Better Together! Invite a Friend to Church with a Facebook Watch Party

By the Rev. Chris Harris, Associate Rector

Last week I shared how our post-COVID ‘digital’ church has not only made it easy to invite people to church, but it’s made it even easier for your friends to say yes!  After all, there is no drive, no getting dressed up, no anxiety about whether they will fit in and if they don’t like what they see, they can safely click away.  In fact, studies show more than 60% of people who are invited to church will say ‘yes’ – and that was back when they had to actually come to the building.  You can only imagine what the percentage is today!

So how do you invite someone to our online service?

One way of course is to simply email or text them our “Church at Home” webpage where they can watch live:  www.CCCatHome.org. But for some of your friends, that might seem a bit impersonal as they will be watching alone at home, rather than getting to sit next to you in your favorite pew where you can guide them through the service, answer their questions and explain what happens next.

How to make it more personal?

How about putting a monitor on the patio and host a porch watch party!  Make it an event with great coffee and pastries delivered during the announcements or invite people to bring pre-packaged snacks.  (Let me know ahead of time and we can email you some “coffee hour conversation starters” to help encourage deeper reflection and conversation after the service.)

If that feels like too much of a commitment or if they are too far away to gather ‘in-person’ or not comfortable with gathering in person, one great solution is to host a Facebook Watch Party!  For friends on Facebook, Watch Parties offers a social way to share our services so you can watch together at a time of your choosing and use the chat to have a private conversation during the service.

Here’s how – Click HERE to see the steps below WITH photos:

Step 1 – Decide whether to invite all or just a few FB friends?  Maybe you have just one or two people in mind that you’d like to invite or maybe you want to invite ALL of your FB friends and just see who shows up – both work!  If you are going to invite specific friends, you might text or message them ahead of time and set a date:  “Hey Joe, any interest in going to church with me on FB live this weekend?”  If ‘yes’ tell them to log onto Facebook, Saturday at 5pm or Sunday at 10am depending on which service works, and to look for your invitation in their Facebook notifications.

Step 2 –  Navigate to the Christ Church Cranbrook Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/christchurchcranbrook) and find the live service that is about to start – you’ll see a countdown.  (You can also do this anytime with a previously posted service.)

Step 3 – Click on the “Share” button and then click on the “Start Watch Party” (you may need to click on  “more options” button to see the “Start Watch Party” button).  Click it.

Step 4 –  Select your privacy settings – do you want your watch party to be public or private?

Right under your name you will see a drop down of who the audience will be.  The default is likely ‘Public’ but if you click on it, you will see different options such as to only invite Specific Friends. If you select “Specific Friends” you will be given an option to select whomever you wish to be invited – and ONLY they can see it. Use this if you’ve already made a ‘date’ to watch church together and they are expecting it. Otherwise, you can select “Friends” and all of your friends will be notified and can decide if they want to join you.

Step 5 – Click “post” and your watch party will begin and your guests will receive a notification in the Facebook Notifications. Let your friends whom you have invited to check their Facebook Notifications to find your Watch Party invite.

That’s it!  Chat away in the comments.  Post them a link to the bulletin (which you can find at www.CCCatHome.org).  Comment on the sermon.  Ask them if they have any prayer request?  Whatever is natural to you.

 

BONUS  – Consider inviting them to coffee hour if they want to meet more people from church after the 10am service.  How?  Simply post in the comments the link to Church at Home (www.CCCatHome.org) and tell them to click the “Coffee Hour” button.  Don’t forget to introduce you friend to everyone!

 

Step – 6 Let us know who you invited!  Go to our Invite a Friend page https://christchurchcranbrook.org/invitefriends/ and let us know how we can help welcome them to Christ Church Cranbrook!

 

For questions, comments or other invite a friend ideas, contact the Rev. Chris at charris@christchurchcranbrook.org