Christmas will be here before you know it, but let’s face it; this coronavirus outbreak is the new normal. And as more days go by, it seems that we will be self-quarantined for the near future. However, this time should not be lost. In fact, there are thousands of churches out there that are using this time to continue to grow their online presence!
If someone was thinking about checking out a church, it is much easier to watch a service online, then to physically drive to a church to visit, even if you are meeting during COVID-19. Make the most out of this time by utilizing all of the tools and resources at your disposal, especially during the Christmas season. Don’t waste this opportunity.
Use the following ideas to further the connection you currently have with your church family, while also promoting an uplifting and spiritual place for new visitors to join!
1. Start Brainstorming now with you team (if you have not begun).
It’s best to set aside time with several creative people and put some thought and energy into this event. The fact is people who don’t normally go to church will attend a Christmas Eve or Christmas service. This year they might not come “in person,” but they might attend online. This is a tremendous opportunity.
2. Having a central look and theme is the best way to start promoting your Christmas services.
Decide on the theme you want to emphasize in the message and build your graphics around that and use those graphics in every place to promote your online event (as well as on ground). Keep it consistent so people will recognize it as they see it on different platforms.
3. Hit Social Media Posts with your branded Christmas theme
Have a consistent Christmas theme across your choice of social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Decide when you will start promoting your event. The sooner the better. You can target your social media using Facebook and Google Ad words to get the best results. Creating an event on Facebook will also help get the word out.
4. Custom Facebook Profile Theme for Members
You could build a profile theme for your Christmas event that your members could use in their profile pics to help promote your Holiday event.
5. Online Christmas Invite for Members to Use
Create an online Christmas-themed invitation that your members can share with their friends and family. The best advertising is word of mouth, but in these pandemic days, sharing online is the next best thing.
6. Offer special daily Christmas devotions online
This will take a little more effort but sharing a 2 – 3 minute thought about the Christmas season the week or two before will not only be a source of encouragement for your members but also remind them of your online Christmas event. Provide them a means to share this with their friends.
7. Start Using Announcement Slides (promoting Christmas event)
Your announcement slides need to promote your Christmas event often. You can run these with your Brand and Theme that we talked about above. If you are meeting in person at your facility as well as your live streaming, they need to be a big part of your announcements.
8. Christmas Countdown timer
These are available online and serve as a great reminder of the event. Use them on your website and other places people might visit.
9. Christmas Video Opener
There are many Christmas Worship Videos you can purchase for a reasonable price or you can make your own. You can use these to promote your event or perhaps use a video as the open of the actual event.
10. Use Christmas Worship Backgrounds and Sermon Graphics
You might consider using the theme you have created as a background for any Christmas songs your congregation would be singing before Christmas. You can certain find many Christmas backgrounds available online. Using these will remind folks of your Christmas event.
11. Special Music
Mixing the music up for your Christmas event is always a good thing. Your music/worship leader ought to be a part of your brain storming time for the Christmas event. Preview a special song a week or two before the event.
12. Special Offering for Community
Use this event to help your local community. Suggest a local charity to your online viewers or decide to sponsor a worthwhile cause in your city.
13. Online Connection Card
If you don’t have a way to gather information for your online viewers, now is the time to develop something where folks can put in prayer requests, and other important information. Jotform is a great tool you can use and you can customize the forms. Follow up with your online viewers is very important.
14. Use Zoom for Online Services
You can use Zoom and still send the stream to your video/chat platform on your website for those reluctant to use Zoom. Zoom gives you the opportunity to hold an interactive service, where you can schedule a time before, during, or after for your members to connect and share with others.
15. Host Online Prayer Meetings for the Christmas Event
The Christmas season can be a very difficult time for people, especially during this pandemic. While we’re on the subject of online tools, you can be hosting a weekly prayer meeting with your congregation. Online prayer meetings will promote connection with your church during this time where people are longing for connection with others. Not only will this online prayer meeting help your church stay connected, but this will also give you an opportunity to pray for others in your church.
Some people will not come to a large Christmas Eve service because of the times we are in but they may watch online. Take the time to improve this online experience; you’ll be glad you did.