Is There Such a Thing as a "Typical" Sermon?

June 23, 2016

It’s said that a good sermon can’t be too long and a bad sermon can’t be short enough.

The sermon is one of the most important parts of the service. Done well, it can elevate a weekly routine into something memorable and life-changing. Done poorly, it is quickly forgotten.

As you’ll see in the 2012 National Congregations Study, there’s no “best” or “right” way to conduct a sermon. Below are some interesting facts on how they can be influenced by region, congregation size, and other factors.

Read More

How to Keep Strong Ties With Your Church Community This Summer

May 19, 2016

Summer is the season when the grass comes up and church attendance goes down.

Many congregations experience declining attendance during the summer for various reasons: people go on vacation, there are more family activities to compete with, there’s yard work to be done.

While your church should do everything in its power to encourage people to attend services this summer, some decline is inevitable. However, this can be a good opportunity to make the most of live video streaming.

Read More

5 Guiding Principles for a Powerful Church Website

May 08, 2016

The debate over whether churches need websites is over.

Despite a few holdouts, the consensus is that churches, particularly those that hope to thrive, need a presence online.

No one sets out to build a bad website, but some organizations don’t put enough strategic thought into it and throw up a confusing mix of art, information and graphics, making it difficult to navigate and hard to interact with.

While companies like Squarespace, WordPress, or FaithConnector have taken a lot of the guesswork out of designing a site, there are some key principles to keep in mind:

Read More

An Amazing Thing Can Happen When You Know Your Online Audience

May 05, 2016

Take a moment to consider who you could reach with a live video stream.

The people tuning in online likely include a mix of the housebound, travelers, members who’ve moved away and can no longer attend, people temporarily under the weather and those who’ve never been to your church but who found it online and want to learn more.

It’s an eclectic group, one that changes in size and membership with each broadcast. But it remains unseen. The live stream viewers are unaware of who else is watching. And, despite the presence of cameras, it can be easy for your congregation to forget there is an audience other than the one sitting in front of them - those in attendance simply do not think about those watching remotely. 

Read More

Are Your Archived Streams Are Actually Important?

April 28, 2016

When most people think about live video streaming services, they tend to focus on what’s happening that day or on the coming Sunday. Live streaming is, after all, primarily about immediacy and helping viewers to share in a celebration that they can’t attend.

But there’s another aspect to live streaming that is often overlooked — the archived version of events that were just streamed.

Read More

Why You Should Be Live Video Streaming Every Church Meeting

April 14, 2016

The church is so much more than a place for Sunday morning worship.

Churches also house various committees essential to every community, whether they be for community service, youth group, family counseling, and more. 

Still, with so many people involved, it can seem impossible to coordinate meeting times that work with everyone’s hectic schedules.

Read More

Research Shows Technology is Paramount to Church Growth

April 05, 2016

Churches that embrace change, including the use of technology in their services, are more likely to thrive and grow, according to a new study from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

American Congregations 2015, a national survey of congregations, is something the Hartford Institute has done five times since 2000. The findings are based on data from more than 4,400 congregations of all denominations.

The survey looked at what growing church bodies had in common and found that churches willing to embrace change and modify their worship offerings generally fare better.

Read More

Here's How to Ensure That Your Easter Stream is Special

March 23, 2016

For most churches, Easter services are the most beautiful and important of the year.

We celebrate the resurrection of Christ and the salvation of mankind in the spring—a time when nature renews itself, echoing the message that life has begun anew. It’s as if everything is working together to proclaim God’s glory.

Spirits are high, the sense of community is strong and it’s a wonderful chance to convert “Easter lilies,” those congregants who show up only once a year, into regulars.

But all of this can be lost on members who live stream the services. Yes, they’ll hear the sermon and the hymns, but, if you don’t plan for it, they’ll miss some of what makes Easter worship so special.

Here’s how to make your Easter live stream as glorious as possible:

Read More

5 Easy Ways to Raise the Profile of Your Church

February 18, 2016

This post talks about five easy ways to connect your church to local media groups. It's part of our series on church growth.

Have you noticed that the mainstream media outlets in your town tend to publicize a handful of congregations while largely ignoring the others?

It seems like every newspaper and TV station has a “go-to” congregation and religious leader for each faith. As a result, certain priests, ministers, rabbis and imams are quoted and interviewed over and over....and your voice isn’t being heard.

Have you ever wondered why? As a former newspaper reporter and editor who’s written many stories about churches, I can tell you how to get coverage.

Read More

The Events Your Church Needs to Be Streaming

February 02, 2016

You’ve been live streaming Sunday services for a while now, and you’ve improved the quality and professionalism of your broadcasts. Your crew has a handle on the basics of sound and lighting and your audience is grateful for the new access.

But why stop there?

While Sunday services seem to be the most popular events to stream, there are many other ceremonies and events hosted by the church that people would love to watch if they were available to them. Below are three events we recommend your church should start streaming.

Read More