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In a recent podcast, Founder & Engineer, Steve Lacy and Church Tech Expert, Phil Thompson spoke with Kenny Jahng from Church Communications about opportunities church often miss while streaming. This year, many churches are brand new to live streaming and therefore make several common mistakes:

Mistake #1 — “Copy and paste” from offline to online

From print to radio, radio to TV, and TV to online, a program must evolve to respect the medium. For example, posting announcements and newsletters onto social media platforms is not utilizing the unique medium of social media. In that case, interactivity is key. People expect online communication to be a two-way straight, not a lecture or a podcast. Using tools like online chat features can help people feel included online just like if they were in-person.

Mistake #2 — Engagement relying solely on the pastor

Thinking passed the actual sermon or church program, pastors need to activate their people. Church leadership should create a pipeline of actions/reactions for the volunteer team to engage with congregational members. For example, when should a chat host refer a visitor to a life group director or local pastor?

Mistake #3 — Not giving a "Call to Action"

Webinars have been around longer than most churches have been broadcasting their services. Best practices for webinars can serve as great examples for church broadcasts. One of the most important parts of a webinar is the “call to action” at the end. What’s the next step you want your members to take after the live stream? What goals have your church leadership identified for visitors? Is the call to action a button (clickable image) on your streaming platform?

Mistake #4 — Confusing new visitors

Largely due to the pandemic, more people are open to creating or growing a relationship with God. The need for strong communities encouraging hope and faith-based connection is apparent now more than ever. If a new visitor watches your service, will they feel excluded or confused? What if they're brand new to attending church itself? Make sure you explain the importance and purpose behind different parts of your church service, like Advent season and communion.

Mistake #5 — Lack of easily accessible information

When you’re in-person attending a church service, it’s relatively easy to speak with a greeter or collect pamphlets containing important information. Churches can translate this to their online presence by contacting visitors via automated email follow-ups and texting announcements. Collect contact information by creating a button on your streaming platform that leads to a contact form. If you have a StreamingChurch.tv account, you can create this button in either the Dynamc or Static area of your streaming platform.

View the full podcast (with the #6 mistake churches make while streaming) here.