Since online church services are increasing in popularity, we should try to give it our best and produce high quality content. So much goes into producing these online services that we sometimes forget what we need to prioritize in these experiences.
Angie Colina McNeil presented us with a question worth thinking about. She asked in our Facebook group regarding which is more beneficial for online worship, engagement or production. Our members did not shy away from sharing their opinions and have been helpful as always.
“I believe that they actually go hand in hand. Great production for online is done with the purpose of a really positive online experience that is engaging for whomever is watching. Production should not be done with the intent to make everything look great, it should be done with the individual viewer in mind and how it’s going to impact him/her in a positive way.” Alicia Morecraft
“Engagement but I think production leads to engagement.” Brook Dwyer
“Personal opinion.. but I believe you will get more engagement depending on how well produced it is. Think about the worship we watch online for our own personal use. Most of us would engage more with a well produced video rather than a cell phone quality video. Again.. that’s just my personal opinion.” Johnny Jakubowski
“One of my major clients is a global ministry. We hosted a couple livestreams that were well produced and the interaction was off the charts. We had to set up ministry teams / moderators because the chat stream on YouTube and Facebook was out of control. They were both over Zoom and streamed over YouTube and Facebook and the ministers were in different countries. This was one of the most impactful experiences I’ve seen for ministries or churches online.” Leilani Corpus-Haywood
“Engagement. Production is partly ego. The key to a great Sunday gathering is community. That’s also the key to engaging with people in their homes.” Jason Potter
“Maybe I’m more of a black and white thinker, or.. at least more literal, so while yes I think they go hand in hand, you did ask which we thought was more beneficial.. so for me.. engagement. I approach this with what does it look like at the extreme of each choice? One side, people are in the pews, just watching, being entertained and on the other side, they are conversing and complete engagement.. I’ll definitely take the engagement over the production. That’s not to say that you can’t have both as so many other people have said. For me.. though if there is ever a choice.. I’ll pick engagement every time.” Rick Baskett
“I think we do both? We work hard to make sure our presentation is very well produced, but we also are very engaging by talking with the congregation, the people online, making them feel included. I think they work hand in hand. I apologise if I misunderstood the question.” Cyndie Dahlberg
“If you could only have one, engagement. The goal is to bring people to Christ not to entertain them. Yes, I believe you can do both and better production can get you better engagement. But if you could only do one: engagement.” Dawn Morris Kuhl
“Less is more. Less complicated and more rich content, especially if you are under resourced. Jesus was more about what He taught and less about the ‘production.” Engagement is the first and foremost ‘rule’ in any communication. Deliver context, brief/brilliant content, sincerity, humor, ‘memorable key points,’ and then survey your audience, adjusting to their inputs.” John Melby
These virtual services can be our chance to grow our ministry. Choosing what to prioritize and how to execute these services could enhance online experiences on both sides. We have to ask ourselves, what can we do to connect to our viewers? What should we do to make sure that we can give them the best experience?
Let us know which one you think is more important in the comments!