The BETA Show: 01
Wrestling with your church’s PHYGITAL approach to online + physical services? Jeff & Rey are diving in, answering your questions on how to get more impact on your phygital church services.
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THE BETA SHOW Transcript
Jeff Reed (00:00):
And now, hey, we are alive. Hey, welcome to beta episode one, we did beta episode zero last week. This is beta here with the church digital podcast. I am Jeff Reed. And of course, once again, joined by Rey DeArmas. I’m guessing Rey, you want to say hi to somebody?
Rey DeArmas (00:20):
Hello to everybody out there that is sending their kids back to school today, specifically in South Florida, we are with you. Hold on my goodness, man. Good luck to all of you.
Jeff Reed (00:30):
Yeah. Traffic was interesting, needless to say, I was kind of enjoying having like peace and quiet in my morning drive and all that is now gone. Thank you very much for that, but we don’t need to talk about like Miami traffic or wherever you are traffic. We want to, we want to talk about your question. So beta, this is a new thing for us here with the church digital. And of course you had that got the podcast. We’ve done almost a hundred episodes with coming up on our hundredth here in a couple of weeks, but we wanted to move away from heady, theoretical philosophical conversations and try to get more practical in the midst of COVID season. Try to find some sort of practical application, even in the midst of all of this chaos. So to this end, we’re doing this live stream here, beta.
Jeff Reed (01:14):
Here’s what we want to do. We’re going to get to the topic here in a second, but moving forward, if you’ve got questions on, on church, online on digital, a church on online discipleship, on phygital church, on digital church, planting any of this sort of thing involving ministry in digital space, avatar space even talks to the virtual reality stuff. Hey, we want to hear those questions as my dog barks. I love Rey. I love you too. Right. And the other way, text your questions too, for the church. (484) 324-8724. I started to say good girl, Rey, but then that would just make this podcast even weirder. Hey, is it more effective to create a church service exclusive for online or to live stream a physical service? Is it more effective to create a church service exclusive for online or live stream that physical service, right? You want to take the first shot?
Rey DeArmas (02:11):
Yeah, I’m a bigger fan for exclusive, for online. For so many reasons, number one, you’re talking to a specific audience and you’re creating a unique experience. It’s just for them, that’s catered for them also, just keeping in mind, something as basic, but as important as the length of a service, we’re much more forgiving in person than we are walking through screens. That’s just the reality of the situation. Many of you will watch, you know, even an hour message live and in person and jot along with your pastor, but when you are either listening to the podcast or whether you’re watching it through a YouTube channel or something else later on, and especially the smaller, the screen gets the less length of time that you’re willing to forgive. So I’m a bigger fan of catering, the specific experience for the online audience.
Jeff Reed (02:56):
Yeah, I would agree with that. Try to create that, that online experience, even if it’s things like a host talking a campus pastor, or one of the pastors talking direct to the, to the online audience, maybe it’s a sermon where the pastor is looking direct at that lens and engaging with it at a way that maybe that is not able to do when he’s trying to preach to an entire room. There’s an opportunity to really dig in to that online environment. Now keep in mind. And this is where the COVID season really just gets messy for us because pre COVID yet physical audience and digital audience and sometimes they overlapped. But for the most part, it was kind of separated. Now, here, COVID, mid COVID, post COVID coming out of it wherever we are in the season.
Jeff Reed (03:46):
We’re seeing people try to go back to the building, but a lot of our physical audience pre COVID is still watching online. So just keep in mind that you’re going to have these mixed, these hybrid, kind of services towards that. And in our ones are people who are cold to Christ. They’re not looking for that 60, 70 minute service that 40 minute sermon, if you’re really true, trying to dig into evangelism, you’re not, that’s not the presentation that they’re online, people are looking for that are cold to Christ. So create that shorter, that more succinct to environment, which is actually gonna lead us here into question number two, question number two, is it easier to get better engagement in five to 15 minute segments rather than a full 40 minutes service? So we’re talking engagement two way conversations, chat, likes comments, Rey, what are you thinking off of that?
Rey DeArmas (04:42):
And I’ve got a hot take here. so good content is good content, no matter what the length, that’s, that’s my hot take. So, and I think that’s going to require a lot of honest feedback, especially to you content creators, pastors, specifically that are writing your messages. So you might, might want to make sure and kind of pitch a few people to make sure that all 40 to 60 minutes of that content is truly engaging. Because if it’s not guess what it can be chopped up into those five to 15 minute bits and redistributed on social media, or even in your online service, shorten it up. It’s okay to trim it down to the best of the best of it. That’s totally fine. in the same way that when you go to a high end restaurant, you know, you’re not getting like six sides with your main course.
Rey DeArmas (05:24):
No, you have to order every piece that you truly want. Why? Because it’s going to be the best of the best that steak is going to be the best version of it. They don’t need to dress it up with extra sides, cause they know they’re serving you something that’s quality and a-1 directly off the bat. And so it’s going to take a lot of hardcore feedback, but if your content is truly engaging, just like, Hey Avengers, end game. Yeah. We sat there for three hours for three hours. Why? Because it was great. And because we knew what we were going to, when we would have sat there for four, because we believed it was going to be that good. But you know, for our messages, we got to reconsider.
Jeff Reed (05:58):
Yeah, pastor that is not an excuse to preach a three hour sermon. Don’t don’t write that down. Those guys on that crazy thing, right. Where they screwed up the first slide, they said, we should preach a four hour sermon. That is not, that’s not where we’re at. but, but definitely have that good content and, and really, really beat that down. If it’s, if it’s 15 minutes, if it’s 10 minutes, if it’s five minutes, if it’s, if it’s 30, it has to be engaging, captivating. And, and as a communicator, let me say, even the talks that I do, I don’t judge, whether it’s it’s effective in that it’s, for me, it’s a, it’s a much better conversation to allow others to speak into it. We actually did a podcast just recently with, with Patrick up at nouveau church. We was talking about that, where he was letting others speak into the sermon and getting some of that, some of that feedback.
Jeff Reed (06:43):
So pastor be open-handed with some of this stuff towards it, the end game for us. if we’re really interested in doing online in context of reaching people with evangelism comes down to shareable content, what can you do that is going to make that bit of, of media a sermon, a worship, clip, a testimony video. What does it look like to make it shareable? Best practices would be shorter the better, or if you’re doing a larger service pastor wrap up your service by physical service. So saying this was your, was this service impactful for you? Do you know somebody in your life that needs this message? Our sermon is completely on Facebook right now. Why don’t you take a moment just as you’re walking out to the car, share this service on Facebook with people that need to hear it, ask your 99 as the people engaged through your church to share and start to create assets and resources.
Jeff Reed (07:41):
It’s true. 60 seconds can be more impactful in somebody’s life digitally than 60 minutes can. And the ability for us to generate this content to make it shareable, to get people, even within the service and with the service, getting them connected into an engagement pathway is a phenomenal opportunity that we have with the church today. Hey, so let’s roll into question three here. Kind of stream rolling. How does the church engage? This is a hard one. Like this is, let’s kind of back up here a little bit. I don’t know that anybody’s got the answer. How does the church engage the public while heading back to the building for, in person gatherings? How does the church engage the public while heading back to the building for in-person gatherings? Right? What, what are you thinking off of this?
Rey DeArmas (08:27):
Well, I mean, the first thing I would say is that’s something that’s got to kiss. It. Can’t just be your services. It’s got to go beyond your services. You’ve got to serve your community and mind you, if you missed out on that opportunity during COVID, you miss out on a big opportunity, but it’s not too late today. You can still get involved in some way in your community, find the needs that are going on and find ways to engage them. But the reality of it is, is that people don’t care what you know, until they know what you care, right? They know they care. That’s the thing that’s important in your community needs to know that you sure that you care about them, that they matter to you. And then there’s the age old question that many churches have asked. If your search disappeared from your community, you have to shut those doors. Would they care? What is it that you provide for them? That’s what matters. And so in the same way, don’t just dream of the big online space. I love what Carey Nieuwhof says. He says, nobody should out local the local church. And that should be true of your church and true of mine.
Jeff Reed (09:24):
Yeah. Carey is so good, man. And he talks about this idea of, the church online, the digital church, and he talks about it being hyper-local instead of glocal and global and going over, he says church, we’ve got an opportunity with our desire to be hyper
Jeff Reed (09:41):
Localized in the certain areas. And I would challenge it in the season for us as church, as much as we’re interested in reaching the world, let’s understand that through digital, through church online, we’ve got an opportunity to be hypersensitive to the, to the communities around us. This is why we know this. And you talk to any online pastor. They’ll tell you this people connect to community before they connect to Christ. And so even at least in online circles, and I would suggest coming out of this COVID season, I think culture is shifting more and more that way, where we’re not necessarily embracing this idea of the organization of the church, as much as church, we need to allow individuals an opportunity to speak into that. And so having that happen, giving individuals an opportunity to speak that is the true engagement point where it’s not a nameless organization trying to tell people how to live their life, but it’s individuals telling the story of what Jesus has done for them through the Holy spirit, in their own individual life.
Rey DeArmas (10:44):
Yeah. You know, and touching base on that, you know, social media outlets. Now, Facebook, YouTube, and others are really trying to figure out on how to build those communities locally too. And so, you know, everything from, Hey, in your online broadcast, it’s okay to throw in a few local like jokes, things that only your community would get things that are unique to your niche area. You know, like Miami, we have a lot of these things last week we celebrate the reopening. And so we took out pots and pans and we banged them together. Why? Because in Miami, that’s a hilarious way that we celebrate all of our sports teams. Folks show up at the local Cuban restaurant on 40th street and 87th Avenue called La Careta. And they show up with pots and pans and they bang them around. That’s how we celebrate championships and all sorts of other ridiculousness. And so those are like small little details that you can throw into your service that guess what? Yeah only your local audience is going to get that nobody else is going to get that, but that helps bring that community even more together. Why? Because guess what? My people on Facebook are connected to people on Facebook in Miami more often than not. Yes. They will touch the person in California or the person in Spain. But most of the time when they smashed that share button, people in Miami are checking.
Jeff Reed (11:51):
That’s awesome. And let’s be honest, we’re in Miami. we really don’t celebrate our sports teams that often. So in the grand scheme of the number of times, you would expect to see the pans and pots. Yeah. Like the heat are down three to one it’s over.
Rey DeArmas (12:07):
We celebrate more than Cleveland and that matters.
Jeff Reed (12:14):
Ouch to the people in Cleveland that are watching this right now, I’m sorry. I’m actually going to be up up in the Ohio area here in a couple of weeks. So Phil Underwood, the pastor who asked these questions, you know, these are great questions by the way, Phil you’re doing ministry in the Florida keys. So hats off to you. You are the true winner, whether or not your question got selected sitting alongside the beach and doing the work of God, Phil I’m envious of you in this season. So thanks very much for this. Remember people out there, if you’ve got questions, we want to answer them through shows like this. That will be better structured. And my dog, Rey Skywalker, hopefully won’t be barking as much. So text those questions in 484-324-8724. It’s literally alphabet on the keyboard for the church. Check that out. Hey, we’ve got beta as well as other free resources, of course, email@example.com. And this show beta will be seen on, I think it’s on Facebook and YouTube right now. We’ll get it on all the social media networks on the website. And of course on the podcast, if you’re not listening to the podcast, check this out. It’s got our church digital podcast, which is far more theoretical, future driven. And then of course, beta here, which gets more practical. So Hey, Rey is landing the plane quickly. Any closing thoughts?
Rey DeArmas (13:34):
No, just keep those questions coming. I love the thought of now that many characters are considering reopening. Don’t forget online matters. The majority of people are going to join you outside of the room.
Jeff Reed (13:45):
Online matters. The church culture is shifting away for us as much as we want to go back to the way that it was February, 2020, we go back there. There’s nobody there. And so learn lessons, keep fighting for this direction of it. Not even embracing this idea of digital being the end game, combining the two together, but ultimately comes down to creating that, that disciple maker and letting that person be the focus of our ministry, moving forward, post COVID and into the next normal. So, hey, thanks very much for jumping on this for Rey, I’m Jeff with The Church Digital. Thanks for being here. And we’ll see you next time here on beta. Y’all have a good one.