How do you welcome everyone with online church?

With many churches currently only meeting online, how to you contact, welcome, minister to and integrate large numbers of people?

Following the lockdown due to coronavirus, church leaders are on a steep learning curve on how to help their local church function effectively when they can't meet together.

To assist leaders in making this transition, Bob Jackson and George Fisher, authors of the training course 'Everybody Welcome', have asked many churches for stories and wisdom in the early weeks of lockdown church. They gathered these insights together and have published a free recourse ‘Everybody Welcome Online’, which extends their training course for in-person church. 

Commenting on the publication, Bob Jackson and George Fisher explained, “We are offering 'Everybody Welcome Online' as a gift to help all churches and ministers who are going online in these extraordinary times.

“We have teamed up with the Durham University Centre for Digital Theology and you will find this publication, plus lots of other helpful stuff, on our website here. If you find it helpful or inspiring, please forward it to as many others as possible.

“We’d love to hear more inspiring and instructive stories that we can share – just click here to email us. This resource (sic) comes with our love and prayers.”

Everybody Welcome Online

The 26 page report is available for free download and includes 5 main sections:

  1. What is going on and what is God doing?
    Fears that the Lockdown would close the church are unfounded, quite the opposite. Many churches has responded by going online, others are holding together in other ways, and it seems we are now reaching more people than before. Some wonderful stories of what is happening.
  2. Who is responding and why?
    Analysis and experience seems to be showing that most people are getting in touch with their own local church or the one they have the strongest past links with. Local, re-assuring low-key is working well.
  3. Welcoming well in the lock-down church
    This look at how to do online church well includes a comparison of the different ‘platforms’ used and good practice for human welcome and follow up. Lots of good practice, great ideas, and encouraging stories.
  4. Welcoming the crowds when lock-down is over
    This surveys the different options open to us when Lockdown is over so that we continue to grow online and considers how to prepare now in readiness for this. And we need to be ready to welcome those who have become part of our church online then visit our physical building.
  5. Learning together
    We have a lot to learn and we can do this together by sending in stories & ideas, and doing surveys.

Don't forget to share your inspiring and instructive stories just by emailing  Bob and George here.

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