7 Tips to Drastically Improve the Quality of Zoom Church Service
Our global quarantine has transformed the way that we worship. We can't say to what extent this will permanently impact the future of worship in our churches. However, we need to ensure that we are swimming and not sinking in the wave of changes that we currently face. Zoom and other online streaming software have now become a staple in our online worship toolset. The skills required to keep your congregation engaged in an online context are different than the typical methods used in your in-person services. Here are seven tips to ensure your online and Zoom based programs are engaging, interactive, fulfilling and exciting.
We cannot overstate the importance of adequate program planning, whether online or offline. This focus on planning becomes even more critical in the context of online worship, where the attention of the participants can be easily distracted by happenings in their home. Adequate planning ensures there is no wasted time trying to get people or things ready during the meeting. Adequate preparation improves the confidence of the presenter and can allow you even to practice technical presentations on an empty Zoom call before the event to make sure everything works.
Monotony is a significant killer of attention, switch things up by utilizing multiple persons in your Zoom worship sessions. Instead of trying to do the scripture reading, welcome, opening prayer, etc. by yourself. Get as many persons as possible to take up each one of these roles. Instead of a single presentation, try to incorporate panel discussions, testimonies, multiple short presentations, prayer breaks, etc. Involving multiple persons in your presentations also keeps the presenters engaged.
Every medium has its advantages; Zoom's advantage is that it is computer-based. Therefore you get access to all the multimedia formats your computer supports. Integrate PowerPoint slides, Youtube Videos, prerecorded special music and prerecorded presentations to add quality to your programs. Note well that videos have some technical problems at times depending on the internet speed.
Another advantage of Zoom is its ability to facilitate participation. Ask for answers to your questions, answer questions, listen to comments or ideas around the topic that you are presenting. Ask open-ended questions to get more detailed responses. Ask follow-up questions to the respondents to get more detailed explanations.
It is a temptation to believe that because we are at home, it is OK to have more extended programs. Since the quarantine has started, many persons have experienced "Zoom Fatigue", the feeling of being overwhelmed by endless Zoom meetings. If your sessions are long, members may not always disconnect, but you will discourage them from joining future meetings. Set a time for your sessions and stick to them, even if participation is high, still keep a reasonable time limit for your programs.
Talking during a church service can be a distraction for both the presenter and the participants. This distraction is no different when it comes to Zoom. As the meeting host, it is essential always to enable the feature that mutes all current and new participants. Many presentations are disrupted by the person who arrives mid-presentation and forgets to mute their microphone. Or the person who has an unmuted microphone and family members start to generate noise in the background. Mute all participants by default, giving them the option to unmute to participate, then to mute again after they have finished their contribution.
Show your Face
You should try as much as possible to ensure that all presenters enable their webcam so that the audience can see them. Being in separate locations removes the feeling of human interaction; video is the closest we can come to replicating the same. Ahead of time, encourage all your presenters to enable their cameras whenever they have a part to play. The other aspects of human communication such as facial expression, gestures and poise, can aid in the communication of your message. Advise all participants to dress presentable, from at least the chest up and to use a well-lighted area.
Here are two programs that can be adapted to work as Zoom programs.
Sabbath School Lesson
Keep on the ball with your sabbath school lesson with these study resources.