@Jason.Lee - Thank you for your feedback! Just out of curiosity do you guys have any midweek services?
@al.erickson - Thank you for your response!
Thanks for your response. I completely left out that we were doing podcasts and on demand video before we launched live streaming so sorry for the confusion there. In terms of what we where going for or what we are basing our success on I would say it's a few things:
- Feedback/testimony from online viewers and people you see in church. It's been overwhelmingly positive. My family who doesn't go to church watched online, my relative was sick in the hospital and was able to watch, I moved out of the area and was able to watch (we still encourage people to get connected to a church where they are), I was on vacation, I was deployed, we were looking for a church checked out a service online and then came.
- We also developed a follow up process that gets people connected with resources immediately after making a decision to follow Christ we use follow up video with a txt keyword (to make sure we get mobile and Facebook live viewers as well) and a very short mobile friendly form that only asks for first name last name email address to send them a digital version of the materials we give to people who commit their lives to Jesus at one of our services.
- Prayer Requests: This one by itself is worth it. People really take advantage of this just like they would in a service and people seem to be very open and honest with you in a chat window. We have been able to connect and pray and follow up with quite a few people. We typically just pray online but we also try to point them to resources like small groups, addiction recovery ect. when appropriate. Also if the prayer request is about something really severe we try to get them connected into the care process we have at the church to follow up and do what we can on a case by case basis.
- The number of unique sessions we have per weekend has been around 300 and our average weekly attendance just hit around 3,200 before the summer. We are very conservative in how we track this so it's very likely the number is higher (e.g. this number is unique sessions only from our streaming provider who tends to be more conservative then the church online numbers by about 20-25% in my experience and we are not counting x number of people might have been watching). This number is about half of our on demand video but there is a unique benefit from what we have found which I describe next.
- The average amount of time watched per session is about twice the average time watched on our on demand video's. We ran a report on Vimeo and from our Live Streaming Provider (http://www.churchtv.online/) and compared the two.
To be honest with you going into launching live streaming I wasn't sure what to expect but two of the assumptions I had where challenged in a big way:
Assumption: People will just watch online instead of coming to church. Reality: Our attendance grew online and in service way more then the year before. To be clear I'm not saying our attendance growth is because of this however it hasn't had a negative affect. If anything it's given people another opportunity to connect.
Assumption: People wont really connect online. Reality: While it is definitely different then being in person people definitely connect online you can see it in prayer requests and testimonies.
I apologize if I was a little long winded in my response but I wanted to give you a real reason other then a bunch of people now watch online that didn't watch before.
Hope this answers your questions!