Turning Online Volunteers into Online Ministers

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our churches. With many churches moving worship online, and planning to continue to do so, how will your church empower volunteers to help you address this new platform?

Many pastors use their phones, laptops, tablets, and anything else that could connect online for streaming services. This new online initiative launched churches into hundreds or thousands of homes they have never been able to reach before. They were and are sharing the gospel beyond the walls of the church in ways never seen in human history. After the initial launch of online services, we now look at ways to expand this reach consistently, with excellence, and raise up volunteers to assist in this effort.

You Opened an Online Campus

You didn’t even know it! Pastor, the strategy of opening a second campus may have only seemed possible for some churches in larger cities. However, your online services are an online community. That community is now a second campus! Being strategic to call your online service an online campus does a few vital things for your church:

  • It gives clarity to your congregation of the goal to stream your services; reaching new people to connect them to your in-person community.
  • It allows you to categorize – not only for equipment needs – but volunteers, ministry budget, and benevolent needs.
  • It enables your church to see your online numbers as real people, not statistics.

Build & Train a Team of Volunteers

When you think of volunteers for this new online campus, do not assume it must be a young person who is a “nerd.” Quite the opposite is true! The team of volunteers you are looking for will be great with people, engaging with the community, and faithful to understanding your church’s mission.

Pastor, you can train nearly anyone “how” to be an online host. However, having a person who is sold out for your church’s mission will translate into online people visiting in person! After you have built this team of two or more volunteers, here are some tips for how to train them:

  • Stream your services from a device they can operate
    • Boxcast.com offers a simple set up for churches of any size to go live on several platforms at once. The best part is that it is volunteer friendly and easy to learn and operate.
  • Use platforms where people interact and can engage
    • Facebook, of course, is a great starting place to have an online campus. Stream to a Facebook Page or Group, not a profile, so you can have volunteers monitor the chat each week and engage people in conversation.
    • Online.church is another trusted platform that is free to use and gives every church a live website page to chat, pray, and manage decision actions with an online volunteer host.
  • Provide training videos and documents for volunteers to reference
    • Vidyard.com is a quick and easy way to capture videos and share them for training. Take time to develop a few videos on how to respond to people online and moderate the chat areas. It also helps to develop a few documents that offer step by step instructions as a refresher for volunteers who serve less often.

Empower Your Volunteers

Your online campus is just like your in-person campus. Invite this team of people into meetings and planning so they can be advocates in your online community for upcoming activities. Consider a budget to operate your online campus, advertisements, and marketing tools to reach even more people.

Your online campus is a front door to your in-person campus.

For more information, please contact the Discipleship team of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and schedule a consultation. You can also join the conversation on Facebook!

Published August 23, 2020