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HP ONLINE HOST

Church Online

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INTRODUCTION

Our online ministry is the largest front door we have to experience community and encounter God. Much like our physical building, as an Online Host you are the guest experience team, next step team and prayer team—all in one. We play the important role of greeting online attenders in the chat, answering questions, sharing helpful links and resources, encouraging and praying for people.

This guide will help you understand the crucial role you play and equip you to pursue your calling. The information provided is based on what has worked well but we also acknowledge our team value that, "we turn on a dime" so expect tweaks as needed to suit the needs of our online community.

WHAT DO WE DO?

So, what do Online Hosts do? They do three easy but powerful things—welcome, encourage, discuss, and pray.

Welcome

Hosts welcome each new guest into the chat area. A friendly welcome can be made even better by using exclamation marks, emojis, and a follow-up question to get to know them.

Example: ​Hi @johnnyfive, welcome! We’re pumped you’re watching with  today. How’s your day going so far?

Encourge

Hosts encourage those joining online that they are not alone or isolated and this is an online community they can trust, often from a "me too" position by affirming what is being sung and what is being said from Pastors. 

Example: ​I love the words of this song, it helps me know the past is the past and to march forward towards the future knowing God is always with me.

Discuss

Next, Hosts can spark discussion in the chat area. Asking icebreaker questions, recapping key points from the message, or quoting the pastor is a great way to engage attenders in the chat. Open-ended questions—those that can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no”—and questions beginning with who, what, when, where, why, or how are always great conversation starters, too.

Example: ​I love what Pastor Kevin just mentioned _____. That’s so powerful! How do you think we can apply this into our everyday lives?

Pray

Finally, Hosts offer prayer those watching online in the chat area. They can pray with people right in the chat area or encourage them to click the Live Prayer button on the HP Church Online platform if they’d rather talk and pray with a host privately. It’s amazing to see how loved people feel when someone reaches out to pray with them!

Instead of simply replying “Thanks for sharing; we’ll pray for you!” we know that typing out the prayer is a better way to meet the attender’s need.

Example: ​Hi @shelby75, I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your loved one this week. Could we pray together here for you and your family? God, we lift up Shelby and pray that you would be with her and her entire family today. We ask that you would bring them your perfect peace and comfort, and that you would surround them with people who can encourage them in this season. Thank you for loving us and being with us in every difficult moment. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

QUARTER SYSTEM

We have developed a system divided into 4 quarters like a football or basketball game. This strategy will help you know what to communicate and when to communicate it. Check it out!

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PLATORMS

People all over the world attend Highland Park Church Online on 3 different platforms. Facebook, Youtube and the Church Online Platform (website).  Most everyone who is part of our online team as a chat host already use these platforms in their day to day life and already have created an account, however if you haven't, no worries we can help you set it up!

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TEAM COMMUNITY

Community is the cornerstone and fabric of this team. The amazing things God is doing online is blessed when we pray and encourage everyone on our team. The way we do that is through text and video messages on our HP Online Team on messenger. If you don't have it, download it, you'll need it! Click the image below!

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COMMUNICATION TIPS

Outside of the broadcast being video, Our communication Online is primarily written, so it lacks some of the nonverbal cues we typically use in face-to-face conversations, such as facial expressions and tone of voice. These tips will help you hone your communication skills online.

  1. Avoid all caps. TYPING LIKE THIS can come across as virtual yelling, so use standard capitalization and be sure your Caps Lock is off.

  2. Use proper punctuation. Proper punctuation prevents misunderstandings, helps accurately translate your messages into other languages, presents Highland Park in a tidy light, and clarifies meaning for non-native English speakers.

  3. Use emojis! Written communication can sometimes seem emotionless or impersonal, but it doesn’t have to. To convey joy, sorrow, or virtually any other emotion, add some emojis to your posts!

  4. Avoid using churchy words that can cause confusion or turn off those doubting, done or disengaged such as “Fellowship” or “sanctification.” The best approach is to use simple language and provide explanations for any words or jargon that unchurched guests might not understand.

  5. Tag a person or use someone’s name when responding. You wouldn’t want someone who just said in chat that their dog died to see your “That’s amazing! Praise God!” comment and think it was meant for them. @ tagging or using the person’s name helps make it clear exactly who you’re talking to in chat.

Remember, in the online realm, our communication truly ​is​ our ministry—that’s why we strive to make it as excellent as possible. Learn from others on the team, have fun, and never forget our mission: to Experience Community, Encounter God, Claim Purpose and Pursue Calling! We are obsessed with the ONE!

SCHEDULING

Scheduling occurs through Planning Center. This is will help you know when you are scheduled and see other important details about the service. We encourage everyone to attend a service and serve a service on the same day. This helps familiarize ourselves with the content and creates opportunities to hang-out! Click below to download the app!

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HOW TO HANDLE STICKY SITUATIONS

Sometimes critics of online ministry say accountability is missing in an environment where people can hide behind anonymity. We've found that oftentimes people will share more openly online than they might in face-to-face conversations. Church Online attenders tell us they were too hesitant to attend a traditional church setting, worried about what people might say or think of them. But they felt comfortable enough to try Online, and when they did, they found a place they could belong, experiencing community before they believed.

With anonymity will come messiness—people saying or doing things that may not happen in a physical building. But, as believers, we embrace the messiness and use those opportunities as a way to walk along side those in need.

Here are a few situations that could happen and the process to follow:

Disruptive Behavior

If a guest continually exhibits inappropriate behavior, Hosts have the ability to mute them and or delete their comments depending on the platform the are watching on. On the Church online platform muted guests can still watch the message and see chat. ​They will also see their own posts appear, but their posts will not show up to anyone else. Before a Host mutes a guest, they should be given a friendly reminder in both public chat and then in direct chat. Remind them that this is an open and welcoming space for all.

Muting should be a last resort—and sometimes it’s hard to know if it’s the right thing to do. Here are a few things to remember:

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HIGHLAND PARK VISION

We seek to reshape the perception of the Church's relevance by becoming the first place people look to for identity, community, and help. We will be a church that is "obsessed with the one", focused on reaching those who are doubting, done with religion, and disengaged from faith; a church that feels such urgency to share the good news of Jesus and help others claim their divine purpose that our comfort no longer factors into the equation. 
 
The life of our church is the activated faith of every individual. We will always call people to a step forward toward Jesus, believing that everyone has gifting and calling upon their life, regardless of their current starting point. We seek to connect people to the bigger thing that God is doing by leading them from serving while being discipled, to discipling while serving. We will build a foundation of faith through Scripture that people can always rely upon, a springboard for their future calling. 
 
Our call is to transform our community, building the leaders and shaping the systems so that our community would look more like God's kingdom than it does today. Our commitment is to engage 1% of Lakeland in active ministry and to celebrate the baptism of 3,571 people before 2030. While we begin in our neighborhoods, we will not allow our current address to define our future footprint but will expand in our influence and ethnic diversity. We seek to continuously make a greater impact through helping other churches, deploying leaders, expanding online, and planting campuses. 


 This is Church: grace that is not devoid of truth. This is Church: an intergenerational community that swims against the current of prolonged adolescence. This is Church: a people humbled so that we will love as God loves. This is Church: so healthy that the gospel is irresistible.  We are not a cruise ship, but a battleship. We are the Church.

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