How Do You Create Real Community Online?


A few weeks ago, I visited a CGGC congregation outside the state of Ohio and the congregation announced that several individuals who were present the previous Sunday for worship services had tested positive for COVID-19. This past week we received word that another CGGC congregation returned from a mission trip (inside the United States) and reported that several team members had tested positive for COVID-19. This past week I was at a gathering of national church leaders where about one-half of the expected attenders had to cancel at the last moment due to either contracting COVID-19 or exposure to COVID-19. I think we need to prepare for the fact that the fall and winter months may continue to prove to be challenging as we navigate the pandemic.

One of the things most of us have had to learn over the past eighteen months has been how to utilize digital technology. While I believe digital is here to stay, it certainly has its drawbacks and limitations. This past week I was introduced to a digital ministry tool that answers some of the limitations of Facebook live or YouTube livestreams.

I’d encourage you to check out Altar Live at Altar Live is a digital platform that helps churches do more than just provide a livestream of their services by helping provide ways to build community and connection. One of the limitations of “online” ministry is the lack of connection between people. Altar Live has created a platform that helps address this problem by making it possible for those online to connect with one another. I see lots of possibilities for small groups and Sunday school classes, prayer times and conversation and connection – it’s similar to what Zoom has done with their breakout rooms but a lot more versatile.

If you’re looking for a way to create better engagement with your online ministry efforts, I believe a tool like Altar Live may help you.

I’m not a tech guy. I do well to get my computer to turn on and do the things I need it to do. I actually feel a little bit like the radio disc jockey trying to explain a picture or a visual reference to a listening audience. I realize that I’m probably not doing justice to the capabilities of Altar Live, but I wanted to make you aware of another tool that can help with your ministry during these crazy times.

I don’t think anyone is really satisfied with a talking head on a screen and that most of us are looking for connection. What I saw this week with Altar Live may help provide some of the tools you need to do a better job at building a better online community.

Christ’s Peace,

CGGC eNews—Vol. 15, No. 32


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