The Church and The Internet in 2018, Part 2

Our success with our podcast got us thinking about other media we could use.  So, we spent about $400 on equipment and after working out a lot of bugs, began to broadcast our services on Facebook Live. We broadcasted on the CrossPoint Facebook page but would “share” it to my personal page also. 

In order to try to make the service more interactive, we would add this comment to the post:

Thank you for joining us on Facebook Live! 

We would love to know who you are and any way we can serve you.  If you could take a minute to fill out our Online Communication Card by clicking here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cR_i3x70-TFh8TCV3byNANJa9d7bLcB_7pdSYSqC8LM/viewform?edit_requested=true

With this form, you can let us know ways that we can pray for you and keep you updated with our latest live events. 

Other information that you need to plug in can found on the CrossPoint website (http://www.xpoint.church) or in the CrossPoint App.  We would encourage you to download the app from the iTunes store or in Google Play by searching for “XPoint Pathways”

CrossPoint relies on the generous contributions of ordinary people to advance our movement in Boise.  We need faithful people like yourself to help with our programs and to invest in our future by creating space for new people.  We give so that everyone can find a place in our community – a place to be loved.

We believe that generosity liberates the human spirit and generous people make the world a better place.  You can participate financially by going to our online giving portal: https://xp.churchcenter.com/giving/

What was interesting is that our number of podcast downloads went down right away.  It appears that people prefer to watch than to listen. 

Facebook gives you analytics on each view so we had an idea of the number of people who would watch “live” on Sunday and how many were watching the service later.  Every week I would check the stats and try to figure out how many people were tuning in.  After a few weeks of deciphering, here is how I interpret the data:

People Reached: The number of people that the video was on their timeline

Views: The number of people who slowed down enough for the video to “auto-play”

Clicks to play: The number of people who were interested enough to click on it and watch it.

Facebook also tells you the total number of minutes the video was viewed.  Usually, you could multiply the “clicks to play” by 20 and that was roughly the number of minutes the video was viewed.  In other words, people who “clicked” will watch for an average of 20 minutes.  Between the number of people who “clicked” on Facebook Live and our podcast hits, we have been averaging about 50% of our Sunday worship attendance 

But who are these people?  Facebook will not tell you who “clicked” but about 15-20% of them will fill out our online communication card.  Others would comment on the post or “like” it so we knew who they were.  We kept their names in a database and tracked their “attendance” from week to week.  If a person filled out a communication card, “liked” or commented on the post, we would send them a Facebook message in the same way we would send a visitor letter to someone who came to our in-person service on Sunday.  Here is the gist of what we send:

Thanks for tuning in to CrossPoint’s Facebook Live service this week! 

We would love to keep you updated with upcoming online services and ways that you can connect with our growing online campus.  Would you be willing to take a minute to fill out our Online Communication Card?  You can do that by clicking here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cR_i3x70-TFh8TCV3byNANJa9d7bLcB_7pdSYSqC8LM/viewform?edit_requested=true

I hope you have a blessed week!

-Dana

After a person “attended” a couple of services, we added them to a Facebook group that we created called, “CrossPoint Online Campus”.  We would share the video to this Facebook group page and the people in our online campus would automatically be notified that a new video was posted.  We hoped that this page would encourage more interaction with those who are part of our online presence but so far, we have not been able to figure out how to do that very well. 

Like a lot of life, our learning with Facebook Live left us with more questions than answers.  How do you get people to engage in an online environment?  What do you do with people who are part of your online campus but who literally live 1,000 miles away?  Is this really a legitimate form of church?  Are they really worshiping? 

As we wrestled with these questions, one millennial said something to me that made me re-think the way I saw the online campus.  He said, “When I was in high school, I knew several people who had an ‘online relationship’ with someone they had never met.  In some cases, they even lived in a different state.  Their parents did not take the relationship very seriously but they did.  They treated it the way they would have treated any ‘live’ relationship.  It could be in part a generational deal.  I have no trouble thinking of an online community as a real community.” 

Dana Hicks