The mission of every credible worship leader is to effectively share his or her faith with people anywhere they possibly can. Historically, sharing the faith meant within the walls of their worship facility and possibly in their town or village. Today, communication technologies enable worship leaders to share their faith with people attending worship inside their local facility and with people outside the walls of their worship facility through traditional broadcasts and through social media.
One unique characteristic of 21st century congregants is that they want to play a role in sharing their faith with other people. As you can probably imagine, worship leaders are thrilled to have people who want to help them to fulfill the mission of the ministry. But when it comes to using communication technologies for ministry, worship leaders need help developing a blueprint that specifies and explains how those technologies can help them to fulfill their mission. We can fulfill that need.
I recognize that the primary focus of our industry is to recommend and sell communication technologies to businesses, organizations and Houses of Worship (HOWs). Many of us are asked to go beyond this typical transaction and develop a communication blueprint (action plan) that specifies the technologies required, and the many ways they can be used to accomplish the mission of the ministry. I am sure that many of you draw from experiences that enable you to develop such a blueprint for worship leaders. For those of you who may need some help, here is a list of action steps that have proven to be effective for helping those leaders. You want to help them:
• Develop a communication team. This will be comprised of church members who want to become actively involved in using communication technologies for ministry during worship, and for sharing their faith via social media. We highly encourage that the team include teenagers and young adults. These two groups are in sync with many aspects found in 21st century communication.
• Determine relevant technologies. Empower the team to decide which practical technology will serve to fulfill the mission. Obviously, sound, lighting, video projection and video production technologies are beneficial for fulfilling the mission inside the walls of the worship facility. They can also be used for live streaming and podcasts that communicate with individuals outside the physical, traditional, worship space.
• Determine relevant social media outlets. Empower the communication team to determine the social media sites that are used by congregants. Once these sites are known, develop a dynamic presence there. Social media sites are vital for cultivating community.
• Train team members to use social media. Once you identify the social media sites that the congregants and community members are using, the team and leaders should learn how to communicate with people using these outlets. And then communicate often.
• Invest in high-speed internet with large bandwidth. If the HOW determines that live streaming of its worship service is an effective way to interact with people outside the walls of its physical facility, then powerful broadband internet service is required. Members of the communication team, worship leaders and staff will become frustrated if they have to interact with people using slow internet connections. The people using the sites will also become frustrated and possibly cease long-term communication with the members if steady communication is negatively impacted.
• Use their website effectively. Hire professionals to develop a fast-loading website. Don’t overload the site with pages and pages of dense text. This will ensure that the site loads quickly and can be navigated easily.
• Develop multiple types of content. Small bits of information can be created easily; for example, short video testimonials about people who worship at the HOW. In addition, short articles that highlight success stories serve to empower people who are facing problems. Podcasts offer a means for people to transport media using small portable technologies such as iPods, iPads and smartphones.
These are just a few action steps taken from a much longer and more detailed list. But I believe they can serve as a guide for helping worship leaders to develop an effective technology blueprint that serves the mission of their ministry. Developing such a blueprint requires additional time on your part. However, I believe that developing the blueprint improves your chances of selling technologies and services to leaders while also enabling them to fulfill the mission of their ministry. That is what I believe. Please tell me what you believe.