Read Time: 3 minutes

Meeting today’s churchgoers where they are should never mean compromising your message in order to be “hip” and “cool” (oh, how cringeworthy those buzz words are…).

That being said, we cannot deny that times are changing, especially when it comes to technology. If we can adapt to the advancements of technology, and understand that utilizing technology to our advantage does not mean the death of tradition, we will be able to reach a lot more people with the Good News.

Here are a few ideas to help:

Meeting Today’s Church-goers… Online.

Social Media

Let’s just talk about the “big one” for now. As of March of 2017, nearly 2 BILLION people use Facebook.

2 BILLION people!?!?

I think it is safe to say there are several users right in your own congregation. The first thing that you need to do is make a public Facebook Page for your church.

Let your congregation know that you have made a new page, and encourage them to go “like” and “follow” the page.

From there, you can post encouraging thoughts and general insight into your church.

A great addition to the public page would also be a private group for your parishioners to join. That way, you can share much more detailed information with your faithful members. For instance: prayer requests, especially if you want to keep the information given safe within your Parish Family.

Reach out to your parishioners and attendees for five star reviews, too. Don’t shy away from specifically asking for five star reviews, either! You are not being pushy; you are positioning yourself to receive some great feedback.

You can also use Facebook to inform your community and parishioners about upcoming events and outreach programs. This helps to get a good idea on head counts, as Facebook users can indicate if they are “going” or not.

Surveys

Arguably the easiest, most “user-friendly” survey platform out there is Survey Monkey.

Create surveys for every bit of feedback you would like to have, for instance:

  • Pre-Cana attendees – what they liked and what suggestions they have for the class.
  • Special events.
  • General thoughts on your Parish.

This is all vital information that will surely help you understand where today’s churchgoers are at!

Newsletters

MailChimp is a great option for sending out e-newsletters. You will not only save money on having to print and mail physical newsletters, you can also learn from great analytics using the dashboard.

E-newsletters are perfect for sending out quick and encouraging thoughts, prayer chains, and exciting news to keep your congregation well-informed.

Videos and Live Streaming

Finally, any and every moment you are able to record video, do it.

Record your homilies or quick teachings as resources for your Parishioners and Attendees. These don’t have to be Hollywood-style productions. People today desire authenticity.

Live stream your Masses.

The biggest apprehension that I hear all the time that Parishes have about live streaming their Masses is, “What if nobody physically shows up anymore and they just watch Mass from home?”.

You have to look at live streaming in a different way.

Folks will be able enjoy Mass anywhere. It opens up the option to those who might not normally be able to make it to the physical building and gives them the gift of their Home Parish right where they are. People with disabilities, people in nursing homes, people from out of state, young people who are away at college…

The list goes on and on.

Instead of worrying if you’re going to not see as many faces at Mass, think of all of the people from all over being able to enjoy Mass who, again, might not otherwise be able to make it to Mass physically.

As an added bonus, you can keep each live stream in an archive of videos, so your parishioners and attendees can reflect back on a particular message that resonated with them.

These additions to your ministry’s toolbox will make a substantial difference in truly meeting today’s churchgoers where they are. Your parishioners and attendees will feel empowered and that they really are a part of something great.

Again, as I have mentioned before, keeping with the times does not mean the death of tradition, nor does it mean you are compromising your beliefs. You are simply using today’s methods to further advance your message. In the end, your ministry will do a better job at meeting today’s churchgoers where they are.

Read Time: 2 minutes

Today, more and more people are embracing the benefits of e-learning. “E-learning” or “online learning” refers to any education that takes place via electronic media. This is most commonly done through the internet. E-learning is appealing to many for its convenience, comfort, cost-effectiveness, and environmental impact. Following are just some of the benefits of e-learning and online courses that you may not have considered.

Convenience

The biggest reason most people embrace online learning is for its expedience. Since all they need is an internet connection, online courses can be taken anywhere, at any time. For many programs, people don’t even need a laptop – a tablet or phone will do. E-courses are convenient because they make it possible for two people in separate locations to take a course together and on their own schedules. Additionally, it saves them the hassle of commuting to a physical location. All they need to do is show up at their computer when they’re ready.

Comfort

The convenience of online learning means it’s maximized for the optimal comfort of the student. If they want, they can show up in their pajamas. Instead of sitting at a rigid desk in a classroom, they can choose to take the course from their couch, in their home office, or at their favorite coffee shop. The on-demand nature of the courses also means students can work through the lessons at a time that works for them. If they’re having a bad day or aren’t in the mood to continue a lesson, that’s totally fine. They always have the ability to choose when to advance to the next topic. Additionally, if something comes up during the lesson they need to attend to, they can pause the lesson and come back to it later. This means that learning the material at their own pace will improve their chances of retaining it.

Cost

Because there’s significantly less overhead costs, like space rental and instructor fees, online courses are generally offered at a lower price point than courses that are taught in physical, brick-and-mortar locations. This doesn’t mean the content is any less impactful or rigorous, however. It’s still written by experts in the field, but since it’s delivered cheaply, it can be offered cheaply to students. This is often an unseen benefit of online learning, yet perhaps one of the most significant.

Conservation

Since everything is online and stored digitally, e-learning greatly reduces the environmental impact of traditional learning courses. Instructors are not forced to print hundreds of physical pages of reading material. Students are free of the burden having to carry tons of material back and forth from their homes to the class, as well as storing it when the course is finished. Everything is readily and immediately accessible on their computer, tablet, or phone.

Due to these reasons, e-learning is growing in both popularity and significance. There are vast benefits to the consumer who chooses to go the online learning route, and these four reasons are just the start.