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Eight Tips for a Successful Digital Ministry

By integrating digital media into its daily ministry, Heartland Community Church in Rockford, Illinois, has created a series of powerful teaching tools for church members, on-members, believers and seekers throughout the Rockford community. Heartland discovered that providing CDs and DVDs of the church's weekly teachings helped keep their congregation stay connected and provided a valuable teaching tool people can review at home or in their cars.

Here are eight tips for a successful digital ministry, learned from Heartland Community Church:

  1. The popularity of a CD/DVD recording of a church service is directly related to how much it resonates with the audience. Typically, those services which people find most applicable to their daily lives are the ones they find most inspirational and transformational. Heartland's Coming up to Breathe, a new series on recovery, sold 300 CDs on its first weekend.
  2. Preparation is the key:
    • Print CD cover art in advance
    • Place an ample supply of jewel cases or envelopes in your CD production area the night before services
    • Give your volunteers plenty of elbow room so they can do their jobs quickly and with minimal bruising.
  3. Use the same or similar graphic elements in your promotional materials, newsletter and on your CD. Repeating the same colors and artwork across all media related to a series will help your audience find what they are looking for.
  4. Burn extra CDs and make them available from your bookstore or Web site. This will help people who missed your services stay connected with your teachings even when they cannot attend.
  5. Utilize your volunteers. Creating an assembly line is an easy way to produce CDs quickly and efficiently.
  6. Keep your recording area as close to the duplicating area as possible. You want both of these areas as close to the distribution area as possible. The time spent walking back and forth to collect master CDs or to move finished CDs to the bookstore is time that is better spent burning CDs.
  7. Consider adding a special insert to your CD/DVD that contains study questions or activities relating to the content. This will give your audience another way to absorb the content and apply the lessons to their daily lives.
  8. Remember that many of your staff and volunteers are at your church part time. Things happen while they are away from their posts. You need to purchase your media and packaging from a company that has a wide variety of items in stock and ready to ship.

To read more about Heartland Community Church and how it uses digital media as part of its daily ministry, download our free white paper, "Digital Ministry: It's More than Just Packaging." A trusted name in media packaging since 1972, Polyline is the largest U.S. distributor of in-stock media packaging for CDs, DVDs, VHS and audio to religious organizations as well as the production and post-production industry.

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