Across America, churches have closed their doors.
The oddity of pastors delivering a Sunday morning message – some standing in empty pews, some standing onstage in an empty auditorium, and others sitting at a desk, perhaps with a fireplace behind them – certainly is unusual.
Isolation – not fellowship – is the norm.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t evangelize.
It doesn’t mean we can’t see the body of Christ mobilizing. Each church with an online presence has an opportunity.
Those who have been behind in technology … those churches that are smaller… and those churches that have not developed a database … are at a major disadvantage.
Because they have no way to reach out to people and attract them to their online services.
Those with a database have a big advantage. For example, Greg Laurie of Harvest Crusade and his church harvest.
He has used his database to help mobilize people to watch his Sunday service online. The first church service held during the shutdown was on March 15th.
A total of 231,277 people watched online … and 1,438 made a commitment to Jesus Christ.
In analyzing the data, he found there was a 400% increase in attendance from the normal number of people watching his program online.
My wife and I have been watching various services online … and the numbers of people watching have been very small and disappointing.
But this is how Sunday morning services and Bible studies are going to be conducted until things turn around with the COVID-19 pandemic.
So how does a pastor take advantage of it?
1. Build a database of attendees both for now and for use in the future.
Promise people that you will text updates to them. Ask them for their email address so you can inform them by email as well as by text message.
2. Be sure to be proactive in reminding them 2 or 3 times that the service is about ready to start.
3. Be sure to have a Call to Action (CTA) at the end of your online service.
This is what we call in marketing an Alter Call. That’s right – an online Alter Call.
So many people are living in fear. So many people who are not Christians are listening in. So many people who want to rededicate their lives to Christ are listening in as well.
Do not ever give up an opportunity to ask people to accept Christ as their personal savior.
Here is one tool that is quite amazing that you should use.
It’s an online interactive screen in which those watching can indicate by clicking “Raise hand” that they’re making a commitment to Christ.
No more raising hands in a church.
No more walking forward in church.
No more going behind a closed door or seeing a person at the front of the church sanctuary.
Have them make a commitment online.
What do you think? Email me at [email protected].
Here are the rest of this week’s articles: