What you’ll find on this page:
- Lessons Life.Church has learned about metaverse church
- A quick-start guide to setting up church in the metaverse
- A guide for leading through small groups in the metaverse
- The link to walk through the Life.Church metaverse campus building
- The link to download the full campus building file to use for your own metaverse church.
Ten weeks ago, the Life.Church Online team started an experiment by planting a Life.Church campus in the metaverse.
Since then, we’ve seen a massive need for the Gospel in the metaverse community.
And as this community grows, our church and yours will have the opportunity to reach more and more people inside of it.
But how would you know if the metaverse is a viable mission field for your church?
Here are 10 insights we’ve learned from 10 weeks of church in the metaverse to help you decide.
1. Don’t be afraid to start small.
You might think launching into the metaverse would be expensive, complicated, and require a massive investment of time. We’ve actually found the opposite to be true.
At Life.Church, we have an expression: “innovation happens where passion meets constraint.” So 10 weeks ago, we launched an intentionally small experiment with services in the metaverse. And that experiment is already paying off.
From the early success of that experiment, we’ve learned that:
- Starting a metaverse campus is easier than expected.
- The cost was much lower than we estimated.
- Church, specifically worship, in the metaverse feels even more familiar than we expected.
If you think you may be called into the metaverse, don’t be afraid to start small.
AltspaceVR from Microsoft has worked well for us as we’ve started hosting services in the metaverse.
Using one of their pre-existing free venues, you could have your first gathering designed and scheduled in 2 hours. Here’s a free step-by-step guide to follow.
2. This is a lot more like a church plant than we expected.
To our surprise, many of the strategies we use when planting a church in a new city also work in the metaverse.
Things like spending time in the community, studying your audience, and emphasizing next steps are all helpful strategies for reaching people in the metaverse.
Due to the nature of the platform, people are deeply curious. Curious enough that when you tell them about a new church you’ve started in the metaverse, many will come check it out.
An important note: Our primary goal of hosting a service in the metaverse isn’t to take people out of the physical world and bring them into the metaverse. We are creatively leveraging these new platforms to draw people toward Jesus…people who might never hear about Him via physical church experience.
3. Building relationships across the platform is key.
So how do you grow in community with your VR church attenders?
The same way you do in a local church.
You build community and have shared experiences through small groups, serving together, and hosting events and opportunities to bring people together.
To see exactly how we’ve done this at Life.Church, explore our “How to Lead a LifeGroup in the Metaverse” downloadable guide.
4. Similar to in-person ministry, craft the experience you want for your guests from start to finish.
Just like walking up to your physical building for the first time, joining your church’s world in VR for the first time can be intimidating.
People’s tendency to sneak into the back row of church still happens in the metaverse.
This is why your welcome/host team is SO important.
For us, we train our welcome/host team to focus on 3 things:
- We want people to feel loved and cared for.
- We want to eliminate uncomfortable dead-time from the moment they join our world to the moment they leave. We do this by:
- Always playing music before service.
- Having screens all over rolling through the pre-service announcements and a 15 minute countdown to service.
- Connecting with people as they walk in the lobby, and engaging them at our info wall and in the game room.
- We want as many guests as possible to take a next step after service.
If you have an effective training strategy for the host team at your physical church, your virtual host team training will look almost identical.
Speaking of next steps…
5. Next steps are critical.
Ministry in the metaverse lives and dies off relationships. This is why it’s absolutely critical to invite people to take next steps.
We actively encourage people to:
- Host/join a life group
- Strategically invite others to come to Life.Church Metaverse
- Example: One of our attenders goes to the public campfire every week as our service is starting, drops down a portal to our church, and invites everyone she can to come and check out our service.
- Join our discord server so that we can connect with them throughout the week
- Making themselves known through the metaverse family wall
To help remind our metaverse family that this is a very real community, we send them a physical sticker in the mail when they give us their contact info/picture for the family wall.
6. A personal connection during the service matters.
We call for salvation at the end of every service at Life.Church.
For church online, we let the lead video communicator finish the salvation call and invite people to press a button to signify that they’ve given their life to Jesus.
We tried just letting the message video run in VR on week 1, and nobody raised their hand, but we knew God had called people there for a reason.
During week 2 we took a similar approach to our physical locations and had our church online campus pastor finish the salvation call from the stage inside of the metaverse.
This method reminds people they aren’t just watching a video of someone inviting people to come to know Jesus, but that the invitation is for them as they attend Life.Church Metaverse.
Since making this switch, we’ve had 28 people give their lives to Christ via our metaverse campus. A personal connection matters.
7. A friendly face matters.
When one of our attenders in his mid 60’s first put on his VR headset, he was struggling with the controls until another older gentleman came over and guided him through how to use the headset and controllers and how to move around in AltspaceVR.
As they got to know each other, they began to realize that they both had shared interests and actually live in similar parts of the world.
They became friends, have gone and visited hunting worlds together, and attended our church together at a recent VR service.
Being a friendly face in the metaverse can make or break your experience. Make sure there are plenty at your church.
8. The community is diverse.
When we entered the metaverse, we expected to find a bunch of young gamers.
But to our surprise we ended up finding people of all walks of life with all kinds of passions.
Our guests speak many different languages, range in age from 12 to 95 years old, and are attending Life.Church Metaverse from all over the world.
9. We need more churches in the metaverse.
God uses all different kinds of churches to reach all different kinds of people. Even in the metaverse.
Life.Church Metaverse, or any other church holding VR services will never be able to reach everyone in the metaverse.
And that’s why we think God might be calling your church to the metaverse.
God has given your church a unique identity and a unique set of attenders and leaders. If you have the margin, the ability, and the calling to step into the metaverse, we’d love to help in any way possible.
We’ve put together a few resources that will help you get started:
- A Quick Start Guide to Set Up a Metaverse Church in AltspaceVR
- This will allow you to set up a simple metaverse campus in under 2 hours.
- Here’s a video training on how to take our virtual campus template and add your branding/personal touch.
- This allows you to have your own building in the metaverse.
- This will take a couple of days of work to complete and requires a few specific tools and skills.
- Download the building plans here.
- How to Host a LifeGroup in the Metaverse
- This is the same guide we share with our metaverse LifeGroup leaders.
10. We’re just getting started…
The possibilities are endless in the metaverse. The traditional Sunday morning experience is just one of many ways you could bring the gospel into this community.
We need “capital C” minded innovators who can help bring new ideas and inventions into the space.
Could God be calling you to be one of them?
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