Creating Church Online

Online meeting, live-streaming, and video tutorials

Liturgy Resources

Guidelines for a Whole and Healthy Church Online

In this brave, new world of online meetings for worship and fellowship there are some easy ways to maintain our Whole & Healthy Church policies and keep everyone safe. This video from Lifelong Learning at VTS gives some good basics of what to remember when hosting interactive meetings online.

Guidelines from the Video (And a few more from DioCal)
  • Maintain the ‘Rule of Three’. Make sure to never be alone in a chat room with a parishioner, particularly minors. Have your hosts (two unrelated, trained adults) log in a few minutes before the scheduled time.
  • Don’t post links to meetings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other public places online. Send them in emails or texts. Don’t invite people you don’t know into a private space with youth and children.
  • For meeting with anyone (adults and/or minors): the host can mute, turn off video, or remove participants from the call.
    • We suggest, if possible, that whoever is spiritually leading the meeting is NOT set as the host, so they can focus on their ministry. Ask another trusted leader to be the host of the meeting to run a ministry of boundaries.
  • For Zoom meetings specifically, go into your settings and make the following changes: 
    • Turn off “Join before host”
    • Turn off private chat
    • Auto save all chat history
    • Turn off file transfer
    • Turn off screen sharing for participants
    • Turn off the whiteboard. Or at turn on auto save if you’re using it for the lesson/game.
  • Don't post screen shots of meetings online without permission of everyone in the photo. If possible, remove names from the photo before posting. Do not share screenshots of minors without permission from their guardian.

As with any new ministry, there will be a time of adjustment as we learn more about how these things work and what the best practices are. If you have any questions, additions, suggestions, or ideas please contact Caren Miles, Whole & Healthy Church Coordinator, carenm@diocal.org