CNLP 369: Greg Atkinson on How to Grow Engagement in Online Attendance, Best and Worst Digital and In-Person Church Practices, and Improving the Church Guest Experience
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Greg Atkinson returns to the podcast to talk about welcoming guests online.
So much has changed since COVID hit, and Greg shares best and worst practices for engaging online and in-person guests, how to move attenders into engagers, and how to best deal with trolls and other people who threaten to take you off mission.
Welcome to Episode 369 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about vanity metrics and why we should stop focusing on attendance.
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INSIGHTS FROM GREG
1. Questions your team should be asking in the online chat
It seems like most online chat experiences are either trivial or divisive. People are asking questions like, “What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?” Or, there are trolls who make everything political, making it a point to disagree with anyone who speaks up. How can you avoid this?
To avoid trivial conversations, have the members of your greeting team intentionally go into the chat and ask highly emotionally intelligent questions and give great answers. The quality of your questions will determine the quality of your chat.
For the trolls, Greg recommends that you try and take the conversation offline. If they’re a member of your church, have a phone call or text with that person. If they’re someone you don’t know, and refuse to take it offline, you will likely have to ban that user. Greg and Carey both often have to ban people online. It’s okay.
2. You’ll be tempted to view your online audience as “secondary” to your in-person audience, don’t
Greg has watched pastors completely forget about their online audience over and over throughout his career, and he thinks that pastors will begin to fall back into that habit as they come out of the current crisis.
Many pastors are already saying things like, “The 30% who have returned to in-person church are the devoted ones, and those staying home are less committed members.” This simply isn’t true.
Some of your most committed members have serious health risks that are keeping them at home. Don’t forget about them in your quest to refill your room.
3. Your church’s future depends on what you learned (or didn’t learn) in the crisis
One of the big questions coming out of the COVID crisis is, “Will church attendance go back to what it was pre-COVID?” Greg thinks that it will return for some churches and won’t for others. He thinks it will totally depend on whether a church learns the lessons that we need to learn from this pandemic.
If you go back to the old way of doing things, your church isn’t going to thrive. But if you learn from this season about how powerful online can be, reinvent yourself, and add a healthy online experience and community to your church, your church will likely thrive.
Quotes from Episode 369
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
The Online Church Engagement Summit
So you’ve got people watching your church online. How do you turn them into engagers?
On October 8th, 2020, Carey Nieuwhof is hosting The Online Church Engagement Summit. It’s a free, 90-minute value-packed event where Levi Lusko, Nona Jones, and Bobby Gruenewald will give you their best practical strategies to turn viewers into engagers.
If you feel like you don’t even know where to begin, or if you’ve had success but want to reach and engage more people, this is for you and your team.
Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus and many others.
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Next Episode: Brad Lomenick
Brad Lomenick returns to the podcast to talk about his new podcast, H3 Leadership, and how to grow your influence without producing more content. Brad explains the power of curating content and connecting people, and how he used that to build one of the largest leadership networks out there. Brad also discusses future trends every leader should watch. Plus, Carey and Brad talk about the launch of a brand new podcast network: Thrivicity.
Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 370.
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