Digital Summits are the future of evangelism, and every church needs to use them.
Let's face it.
Traditional Evangelism Campaigns are not as effective as they used to be in the old days. People are so busy and they never show up. You will be lucky to have one-third of the church filled.
The truth is that things have changed, and unless the church innovates, you will continue to see fewer people attend church.
In this article, I will show you how to organize a successful digital summit or crusade that your members will love. Here is Why Virtual Summits Are The Solution To Your Inreach And Outreach NeedsVirtual summits are like retreats, camp meetings, crusades, conventions, and other events but conducted 100% online.
Why Virtual Summits are perfect for your church organization.
We live in a dynamic world where the only constant is change itself. People are more mobile today than at any time in history. A few years ago, many people attended the church that was closest to them regardless of denomination.
That meant that some Sunday churchgoers would attend a Saturday church because it was closer to them. People today attend the church that meets some of their needs.
For example, a couple with young kids may attend a church that has a great children's program, even if it's 50 miles away.
Or a Hispanic family may attend a church that is predominantly Hispanic even if it takes them over an hour's drive. They may also drive by several churches on their way.
This shows that people will attend the church that meets some or all of their needs regardless of distance.
The problem with a long commute to church is that most people will not attend meetings or programs held outside the regular church hours.
I remember a few years ago when my church organized a week of prayer. We spent a lot of hours planning and money on hiring equipment and the speakers.
Although the crusade was good, the attendance was so poor that we've never attempted to organize another since.
The church needs to find new ways to reach people wherever they are.
Digital summits are meant to build on the work you're already doing and not designed to take away.
Digital summits are perfect for your church because they breakdown the barriers of time, distance, money, physical limitations, and more.
Some people say that virtual summits are not the answer because they lack the social, physical aspect that a lot of us go to church for.
That is true, but I want you to consider the number of people who watch YouTube videos or use google search every day.
People watch videos for various reasons that include finding solutions to their problems.
The truth is that your members are watching tones of videos every day, and if you do not provide the right content, they will consume whatever they find online.
Why People don't show up to meetings anymore
The reason why people don't show up to events held during the week is not because of a lack of commitment but that people are working more hours these days. Research shows that a quarter of Americans work more than 45 hours a week.
The church plays a very important part of our lives. Even as the world around us is changing, people look to the church as the constant because the message remains the same.
However, if your message is only meant for people within your four walls, then you are missing out. It's time for the church to innovate.
In this article, we will go over some ways your church can benefit from digital summits;
- Digital Summits are Easy and cost-effective for both your organization and participants.
- Digital Summits Are Accessible Anytime, Anywhere.
- Virtual Summits Are Great For Network and Connecting With Your Community.
- Digital Summits Are Environmentally Friendly
- Virtual Summits are a great way to nurture your church members.
- Bible study groups online.
- New Officer Training and Workshops
Digital Summits: What Are They?
Let's take a quick look at why digital summits work and why they will work for your organization.
1. Digital Summits are Easy and cost-effective for both your organization and participants.
Unlike a physical event that involves a lot of traveling and other expenses that come with running an event, digital summits are easy and cheap.
The only cost associated with hosting a digital summit is the content creation and delivery of the summit.
The best part about virtual summits is that the participants don't have to travel to a particular venue as it is delivered right to wherever they are on their mobile and computer devices.
2. Digital Summits Are Accessible Anytime, Anywhere.
There's a reason why services like Netflix have changed the way people consume digital watch movies and tv. In the digital age, people want to have control over what and when to watch videos.
As a result, streaming services like Netflix now have more subscribers than regular cable.
If your organization's in-reach and outreach strategies rely solely on scheduled offline events, then you're missing out on some of the most effective ways to reach, connect, and grow your communities.
Digital summits give you the power to produce and distribute content that can be consumed at any time anywhere. This means that a person who works 45 hours a week can still have an opportunity to consume your content.
3. Virtual Summits Are Great For Network and Connecting With Your Community.
First of all, I know we have access to great solutions such as YouTube ( live), Facebook, WhatsApp, and other free social media solutions. These are great for what they do and should be included in your outreach strategies.
However, when it comes to community building and interactions, nothing beats digital summits. You can do much more than one-way delivery as your audience can participate either through chat or video/audio features.
Digital Summits remove the barriers of proximity, and so you can have a fully interactive meeting or workshop with people around the world. Other types of events you can easily host online are:
- Group Bible Study
- Education Series
- Department Meetings
- Youth Forums
- Couple's group therapy and more
4. Virtual Summits Are Environmentally Friendly
My church has annual camp meetings, and these are some of the best moments that we all look forward to attending. However, the process of getting there is nothing but hectic.
First of all, there's never enough parking; the programs are too long because they try to condense everything into this one event. Going to a camp meeting is like going to a live football game at the stadium.
This type of event works for most young people but can you imagine how hard it is for people with physical limitations?
Camp meetings are for the physically able.
One of the familiar feeling or sentiment from the camp meeting attendees is the mountaintop experience.
Everyone talks about how energized they are and ready to conquer the world. However, this feeling fades away after a few weeks. Wouldn't it be nice if we had several smaller digital events to keep the fire burning?
The truth is that in the digital age, we do not have to wait until the following year to experience another camp meeting.
Digital Events are environmentally friendly because people don't have to travel from one place to another to attend the event. Can you imagine how much money the church would save if people didn't have to drive to the camp meeting? Best of all, the environment would thank you for that.
5. Virtual Summits are a great way to nurture your church members.
I don't know about you, but I feel that the day of worship is probably the busiest day of the week, at least for me.
You see, that's when all departments want to have meetings immediately after church. I don't blame the church for making the day of worship the busiest day because no one comes to meetings that are held outside of church hours.
If this sounds like your church then digital summits will change the way to connect and organize your church.
Most virtual summit or webinar software will allow you to have meetings during the week at a set time. In case someone misses the digital meeting, they can still watch it at a later stage.
6. Bible study groups online.
People will not have to travel far but can enjoy the study from the comfort of their homes. I know people at my church who drive at least 120 miles to and from church and spend at least one and a half hours on the California freeway.
So when you call for a one-hour meeting, such a person must put aside at least 3 hours to attend the meeting. This is probably not a problem for most people but we waste a lot of time driving instead of doing the work.
7. New Officer Training and Workshops
Every year the church chooses new people to head some departments. The transition can be made easy by doing all the training online for the new officers. Again this will save both the trainers and the trainees a lot of time.
A few years ago, I was asked to serve in the church communication committee. I was excited because I could finally help to solve some communication issues.
When the committee met for a few minutes after church service to come up with a date for a comprehensive meeting, I began to see some issues.
First, we could not agree on the date and time as some members would not be there. After several minutes of deliberation, we decided to have a meeting after church the following Sabbath.
When the day of the meeting came, half of the members would not make it because some had to attend to other meetings that were taking place at the same time and others were in the parking lot somewhere chatting.
To cut the long story short, that year we ended up having two meetings and did nothing to improve the communication issues.
If this sounds like your church in any way then you will benefit from digital technology.
There are so many ways to organize and connect with your members. Some groups use platforms like WhatsApp or conference calling to organize and that's fine if that works for you.
However, there's nothing that comes close to digital summits or webinars. These platforms allow you to connect in a personal way that other options don't.