Church leaders always seek ways to connect with their congregation and the Church Online Platform from Life.Church can make that possible. With this platform, church leaders can deliver sermons, create events, and connect with parishioners online anywhere. This blog post will discuss the Church Online Platform’s benefits and how it can help your congregation stay connected.
What is the Church Online Platform, and what does it offer congregants?
The Church Online Platform is not a streaming service like YouTube Live but a robust hosted solution combining live streaming, chat, and real-time chat into a cohesive solution.
Church Online Platform is based around the church service itself – by that, I mean you set a day and time for a service, set up your live stream provider or a recorded video URL, and then invite your church to attend at the scheduled time.
Visitors will see ongoing and upcoming events once the platform runs on your church’s domain. The interface is intuitive, with the broadcast video on the left and a chat window on the right.
Logged-in users will see their avatars, and church staff are labeled as hosts.
How can the Church Online Platform be used to connect with congregation members from anywhere in the world?
Beyond one-way video streaming or distribution, the Church Online Platform encourages deep, life-changing communities through chat. You’ll be able to see who’s online when you are and instantly connect with them in a private chat.
You can also join public chats around each service. During the pandemic, the pastoral staff would be on hand to answer bible study questions in real-time or respond to prayer requests.
At key points in a service, hosts can enable Moments – think custom calls to action such as Salvation or Giving. It’s an elegant solution that doesn’t feel like a distraction to the broadcast.
Some of the benefits of using Church Online Platform for both congregants and ministers
Hosts can communicate with each other via the internal chat capability. In addition, I liked the ability to share links and metrics, as it facilitated church services easier with the presenters. Pastors and digital strategists will love the robust analytics tools as they provide high-level comparisons of the weekly-to-month, month-to-month, and yearly patterns.
Downsides to Using the Church Online Platform?
The biggest downside to the Church Online Platform is the buy-in the church leadership and the congregation need if you are already live streaming. For many churches, the process looks like this:
- Create/schedule a live stream using YouTube Live
- Share the link via social media or embed the video on your website.
- The congregation watches from various devices and platforms, creating a fragmented audience.
The biggest pushback I received against the Church Online Platform was from the congregants that watched the live stream from their smart TVs. They didn’t want to use a web browser to watch the service and lost the ability to watch as a family around a large-screen TV.
The other downside was the limitation around having two services running simultaneously. For example, the Church Online Platform wouldn’t allow me to have the adult and children’s live stream run concurrently at 10:15 am. It’s the same limitation that broadcast TV has with linear programming.
The Church Online Platform allows churches to connect with their congregation from anywhere in the world. This technology allows churches to have a global presence and reach people who cannot attend physical services.
If you’d like to know more about digital technology that can help improve your church or non profit, don’t hesitate to contact us for a no-obligation strategy session and proposal.