More and more churches are adding a whole new audience on Sunday morning through live streaming their worship services. Some churches haven’t considered the possibility or shrugged it off as being out of reach or unnecessary. Here are four reasons your church should be streaming worship services.
1. Live Streaming allows potential visitors to get a feel for your service and lowers barriers.
Especially for people who have never attended church regularly or have not attended in quite some time, visiting a new church can be an unnerving experience. For those of us who have been actively involved in a church for a long time, this is difficult to understand. However, the people we most want to reach really have no idea what goes on inside the walls. But what if they could experience an entire worship service from the safety and comfort of their own home? At least, they get to see that your church is full of normal looking people singing and praying and listening to a sermon. At best, they may actually be connected to the proclamation of the Gospel and want to learn more.
It is also entirely possible that they won’t feel comfortable with what they see and that is okay. Maybe the people they see don’t look like them. Perhaps the worship experience wasn’t at all what they expected. That’s okay too. What an amazing act of hospitality you offered them by letting them find that out before they got inside and felt uncomfortable and trapped until the service was over.
2. Live Streaming serves your mobile and immobile members.
I wrote in an earlier post about the fact that it is harder than ever for people to get to church on Sunday. Some have mobility issues that make it too difficult to get there. Some are very mobile and find themselves away from town or unavailable on Sunday. In these cases, a live stream of your services is an act of pastoral care. Even when your people are away, they can still be connected to their worship community and the proclamation of the Gospel.
3. Live Streaming creates content you can share in other ways.
Video content is becoming and an increasingly powerful way to fuel engagement.
Once you start live streaming, it is simple to record those worship services. (Some platforms do it automatically.) You can take those videos and edit them down to just the sermon and post them on YouTube and your website. That alone will get your church a little further out into cyberspace and increase your website’s search engine ranking. Now, take it one step further. Find someone to do some more editing and make a couple of clips featuring some of the highlights of the Sunday sermon. Post those to Twitter and Facebook and give people content to view and share. Now your live streaming is an act of evangelism.
“Demonstrating a level of comfort with technology sends a message to potential guests that we are ready to engage.”
4. It demonstrates that your church is not tech adverse.
We are now trying to reach out to an entire generation of digital natives. These are people who have always lived in a world saturated with technology. It is easy for them to see the church as being disconnected from the world that they know. We want to push back and tell them that the church has existed, grown and remained faithful long before computers came along – that the gospel transcends technology and modernity. However, we can’t really talk about those things if these digital natives don’t listen to us. Demonstrating a level of comfort with technology sends a message to potential guests that we are ready to engage.
Live streaming has quickly moved from being an another cool gadget for geeks like me. It has matured to a platform that is worth an investment by churches. The investment of money and time has the potential to create exponential impact now and certainly into the future.
Want to learn more? Find more information at the online home of the Rio Texas Media Center: https://riotexas.org/livestreaming