3 Ways to Create a Welcoming Environment Online

At Life.Church, our Host Team mission statement has always been: to create a comfortable environment so others are open to hearing the truth of God’s Word. This can happen both physically and virtually. Here’s how you can create an environment where attenders feel expected, noticed, and welcome online.

1. Be Present Online. — It’s no secret that our world is hurting and longing to be needed and known right now. The best way your staff can lead people in this season is to continue to be present and available online.  You can do this first, by being intentional to encourage and speak life into people as often as you can. Even through technology, you can allow people to feel your excitement of getting to connect with them. Whether through a more intentional presence on social media or hosting a video chat to “huddle” with current volunteers or leaders, being present and available to walk through difficulties with people is key in this season. For more about how to be present online in this season, check out these great resources:

2. Build Volunteers. — God gave all His children different gifts and talents, but it takes all of those combined to make an impact! So many people are looking for ways to serve others in this season, and allowing them to step into their God-given calling will allow you to continue to focus on the mission while others are helping to make online church a warm and welcoming experience. You’ll want to take some time to identify the opportunities you have online that volunteers could step into. Here are some examples:

  • Hosting the chat during Church Online services
  • Writing notes of encouragement to volunteers, kids, graduating seniors, or people in the hospital
  • Creating social media posts
  • Leading an online small group
  • Writing emails to send to your church or specific groups of people

So how do you find the right people for the right roles without getting to meet them face-to-face? Start with social media! When scrolling through platforms like Facebook or Instagram, watch for people who are consistently inviting their friends online to attend virtual events, those who post about their faith, or others who have a mission to be encouraging. These are the people who are already taking great strides to make an online platform a comfortable atmosphere for people, so they’re most likely the people who would jump at any opportunity to serve the church in this season! The easiest way to find out what someone is passionate about is to simply ask them questions like, “What is bringing you joy right now?” “How do you feel God can use your gifts virtually?” “What are you passionate about when it comes to being the church in this season?” The answers to these questions will tell you a lot.

To learn how to schedule and onboard new volunteers to use the Church Online Platform, read this support article.

3. Consistently Cast Vision. — Culture and vision starts with church leadership! Once you have volunteer leaders in place, it’s important to keep the mission in front of everyone. Consistent weekly communication will help to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Hosting huddles with volunteers before they begin serving is a great way to keep them engaged, as well as reinforce the mission. Whether on a Facebook group, a group texting app, or a Zoom call, it can be easy to invest in your volunteer team while physically distancing from people. Other ways to stay inspiring and empowering leaders throughout the week can include reading YouVersion Bible plans together with leaders, or simply sitting down with them individually over a cup of coffee and a Facetime call.

Click here to learn more about how you can engage with leaders online!

In order to make your ministry online the best it can be, it’s important to bring people alongside you. Please don’t lead within this season alone! We’ll never be able to do it all on our own, and we know we weren’t created to! When we’re able to empower others to live out the mission alongside us, we’re able to take online ministry to the next level, and truly encourage a comfortable and safe atmosphere for people. This will create opportunities for them to be open to hearing the Truth of God’s Word. Creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere online now will not just impact lives in this season — it will have an impact on people’s eternities for years to come!

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