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If you've seen the TV series "Web Therapy," then you get the concept. Instead of meeting at the church office, have your counseling sessions and conferences online. You can meet for prayer, share thoughts on your upcoming sermon, and answer questions about navigating life and faith.

Justin Wise of Monk Development has tried this for a while now. He's hosted group sessions and one-on-one virtual meetings. Here are three of his recommendations for making it work:

1. The shorter the better. Start out with one-hour sessions one day a week. Add another day, not more time, if the demand increases and you want to spend more time in your virtual office.

2. Try one-way visuals. Use a service that allows one-way visual communication: they can see you but you can't see them. People want to know someone's there and still want to have a bit of anonymity.

3. Avoid interruptions. Wise was praying for someone online when a co-worker barged into his office asking a question about office supplies. Treat this ...

From Issue:Fall 2012: Ministry's Core
July/August
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