Covid19 Strategy: Newcomers, Congregations, and the Digital Path to Membership

In response to the COVID19 coronavirus, we are moving our worship, ministries, and congregational life online at lightning speed. As we do so, many congregations are reporting an increase in first-time visitors. They just happen to be ONLINE visitors. This increase in online visitors is something we should expect and plan for!

I’ve spoken frequently about congregations creating a digital path to membership. Previously that was to connect those exploring online with our mostly offline congregations. Now we need to create a digital path to membership to connect people successfully with our primarily online congregations.

In this session, I share some of the key strategies from my “Digital Path to Membership” workshop, share thoughts on adapting established best practices for our present context, and answer questions for the remainder of the hour.

Online Worship? Zoom Meeting versus Zoom Webinar

Congregations are moving their worship services online in response to the Covid19 coronavirus. Many are choosing Zoom as a platform.

This raises the question, should your congregation use Zoom Meeting or Zoom Webinar?

I’ve been discussing this with clients and colleagues.

Here’s a quick discussion of considerations following Zoom’s comparison chart.

Covid19: Prioritizing small groups, moving small group ministry online with ZOOM

Subscribe here to listen via my Podcast.

Congregational leaders, this is another digital strategy session to support you as we work to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. For many of you, that means moving your ministry online.

In this session, we’re talking small group ministry.

Specifically, why I want you to prioritize moving your small group ministry program online — I recommend using ZOOM video for group meetings.

If you don’t have an existing small group ministry program, that’s okay! You can simply focus on launching a digital small group ministry now.

Doing so will help with present social distancing and will likely lead to an interest in participation when you’re promoting group-based ministry at a later time.

I know how much work and energy it takes to embrace and learn new models. Many of you are accelerating your learning and experimenting at lightning speed. You can do it!

Peter Bowden

What if we have to cancel church because of the Covid19 Coronavirus?

On covid19, social distancing, limiting large gatherings, and your digital ministry strategy.

This is a strategy session to get your congregation thinking about the Covid19 coronavirus and your digital strategy should you face community spread and required “social distancing” such as limiting large gatherings and quarantines.

Specifically, how can we use social media, live video, and other tools to accomplish the work and ministry of your congregation without gathering face-to-face? This is something we need to be preparing for and I have strategy ideas to get you thinking.

Listen via my Podcast – subscribe here.



Text the word PETER to 1 (833) 306-0201 

This will connect us via my text platform.  Once we’re connected, whenever you have questions related to podcast episodes, videos, or other content, you can send me a message directly.  This is NOT a group chat. It is a way for you to share questions with me one-on-one. I also send out low volume updates about live recording sessions and other opportunities to connect.


I work with nonprofit and congregational leaders across the United States on community building, digital leadership, and other connecting strategies. For private executive and team strategy sessions, please email me. Once I verify we’re a match to work together, I’ll send you a scheduling link.

Leading in a Video First World

We’re entering a “video first” world with video dominating social media and your audience’s attention. In Episode 5 of my podcast, I share strategies to help bring your leadership online.

These are strategies drawn from my training, coaching, and consulting work with nonprofits, congregations, and independent justice leaders.

To listen to this 55-minute audio master class, subscribe to my podcast and go to episode 5.

Easy Climate Conversation Starter

On #ClimateTwitter the question came up, “How do you get other parents talking about climate?”

In addition to proactively raising the subject, I wear a Heart Earth Pin on my winter coat and favorite sport coats all the time.

People I know and people I haven’t’ met yet will spontaneously say, “Hey, I love your pin.”

When they do, I share how I feel about climate, affirm our need to take action, mention how I’m involved with climate movement, and ask if they’re connected to any climate groups. If they are not, I recommend some groups.

When possible, I ask if I can email them information about some great groups like Mothers Out Front, 350, Citizens Climate Lobby, Extinction Rebellion, etc…

I bought 4 or 5 of the pins mentioned in this video via Amazon, but any pin you can wear all the time is great. I checked and Etsy has many options – see below.

Etsy Earth Pin Collection

Earth Heart Pin

Other Earth pins

Amazon links are affiliate links and contribute to my Earth Heart Pin fund. I keep buying and giving away pins. 🙂