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Development time: Ongoing
Milestone: 0 to $100,000 ARR in 9 months
Capterra Reviews: 4.3 / 5
Downloads on Google Play Store: 1,000+
Used by more than 1,600 communities
How the service is used: Bible studies - 28%
Church services - 64%
Small groups - 21%
Other - 43%
One of the primary challenges faced by faith communities was the technical aspect of live streaming and video conferencing. Many church leaders, who had limited experience with digital platforms, found themselves grappling with the complexities of setting up a smooth and reliable live stream to reach a larger audience. The process of configuring cameras, audio equipment, and internet connections was often unfamiliar territory, leading to frustrations and fears of inadequate presentation quality.
The cumbersome nature of these technical tasks hindered some religious leaders from taking their services online at all, leaving their congregations disconnected and yearning for spiritual guidance and communal support during difficult times.
Even for religious organizations that managed to establish a virtual presence, a profound sense of loss persisted. The absence of personal interactions between members was keenly felt, as hugs, handshakes, and friendly conversations before and after services were hallmarks of their faith community gatherings. These interactions had not only facilitated spiritual growth but had also formed the backbone of a strong support system, providing emotional comfort and fostering a sense of belonging among members.
The virtual environment, while efficient in disseminating sermons, lacked the warmth and intimacy of physical interactions, leaving many feeling disconnected and isolated.
Armed with empathy and a profound understanding of the importance of faith-based communities, Stephanie Leathe, Founder of Altar Live, initiated conversations with pastors, priests, and faith leaders. Her objective was to grasp the pain points, aspirations, and concerns of these religious leaders and their congregations, enabling her to craft a solution that would serve as a lifeline for faith communities during the pandemic.
To address the challenges faced by faith communities, Stephanie collaborated with NineTwoThree Studio, which supported her as part of their internally funded ventures. Together, they set out to create a worship platform that could effectively manage sermons and events through a single tablet or computer.
The solution was designed to equip church leaders with an array of functionalities, allowing them to effortlessly share slides, manage multiple presenters, interact with attendees, and nurture community engagement.
The centerpiece of the Altar Live platform is its innovative online engagement feature, facilitating the creation of breakout rooms and lobbies before and after sermons.
Altar Live stands at the forefront of innovation in hybrid ministry engagement, providing a platform that enables online participants to experience a sense of togetherness akin to physical gatherings. At the heart of this transformative experience lies the platform's ability to foster seamless interaction and connectivity among attendees.
1. Moving Between Virtual Tables: Altar Live's virtual lobby functions as a bustling gathering place for participants, akin to the foyer of a physical place of worship. Here, users have the freedom to move freely between different virtual tables that have unique discussion points or themed conversations. This revolutionary feature simulates the fluidity of mingling and interacting with fellow community members.
Participants can effortlessly navigate through the virtual lobby, explore various discussions, or engage in conversations with like-minded individuals. This organic mixing and mingling experience enriches the sense of belonging and community spirit that has been a hallmark of faith-based gatherings for generations.
2. Viewing Online Attendees: As attendees roam within the virtual lobby and interact at different tables, Altar Live facilitates the fostering of connections by allowing participants to see a list of other online attendees. This list not only displays names, but also offers glimpses of other members present in the virtual space.
The attendee list acts as a digital congregation directory, promoting familiarity and encouraging attendees to engage with one another.
Through this feature, participants can identify friends, fellow congregants, or leaders, even amidst a larger gathering. They can initiate meaningful conversations, spiritual exchanges, or simply exchange warm greetings. By bridging the gap between physical and virtual encounters, Altar Live's attendee list reinforces the sense of community and the shared experience of worshiping together.
Altar Live's state-of-the-art features effectively closed the chasm between in-person and online congregations, granting faith communities the power to face the daunting challenges brought about by the pandemic with unshaken faith and resolve.
Once launched, Altar Live rose to the forefront of the hybrid ministry landscape. The product redefined how faith-driven communities connected and engaged in worship during the tumultuous era of COVID-19 to today. The platform's deployment ushered in a transformative wave, allowing congregations to reconnect with the sense of community and spiritual unity they yearned for in their shift to digital platforms.
Initially, Altar Live found its first customers by leveraging the power of paid marketing. However, the strategy evolved, shifting to a focus on organic traffic. Now, 100% of their clientele comes from organic traffic. Moreover, they made the most out of every conference and speaking opportunity they were offered. The goal was to meet and converse with church leaders, understand their unique needs, and forge beneficial connections.
To increase customer acquisition, Altar Live had a goal to meet and speak with church leaders to understand their unique needs and forge beneficial connections. As Altar Live continued to meet and onboard more congregations, the team observed patterns in Christian denominations that signed up for the platform. They doubled down on these denominations and the leaders then introduced them to more churches. This acquisition strategy gave them a more refined understanding of how to cater to these particular groups.
In the face of unprecedented circumstances, Altar Live became a testament to the profound impact of innovation and collaboration, fortifying communities and nurturing their resilience. This allowed the product to grow from 0 to $100,000 ARR in just 9 months. Altar Live is an ongoing project having served over 1,600 churches thus far.