Nobody wants to be a fly on the wall. If you are steaming your Church service, discipleship or training sessions you must do all you can to make people feel included. People love it when they feel like you are talking just to them. Nobody wants to be a fly on the wall.
Many Churches will try and replicate the in-Church Sunday experience online. That is many will attempt to make it feel like Church at home by having an enthusiastic small live audience. This will actually create the exact opposite of building community.
Off-camera audiences only serve to enhance the feelings of isolation and exclusion.
- Don’t have a studio audience i.e. people who are not presenting, discussing or interacting with the online audience.
- Don’t interact with people off-camera. If there are people watching you present or record (i.e. the worship, I.T. or media team) ignore them, don’t interact with them, don’t look at them, and don’t acknowledge them in any way. Every time you interact with an off-camera person your congregation watching will feel more excluded and isolated.
- People off-camera must remain completely silent. Likewise, if people are watching in the studio they should remain silent. This is counterculture to many Churches that like to encourage the preacher, but silence is 100 % necessary.
There are detailed educational and phycological studies that support the idea that even a small audience will make people who are not part of the live audience feel excluded, isolated and not part of the community you are trying to build. This is the last thing you want to do when we are trying to build community.
Online Presenter Hint! Don’t replicate a group setting it only increases the feelings of isolation and exclusion.
Blessings Dr Brendan Roach
Founder of Axx