I have been working on the next steps for Resurrection Online and in the proces have developed 6 options for church online that might be helpful for you. Will you please share your thoughts feelings or opinions about these options? What is most helpful? What could be improved?
Option 1 – Regional Campus
A regional campus in a multi campus setting has the opportunity for people to live out the purpose of the church online. This option would seek to build opportunities for people to live and grow in Christian community online. In person connection would be encouraged out of the online community, however there would be a focus to create every possible opportunity online for people to grow in their faith and engage in community.
Church online as field preaching would use a model similar to the early Methodists practice of field preaching or of more recent crusades / campaigns / revivals. With this option the focus would be to create the best possible worshipexperience to engage online worshipers in worship. The next step from worship would be to connect worshipers with a local church. This could be the host church or a network of referrals inside or outside a denomination.
Option 3 – Worship Venue
Church online as a worship venue would focus on helping the current congregation stay connected in worship when they are unable to be present physically. The experience would focus on a great audio / video experience and not have additional connection opportunities or features, as these would be expected and experienced in person.
Option 4 – Tool for Worship Groups
Church online as a tool for worship groups would focus on creating the best possible experience for streaming of worship to a large screen using a set top box, i.e. Roku box. The experience would not be available via a web browser. This would be a tool that could be utilized by current congregants, other congregations and ministry areas.
Option 5 – Teaching Venue
Church online as a teaching venue would enable a church to expand the opportunities for expanding discipleship online while connecting in person for worship and community. There would not be an online worship experience. Additional possibilities could include overlapping the online and in person group experience.
Option 6 – Second Screen
Church online as a second screen would seek to build apps and engagement on mobile devices to increase real time engagement of the current congregation during worship, throughout the week and across campuses. This would encourage our current congregation to use technology to engage with others and their faith.
Resurrection Online has experienced 38% growth in year-to-date average weekly worship attendance over last year. This is really exciting and has also lead to some challenges. We are looking at how to continue to provide the best possible experience for those that worship online, offer opportunities to grow, give and serve as well as launching multiple micro churches.
Recognize that first users are not the same as scaling users
At Resurrection Online, I have witnessed this in practice. Some of those who first began to connect with the online community have not continued. Even those that are connected today may not be the ones who will continue to worship with Resurrection Online as we begin to offer additional opportunities to be in community. It will be interesting to see how this community continues to develop.
Anticipate that first products are not the same as scaling products
I have sought to anticipate what will not be able to scale as Resurrection Online grows and avoided starting to implement the opportunity. It is much easier to introduce a new opportunity rather than remove what no longer becomes sustainable. There are likely still things that we are doing today that will not be able to sustain as growth continues, however I hope that number of those things is small.
You will have to be as willing to stop stuff as you are to start stuff.
This is connected to the above point about scaling products. There have already been some things that we have stopped which were offered in the beginning. As part of Resurrection Online‘s commitment to roll out features as soon as possible and listen to feedback from the users, we will necessarily stop doing some stuff after it has begun because it just won’t make sense with actual congregants.
You will have to drive up the level of excellence. … As you grow, so will the expectations of your guests.
This will continue to be true. There are aspects of Resurrection Online quality with which I am not satisfied today. Increased numbers of people connecting with Resurrection Online will mean that quality will need to continue to improve.