As we continue to work with churches and their engagement via smartphone devices, we have learned more about the need for a virtual routine in regards to managing the church presence.
Every church has a physical maintenance routine. Whether daily or on Sunday morning, the doors are unlocked. The mailbox is checked. Candles are in working order. The HVAC is set for the right temperature. The lights are turned on (and off). The lectern is cleaned off. The water is run. Communion elements are ready.
Physical items are maintained on a set routine without much thought and are a normal part of the workday at a church. All these items require movement and engagement with the physical surrounding.
The promise of a virtual, digital routine is ease and simplicity. It can be done at any time during the day, and often from any place where a person resides. Physical movement is replaced with thumb swipes and taps of fingers. Engaging virtually only requires a nice La-Z-Boy chair and an internet connection. The downside of this simplicity is that a routine is hard to establish. No physical need is addressed, only the mind needs to be engaged. Oftentimes, the virtual routine can become abandoned or forgotten.
As the routine is neglected or abandoned, a digital presence can begin to suffer. When a physical maintenance routine is neglected, the building will suffer. Weeds start to overgrow, lights burn out, dust accumulates and the appearance of the building suffers.
This is the same when a virtual routine is neglected, the digital presence will also suffer. Dated posts show old information, instead of new happenings. Messages and comments are ignored. Online traffic degrades. Disconnects occur between actual happenings and the digital view.
Establishing an active digital routine ensures a church looks just as good online as it does in-person. When checking the physical mailbox, be sure to check social media comments and email. When unlocking the church door, be sure to open up your church app, website or Facebook page to manage activity. When changing light bulbs, be sure to add new pictures online.
Incorporating the digital components along with related physical items is a great way to keep the virtual maintenance of the church in great shape.