The Healthy Church Hub


In today’s digital world, online communities can help foster connection.

So, how can your church start utilizing virtual spaces to help members support, connect, and engage with each other?

The impact of a well-run online community is bigger than the church walls.

An online community can be a powerful tool for reaching the lost or people who can’t attend an in-person service for various reasons.

So, what are the 5 reasons to form online communities at your church? Let’s start by learning about best practices.

Best Practices for Building a Thriving Online Community for Church Leaders

When used properly, an online community can be a thriving place for community and connection.

But, following these best practices will ensure your online space remains helpful.

Monitoring Conversations:
Develop a set of community guidelines and assign someone to monitor online conversations. This way, when people share prayer requests or questions, they’ll get a response.

A moderator can help diffuse conflict and make sure conversations remain helpful and align with the community guidelines.

Communicating with Clarity:
Make sure your communication is regular, helpful, and engaging.

Try using updates, asking questions, sharing testimonies, and linking to videos and podcasts to capture attention and engage people.

Setting Clear Goals and Objectives

The key to creating a thriving online community starts with setting clear goals and objectives.

Ask yourself why you want to start this community and who it’s for.

Whether your goal is to foster connection, promote spiritual growth, or provide support, define your purpose before creating your online community.

When your virtual space has clear goals and objectives, people will understand why it’s important and want to be a part of it.

1. Effective Communication

If your online community isn’t regularly asked questions, updated, or informed, they won’t continue to engage themselves.

So, here are a few ways to help people stay engaged:

  • Regular Updates
  • Newsletters
  • Announcements
  • Encouraging Active Participation (discussion questions, sharing testimonies, organizing virtual events)

All of these things will help people feel like they’re part of a thriving community.

Whatever you post, make sure it’s clearly written and supports the goals and objectives you have for your online community.

2. Whole Community vs. Specialized Community

Reaching the whole church community is great, but it’s also important to create specialized online groups.

You can create groups based on interest, ministry (small group, worship, etc), age demographics, or seasons in life.

This type of segmentation helps foster deep roots and encourage bonding over common interests or needs. Make sure every community you create is a place of safety and respect.

3. Embracing Multimedia

An interactive community requires interactive resources. This can look like sharing resources like videos, podcasts, and other helpful resources to facilitate engagement and drive conversation.

Another way to create valuable conversation is by encouraging member contribution. Ask people to share their favorite multimedia resources (worship songs, devotionals, etc).

Encouraging others to share multimedia resources is a great way to foster ownership and belonging.

Free “Building an Online Community” Chapter

Want to know more about building a thriving online community?

Want to know what software tools to use, how to streamline your processes and effectively grow?

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4. Collaboration with Church Leaders and Volunteers

Collaboration is key in creating a thriving online community.

One way to promote collaboration is to invite specific church leaders or volunteers to moderate discussions, organize events, or provide spiritual support.

When a variety of people contribute, it adds diversity and uniqueness to your online space, making it more engaging and interesting.

Having unique voices also helps people hear from different perspectives and helps them grow.

5. Regular Evaluation and Feedback

Without evaluation and feedback, you won’t know how your online community is really doing.

Inviting feedback is a helpful way to make sure your community feels safe, is learning, and you are aware of areas you might need to work on.

Here are a few ways to get feedback:

✅ Use surveys, polls, and open discussions to gather insights on how you can do better.

✅ Implement changes based on member feedback (this one’s important if you want people to feel heard).

✅ Show responsiveness and commitment by responding promptly.

Every piece of feedback you receive from your growing community is a helpful tool for building a thriving online community.


Life in the digital age requires different tools to reach people.

Now, you’re equipped to start using the tool of online communities to meet people where they are and engage your church on a deeper level.

When you combine virtual communities with physical gatherings you amplify your reach and continue to expand the kingdom in powerful ways.

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