Many churches, record their sermons to post online; both in video and audio formats. Yet I have found few churches that try to integrate their worship into their websites. Worship is an important part of your typical Sunday service, so here are 4 steps to integrate it into your church’s online experience.
- Publish A Worship Page: If worship is so important, it deserves at least it’s own page or section. Describe the service and style of worship that your church engages in. Is it traditional or contemporary? Do you have a choir, an organ, or a full band? Show some pictures of your choir and worship team in action. With their permission, get photos of your congregation worshiping as well. You do not want your service and worship to be a complete surprise for any potential members. You want them to think “this is exactly what they described on their website, but better!”
- Publish a Weekly Set List: If you do not have means to record your worship, why not publish a list of songs on your website? If DJ’s in dance clubs can manage to pull this together, why not your church? You can even create links to any artist’s website to help promote CD sales. Your congregation will often feel close to God when they are worshiping, and want to re-create that feeling. Allowing them to know the songs they were singing and how to obtain them will certainly help sustain them in the Monday to Saturday stretch.
- Publish Audio: With a decent microphone or a source from your sound board, you can post audio on your website or even create a weekly worship podcast. However, do be careful to research about artist royalties and copyright laws. Many older songs are considered public domain, so those may be easier to publish. But pushing your content out to an iTunes podcast is additional publicity and makes it easier for your users with iPods and iPhones to consume your content.
- Publish Video: A decent digital video recorder plus a good microphone can put you on the map with YouTube. Do not be afraid to show the world how your church worships the one true God. As with audio, check to see what restrictions you have in terms of copyrights and permissions. Embedding YouTube videos not only allows you to post content on your site, but that content will be indexed by Google; further bolstering your search engine rankings. A YouTube channel with regular activity and a link to your website can do some amazing things.
Action Item: Use this list to see where your church can better represent its worship program on your website. This first two options the easiest and requires the least in terms of startup costs. However, if you put on a play/reenactment, all-worship service, or other special event, consider renting the equipment required for audio and/or video. It may be that little push required to get another person from clicking on your website to worshiping in your church!