometimes it’s not energetic. It’s like a comedy routine where the comedic straight man is all serious without the comedic man delivering the funny jokes. To get people who are comfortable being energetic and informational is sometimes difficult. An easy way to do this is to bring in “ringers.”

What is the best way to improve a chat or comment section quickly? Bring in some volunteers, but don’t identify them as such on social media! Instead, ask them to be excited viewers. People who ask good questions or laugh at good jokes. Or encourage those who are sharing prayer requests. Your church is trying to create a standard for online attendees. Rather than these “ringers” being church staff, what if they were just normal people who enjoyed the experience? Guests will see that even people attending your church services online are friendly! Talk about a win. 

#3

Develop a Follow-Up or Next-Step Strategy

You’ll have a lot of visitors on Easter Sunday, especially online. But what does follow-up look like? No matter how packed or well-attended your Easter services are, it won’t matter much if you don’t have a plan to help transition those visitors into full-time active members. Do you have a team who can help you with that? Need to recruit volunteers? Is there something in the online church service you want to drive the audience to? Maybe an onboarding event, join a small group, or even connect on social media? 

Take the time now to develop the plan for follow-up. Recruit the volunteers you’ll need. Ask other staff to partner with you. Write out the emails and work with your SMS text messaging program. Do the heavy lifting now so you don’t have to stress tomorrow.

#4

Make Streaming Part of Your Easter Hype

Streaming video is a powerful tool in any marketing campaign; it’s often under-utilized in churches today. Heading into Easter 2024, consider using that Resi Encoder to stream more to connect and engage your physical community. Now, I’m not talking about streaming church services here, but what about streaming your pastor into a popular Facebook Group in your physical community and inviting them to attend? Or streaming your Children’s Pastor into some local parenting groups.

Remember, on the internet, a picture is worth a thousand words. A video is worth a thousand pictures. And, according to the algorithms, live video is even more powerful! 

Beyond the hype and marketing purposes, there are other possibilities for streaming video outside of weekend services. Online prayer has been a powerful experience post-Covid. What about a morning devotional involving your staff and volunteers each morning of Holy Week? Or a simple moment on Good Friday that allows the audience to recognize Christ’s sacrifice. If you’re not doing physical services, consider doing something simple online.

That’s the secret: Keep it simple! So much work goes into Easter and the weekend services. Streaming other experiences online allows you a simple opportunity to use powerful tools to connect with your current (and future) audiences.

#5

Add Resi On Demand to Your Resi Account, and Simplify Your Easter (and Every) Monday

Easter Sunday is going to be incredible. But realize it’s going to be overwhelming, too! What if we could simplify your Easter Monday right now? Using Resi On Demand, churches like yours greatly simplify their post-service workflow. Get the on-demand sermon posted online within minutes. Get clips of the service converted into reels in the blink of an eye. Have Easter video content available on Easter Sunday (when there’s still value to it) instead of working hard to get the stuff done on Easter Monday (when everyone has moved on to the next thing.)

What could you do with your Easter Monday (and every Monday) if you simplified your workflow? Well, I suspect that will be the topic of another blog coming soon, but for Easter purposes, a good nap comes to mind.

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Jeff Reed

In 2018, Jeff stepped out of a 15-year church staffing career in production, creative, and communication to start THECHURCH.DIGITAL, a non-profit designed to help churches find their purpose through digital discipleship, mobilizing people on digital mission, and planting multiplying digital churches. He lives in Miami with his wife and two kids.

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