Mike Todd is back for a second episode in a row with an update on what’s happened at Transformation Church during the global crisis. While they were already an online church before, online attendance has exploded to 10x what it was before COVID, and giving has soared.
Mike takes you backstage to explain their online model, why the digital church is here to stay, and how to turn online viewers into engagers, contributors, disciples and donors. In so many ways, this short conversation is a preview of the future church.
Welcome to Episode Bonus 22 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey gives his latest thoughts on the COVID-19 crisis and how to respond as leaders.
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I had a conversation recently with Jim Sheppard from Generis and one of the things that really hit me is he said, “You know, not every church has been flattened by this.” And in fact, that always happens in crisis. There are some organizations that advance, some that stay frozen, and some that decline. And Jim’s got some really interesting thoughts.
He’s also got a brand new resource that they would love to give you for free. It’s a free video called Fund the Vision. And Jim Sheppard gives you some incredible insights on how to build a thriving culture of generosity that lasts.
Start building a solid foundation now that will increase giving in your church by going to
Text CRISIS to 33777 to get access to Carey’s How to Lead Through Crisis online course
3 INSIGHTS FROM MIKE
1. Online is here to stay, so embrace it
In his interview, Carey asks Mike about his decision to go digital. Below, Mike provides two helpful insights if you’re thinking about going, but haven’t gone yet, digital:
- It doesn’t have to blow up today.
So many online content creators desire immediate results and get discouraged when they don’t see them. But rarely does online content really ever “blow up.” Mike says it’s consistency that matters, and that you’re not really working for today, you’re working for tomorrow. He says, “If you’re consistent and faithful, it can have the same impact as if you did it that moment, two years from now. And I think that’s the one thing that we learned with Relationship Goals, it was being faithful that made us fruitful.”
- You have nothing to lose.
Mike says that people delay going online. They think too hard about what they put out, when they put it out, and how they put it out. He says, “And so I just think that, listen, if it’s bad you can take it down. If you said something wrong, take it down. Monitor it. But I think a lot of people are playing it so safe at this moment and they’re walking in, I dare say, pride.” He finds that online content creators try to be so calculated with their content and expression, trying to be perfect, that they miss out on the feedback. And the one thing about social media is you get instant feedback. Mike says his greatest lessons have come from the feedback he has learned from the end user, including learning how much his users have been blessed by his raw authenticity.
2. Live versus on-demand
What if you had the ability to reach more people with your on-demand content than you could when you are live? Before the COVID crisis, Mike says that about 15% of his total weekly viewing audience were watching him live. “So I would preach to about 4,000 people in the room and probably about 15,000 to 20,000 online live.” What he noticed as the weeks when on, is he gained nearly half a million viewers online as his content remained.
While he’s not discounting the impact pastors can have with people being physically in the room, Mike sees the opportunity to reach more, and new, people via on-demand, online content—content that is speaking to people right where they are during this time. “What a time to be alive. As a pastor, as a believer. That your words can stretch longer. That you don’t pour out for three days trying to get a message and then the 40 people who decided to come to church that day are the only people that hear it. But that it can be viewed and heard and as real as it was in the room for somebody in their bedroom or on their jog.”
3. Turning viewers into engagers—your metric for online attendance
Online church attendance looks different than it does in-person. What does it mean to be an “attender” if you’re watching church online? While some pastors are measuring online viewers as attendance, we really should be focusing on engagement. So, how do you engage people online? It’s more than just likes and comments. Mike says, “I think that our biggest way to convert people from watchers or viewers to people who partner is authenticity. Authenticity is the highest form of exchange. It’s more valuable than money. They get to feel the heart and the ideas and the vision behind it. And then they think, ‘I don’t have to take this long bold step and be a part, I can do this from the privacy of my home.'”
Being authentic has allowed his viewers to engage with the heart of the church and take the next step. This may seem disconnected, but Mike has seen some incredible results including their giving doubling. He says, “They’re finding all of the answers that they’re looking for in a live experience, but they’re getting it online. What ends up happening is, the people are still getting touched, they’re getting help, they’re getting healed.”
Quotes from Episode Bonus 22
Our biggest way to convert people from watchers or viewers to people who partner is authenticity. Authenticity is the highest form of exchange. It's more valuable than money. - Michael Todd Click To Tweet
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
HOW TO LEAD THROUGH CRISIS: A NEW FREE COURSE
The world is experiencing a series of unprecedented challenges, and you’re leading in the midst of it all.
I’ve got a brand new online, on-demand course, called How to Lead Through Crisis, that can help you lead your team, your church and yourself through the massive disruption.
The course is the gift from me and my team to you and leaders everywhere. In light of everything that’s going on, we decided to make it available 100% free.
Inside How to Lead Through Crisis, you’ll learn how to:
- Cultivate a non-anxious presence that inspires confidence and trust.
- Care for yourself so the crisis doesn’t break you.
- Master the art of fast-paced, clear decision making.
- Gather and interpret the most reliable data that will advance your mission
- Advance digitally to scale past physical barriers and grow your outreach.
- Lead your team and congregation remotely
While no one has all the answers in a crisis this big, in the course, I share the mindsets, habits, tools and strategies that I believe will help you lead through crisis to get you and the people you lead to a new (and better) future.
Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus and many others.
Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via
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NEXT EPISODE: STEVE CUSS
Steve Cuss has spent years helping leaders manage their anxiety. In this interview, he talks about how to handle the elevated anxiety you’re feeling in leadership during the Coronavirus pandemic. Steve identifies some surprising signs of anxiety many leaders miss and outlines some practical ways to tame your fears during crisis.
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