5 Alternatives to Typical Services your Church can do Online.
While we attended church in-person, we planned various types of activities that involved the members. We planned church trips, socials, workdays, seminars, visiting orphanages and hospitals. We know that many of these activities appeal to more than just the spiritual well being of the members. However, many churches have limited their online experience to only a weekly sabbath service. Here are five useful alternatives activities to your weekly church service that you can offer online.
An easily implemented activity is to have online seminars. These seminars can be one-off events or a part of a series of related workshops. Choose topics that are relevant to your specific community and will garner the interest of the members. Issues such as homeschooling, entrepreneurship, finance, health, mental health and relationship counselling are great options.
An advantage in offering online seminars is that you have greater access to a larger pool of experts from various categories. Inviting expert guests to participate will increase the perceived value of the session, and may garner more interest, and better attendance.
Zoom Social Activity
In the times of social distancing, we can shorten the distance and reach out to our member socially. Here are several games that are ideal for an online social event. Trivia games can take the form of popular game shows such as Family Feud, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, separate the members into teams and allow anyone from each group to answer. Karaoke is also a great option, create a list of songs participants can choose from and share the link on youtube that they can use for the backup track and lyrics.
A treasure hunt is an exciting game for participants of all ages. Create a list of things that can be typically found around the home and see who can find the most in the time specified.
Pass on the Baton: In this game, you will create a list of activities that each person will perform. These activities can be singing, poetry, reciting a well-known scripture, answering a trivia question, sharing five things you appreciate about someone, a hidden talent you have, etc. One person is chosen at first to start then that person picks the next participant after they complete their turn. You can choose to allow participants to select from the list of activities randomly or in sequence.
Enjoy an evening of beautiful music played or performed. This option will need either a small group of musicians or a capable and appropriate moderator. Participants can come online and share their musical selections, then the musicians or D.J. will add it to their playlist for the evening.
Feel free to do themed concerts such as hymns, local singers, 80s, 90s, 2000s, acapella, choirs, etc.
There are many skills that we take for granted, and one of them is the ability to create healthy, nutritious and tasty meals for all occasions. A cooking show is an excellent program alternative that would have appeal to a broad audience, even beyond the church members.
The church must remain relevant at all times, and a means to accomplish this is to prove itself as a useful member of the community through acts of service. We can share the impact of our service by live-streaming the church at work. Organize an activity such as repairing a home, organizing food baskets for delivery, setting up a mobile soup kitchen in a city to feed the hungry. You can then live-stream a portion of the event to invite others to join, send in pledges of donation and to communicate the work the church is doing in the community.
The added advantage to these programs is that they can serve as an excellent first step for visitors and friends who may not want to attend an online church service. We can reach the needs of our members and visitors, connecting socially, emotionally and spiritually to build a better church and better individuals.
We would love for you to tell us how the above program ideas work in your church when you try them — all the best in your planning and execution.
Here is a lovely, short 4-minute video summary of this week's lesson.
Get more resources like this in our sabbath school lesson resources section.