Live streaming video is a central part of the transition to online church and creating accessible digital worship. But there is another part of the equation that remains important for your community members who cannot attend services in person. The phone. Faith Online began with an offering for live streaming to phone lines. Even as we grow, we continue to support this lifeline to the church.
Older adults, those without internet access, and anyone who struggles with today’s technology require a means to stay connected. With a phone line, you can broadcast live and pre-recorded messages. The best part is there is no learning curve for your parishioners.
Here’s how you can use Faith Online‘s platform to maximise your phone connection.
Live Streaming to Phones for Engagement
Engaging members on the phone may require you to think a bit about how and when you stream. You could consider shortening regular services or only using the dial-in option during key moments of the service. It is definitely challenging to meet multiple needs now that some members are back in church.
Using the Faith Online platform, you can broadcast a live event and invite members of your congregation in advance. This simple solution allows parishioners to access a service or event in real-time by dialling in.
If you are using a Faith Online account, you can manage all of your events—live, online, and hybrid—from a single booking page.
For events with a phone component, you select what menu option (1, 2, 3, and so on). you will broadcast the event. This is the information your callers will use to access your live broadcast.
You can also create events with a Facebook and YouTube component. For events with an in-person component, you set the capacity for the event, when registration will close, and the location of the event which is especially helpful with your NHS Test and Trace efforts.
Connect Daily with Your Congregation
In addition to your live stream broadcasts on Sundays, you can use your phone line to connect to members of our congregation using the menu option daily.
A few ways you can create daily content include:
- Daily Announcements: a simple pre-recorded message that could be a simple update on any birthdays or events or other church-business related announcements
- Daily Devotions: a short Bible reading and a call to action
- Thought for the day: a short poem or words of wisdom to pass along each day
Remember, the burden of content creation does not have to rely on you alone. You can ask a range of people in your congregation and staff to take part in the recordings to keep it interesting.
A Space for Weekly Prayers and Requests
Ask your congregation to submit prayer requests and use the phone to record the prayers for the week. Pick a consistent day of the week to record your prayer so your callers can know what day they should call in to participate and hear the latest prayers among the congregation.
Share Readings and Deeper Reflections
Take the daily devotion a step further by reading a longer passage. You can script this segment or provide immediate reactions to build an authentic experience.
Hearing your leadership and your voice could be a means of connection for so many isolated members of your community.
Connect Callers to Giving
Use a menu option to make it easier for your remote parishioners to donate and take part in your fundraising efforts. Creating a donation space on your phone line can encourage greater generosity for those in your church who are unable to give in-person.
We recommend you record a personal message asking your congregation to help your parish and accept donations directly through your Parish Giving Scheme.
You can change and delete audio files in the Media section of your Faith Online account, so if you have targeted fundraising appeals, you can use your phone line to communicate about a special effort.
Check Audio Quality Regularly
Clear, easy-to-understand audio is especially important for the phone line. Before loading any new content, you will want to check to make sure the audio quality is good. If you are recording specifically for audio-only, you may want to consider speaking a little slower than usual to be sure you are easy to understand.
Faith Online also has a help section with tips to troubleshoot your or improve your audio quality, including common issues like muffled sound or static.
Plan Your Outreach Efforts
As always, make a plan to spread the word. Make it easy for people to see when, where, and how to connect.
We recommend including information about all your upcoming events and recordings across your outreach network. This includes email, website, social media, direct mail, and even your church signage.
Faith Online has already connected 1,000s to remote church services. Find out more about how you can connect the disconnected in your parish.