How can your church host a virtual church social? Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Preparing for a virtual church social
There are a number of things to prepare for a virtual church social, including a clear set of instructions. Church members should know where to find these materials and how to use them. It is best to put instructions on the church website, but you can also send them via your church’s management system. The easiest way to create specific steps is screensharing. Screensharing software allows you to share your screen with other people and record narration.
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When preparing to host a virtual church service, make sure to practice on a virtual church chatroom with a friend or family member. Ask the church staff if you can use someone from the congregation to be a practice audience. Also, use humor, and have someone else chime in and speak to the viewers. The more you practice, the better. During a virtual church social, make sure to practice to make sure you can make the experience a great one.
Reaching out to the larger community
In an age when people are constantly connected to the internet, reaching out to the larger community through virtual church social media can be a powerful strategy. By providing digital content, church leaders can encourage people to participate and invite others. Online viewers of services may become members of your congregation if they watch your live stream or listen to your podcast. They may also discover your church online and return to attend your physical church.
The method included sampling lists of virtual church services compiled by central church authorities and searching social media. We identified examples of innovative practices and experimentation, and followed developments in several congregations. We studied denominational patterns, small and large congregations, and rural and urban churches. We chose a small town church for in-depth analysis. This church is representative of thousands of similar instances. After COVID-19 came into force, the church faced new challenges when it came to everyday worship.
Using royalty-free music
Using royalty-free music for virtual church services can help you ensure your music selections are free from copyright issues. Rather than paying a large fee per track, royalty-free music subscription services can offer you access to millions of tracks and can even provide you with an annual license. However, be sure to follow usage guidelines carefully. Some royalty-free music licenses have strict restrictions and you will need to comply with these.
Bible-based songs, such as hymns and psalms, are available for free on websites and YouTube. These works, which are free to use, are often published in the public domain. You can also use them to teach your church members, share them during virtual church socials, or live-stream them. Regardless of whether you’re hosting a livestream or a conference call, you’ll want to use music that is royalty-free.
Creating intersacred spaces
Creating intersacred spaces through virtual services can take different places and turn them into connected fields. The ‘habitus’ of the community is based on the rules, conventions, and expectations of the congregation. A virtual service can use live streaming and other techniques to transform different places into one intersacred space. Creating intersacred spaces through virtual church socials can challenge existing norms and routines.
The creation of a new form of sacred space has become a critical challenge for existing theological conventions. Sacred spaces such as homes and offices have become virtual altars. These new forms of worship are creating new linkages between intersacred spaces. Webcam connections may be temporary, but may be developed into real-world engagement. Ultimately, ‘fellowship of saints’ can be created through digital mediation.
The use of virtual reality is not a new concept. YouTube and Microsoft properties AltspaceVR and YouTube VR host virtual churches. Many of these churches were established in the past but are now available in virtual reality. AltspaceVR’s features include a virtual environment that allows users to create and attend services in a way that resembles a role-playing game. With a little bit of work, you can host church socials in your very own virtual environment.
The AltspaceVR platform is made up of spaces created by users, and users can access these spaces through a floating menu or in-world “teleporters.” It is available for both Android and Apple mobile devices. In May 2022, AltspaceVR will discontinue support for developer-maintained worlds. The company will continue to support Windows MR and Oculus Gear headsets. Using AltspaceVR to host virtual church socials can be a fun way to bring the community closer together and make the congregation feel more united.