During the global pandemic shut-down, churches had to find a way to help people when physical connections were not possible. Valuable skills and experiences were learned as 96% of churches streamed their worship services online during the pandemic. Now that things are opening up again, many churches are in the process of discerning and deciding what to do with digital ministry. Let’s take a look at two examples of churches that have successfully leveraged digital ministry to reach more people with faith, hope, and love.
Reaching More People to Spread the Word of the Gospel
Life.church has a saying, “To reach people no one is reaching, we will do things no one is doing.” Founded in 1996, this congregation has experienced over 25 years of change, including technological developments, a global pandemic, and an entirely new approach to worship—online. Yet their ability to adapt and embrace new ways of thinking continues to define their success.
Pivoting from their previous domain, LifeChurch.tv, and rebranding to Life.church was a big decision. At the time, it affected more than 70,000 people in attendance, not to mention adjusting all of the church’s branding, stationery, signage, communications, and more. It was a significant undertaking—but it certainly paid off.
“We believe the transition to Life.Church creates the opportunity to share and talk about the church in a natural way. Plus, it’s a more effective way for people to find and identify us as a church, too.”
While the change only involved dropping two characters, its impact has been significant and positive. Life.church immediately felt more natural, and piqued new visitors’ interest when they arrived on the site. It is short, sweet, and inviting—reinforcing their mission to “make a lasting difference in your life.”
Life.church also partners with thousands of other churches around the world, with the belief that when churches work together, they can better serve the world. In addition to providing thousands of free resources through its Open Network library (Open.life.church), Life.church also provides a free Church Online Platform to empower churches to facilitate worship services on the web.
This platform saw record-breaking attendance in mid-March 2020, as 42,000 churches signed up to use it, in addition to the 25,000 churches that had already registered to use the platform pre-pandemic.
To make the online worship experience more engaging, the platform has interactive chat rooms and live prayer features in addition to their video stream. What’s more, the platform allows churches to add a custom domain name. This gives churches another opportunity to strengthen their brand across all communications.
For example, Victory Church in Oklahoma has its website at Victory.church and its church online at Live.victory.church, smoothly integrating the church’s online worship with its in-person worship and other ministries. Similarly, Bridgeport Church in Portland, Oregon, has its website at Bridgeport.church and church online at Online.bridgeport.church.
New Ways to Connect and Serve the Community
These spiritual communities aren’t the only ones reaping the rewards of a more memorable brand name. Canvas.church, a congregation of roughly 4,000 people with four locations across Montana, chose .church for its searchability and memorability features.
Like Life.Church, Canvas Church is no stranger to change. With beginnings in 1915, this spiritual community’s evolution spans decades. Under new leadership by pastors Kevin and Tiffany Geer, the church rebranded in 2014 and was reintroduced to the Flathead Valley as Canvas Church, with updated facilities and new ministries. In September 2017, they embraced a stronger online presence too—launching Canvas.church.
“We want to keep things as easy to remember and [as] simple as possible and so when canvas.church became available, we took it.”
—Justin Stewart, Creative Director at Canvas Church
This decision to open their digital front doors with an inviting, memorable .church domain name has given them a new way to connect with communities across Montana, expanding their reach. “The biggest impact is the shareability of Canvas.church,” explained Justin. “It’s easy for staff and regular attenders to say check us out at canvas.church.”