There’s a new Number 2 on the church staff and you need to hire this position. Here’s what I mean.
Everyone recognizes the most important position on a church staff is the Senior Pastor. There’s no question. And for years the second most important for large churches was the Executive Pastor and for smaller churches without an XP, it was the Worship Pastor. Children’s and Youth are a close 3rd and 4th. This isn’t to diminish the importance or value of the non-senior-pastor positions at all. They’re all important in their own respective rights in each local church. But we do tend to place more weight and significance on those who are on the top rungs of the hierarchy.
But that’s about to change.
The impact on how churches function as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be overstated. It’s changed everything. It will continue to change everything.
Nearly every church is now online. For those who fought it before the pandemic, they have caved and are now on it. For those who were already doing online services, they have been expanded and perfected it for every internal ministry.
This is why you need to hire an Online Pastor. And hire one now.
You need to hire an Online Pastor. And hire one now.Tweet
Historically, churches focused on attendance for Sundays because attendance was often perceived to be commitment. But now, churches need to be more focused on engagement over anything else. In an online world, engagement should be your number 1 focus. While visuals and eye-candy is nice, the engagement process is far more critical. Many churches have nice sets, great sounding bands, and decent preachers. But with a click of a button, I can find a church that is better. I no longer have to travel there on Sunday. I can be there with a mere click.
Historically, churches focused on attendance for Sundays because attendance was often perceived to be commitment. But now, churches need to be more focused on engagement over anything else.Tweet
You need a pastor who can help engage viewers while they’re viewing your services and when they’re scrolling through social media.
So, what does that look like? Here are some ideas:
1. The Online Pastor is not the Technical Director. The OP is responsible for online engagement, while the TD is responsible for hardware, operations, and functionality of technology. (As a side note, I write about why the TD should report to the Senior Pastor in my book, CHURCH BUSINESS. Something I believe in even more now!)
2. The Online Pastor handles all online content, social media management, posting, responding, marketing, sharing, praying, live engagement during services, etc.
3. Produce appealing mini-sermons. If you’ve seen those 30 to 60 second video snippets on Facebook and Instagram from the famous giga-church pastors, you know what I’m talking about. They’re clips from last Sunday’s message and they’re just long enough to get you roped into watching more. That’s called engagement and it makes people want to learn more. They’re short, easy to share, and are highly effective. They’re also very easy and cheap to produce.
4. I believe this position should have some level of theological/doctrinal training so that challenging questions can be addressed. Yet this person should also have the ability to know “when to stop engagement” online and encourage in-person meetings. “Some things just can’t be explained well via social media comments. Let’s meet for coffee and I can share more!”
Some things just can’t be explained well via social media comments.Tweet
5. It may not necessarily be an 8-5 office position like other staff because the speed of online content may require outside hours to be the norm. The internet and social media move fast and is 24/7. An online response should be within minutes to hours, not days. People won’t wait for you to respond next Monday at 9am when you get into the office. While every pastor needs boundaries, much of this position may require work at odd hours of the day.
6. He/she should report directly to the Senior Pastor and be aware of all sermon content and the direction of sermon series.
7. They should have a clear understanding of how SEO keywords work for the website or church blog, use media tags, and hashtags well, and even have an appropriate use of emojis.
8. Humor is a massive bonus! Let’s be honest…few things keep people engaged as much as humor.
Let’s be honest…few things keep people engaged as much as humor.Tweet
For most churches, the move to online has been reactive due to the pandemic. It made sense for the emergency that it was. But now that emergency is over, and you need to be proactive. How you prioritize a ministry can almost always be determined by how much money you invest in it. Find the money, adjust your budget, and invest in an Online Pastor and the tools he needs.
Why do online people matter? Because they are people.
And people need to be engaged in order to find Jesus.