July 5, 2021
How to Use Digital Tools to Bring Everyday Value
"If people saw their faith grow MORE in the last year even though they interacted with church LESS, what should that mean for the future of our ministry?"
If you’ve been following along with this series, you have likely already heard us talk about the Hybrid Church Model. As a quick reminder, the Hybrid Church model is equal parts physical and digital ministry and we measure the success through whether the connections made effectively build relationships.
Coming out of a year of lockdowns, many churches were forced to adapt how they did church to be 100% online. Today, we are finally able to return to our physical spaces. And as this season has moved churches to build up more of their digital ministry, we want to reiterate that not every church that has a digital ministry will be called to be a Hybrid Church. (This means you don't need to feel guilty or ashamed if you aren’t called to be a Hybrid Church, but we have some bold statements and encouragements in this article if you are!)
Digital Tools: Then & Now
Here's our bold claim: You can't be a Hybrid Church if you're not using digital tools for weekday ministry.
Let's break it down.
In the past, church has primarily been a place where you go to be fed one day of the week and then you go out during the week to practice your faith primarily on your own. In the traditional church model, digital tools like social media have taken a back seat. These are things that churches would use when they had some extra time.
Fast forward to today, churches are seeing two outcomes as a result of going through a time when they could only do church digitally:
1. Many people, not surprisingly, interacted with physical churches less in 2020 than they ever have before.
2. The second is that, even though they interacted with physical church less, many people’s faith actually grew more during this time.
If you’re wondering how that happened, we’ve got the answer! This happened because people took personal responsibility for their faith (because they had to) and because the digital tools to grow their faith were in abundance.
Take a moment to think about that.
When have we ever had such great resources to engage with during our daily life and walk with Christ than in the last year?
However, now that physical ministry is back, the question for the Hybrid Church becomes, “How do we continue to bring everyday value to equip people to grow in their faith?"
The Other 6 Days of the Week
To truly become a Hybrid Church, it requires a shift away from focusing the bulk of our energy on having a physical church experience on Sunday or Saturday that gets you fed and fired up to live out your faith the rest of the week.
Instead, ministry is happening EVERY day of the week. This shift is a chance to walk with your congregation—to pastor them, to help them grow spiritually, to encourage them, to pray with them, to be in God’s Word with them, to connect them to their faith through Christ. This is so valuable! It’s not about promoting your church or having the most followers. It’s about equipping and bringing value to your people as they walk through their daily life.
“In the past it was ‘how can we reach the most people with the least amount of effort?’ and now it’s ‘how can we, perhaps, reach fewer people in a more personal, impactful way that multiplies?’” - Leah Norton, Managing Partner
This value is created through meaningful content combined with human connections. How? Content can be shared SO many ways: On social media, live videos, produced videos, images, stories, groups to engage with people, emails, blogs, and texting to name a few! This is a multi-channel strategy to cohesively interact with people and build relationships.
So let's talk about a few ways to get started.
Ready? Let’s do this!
We’ve got a few steps to help get you on your way.
1) Crunch the numbers
Many churches leave over 85% of the week untouched by ministry. It’s still important for you to invest in the 15% that occurs over the weekend, but don’t leave those hours of opportunity on the table.
2) Reallocate time
Where can you shift some staff and volunteers to help dedicate time to weekday church? Make a list of these people (we're talking about a lot of time in the week, so it should be pretty long), and start talking to them about helping with the other six days of the week.
3) Decide what your audience needs
You can’t just produce any content and it automatically brings value to people. You have to be intentional. Ask: Who is our church striving to reach? Who is our church currently reaching? What needs or challenges do they have?
4) Repurpose content
You don’t need to create new content from scratch every time. Your church already has content from past sermons, kids' ministry, Bible studies, and more that you can use for your digital ministry.
5) Be real people
Don’t feel pressured to be someone that you are not or to over produce everything you put out there! People want to connect with real people. It will come through if you're trying to be something you are not.
How do we continue to bring everyday value to equip people to grow in their faith?
As we wrap up this article, we know it can be difficult to get started. So while we still want you to go through the steps above, our challenge to you is to start with just one. What is one way you can bring value to your audience using digital tools this week?
Once you’ve answered that question, get out there and get started! You can do this!