Church members travel and are unable to physically attend church every week. People turn to the Internet to find answers about God. Other people are not ready to physically attend your church, but are willing to “attend” online.
Providing an online stream of your worship service can provide each of these people a way to connect with your church and stay connected when they cannot physically attend.
Halfheartedly putting a video of the worship services online can do more harm than good.
Here are 5 key truths to remember when providing online streaming.
Imagine constantly inviting people to come to your church building but periodically you decide not to have a worship service. I am not talking about emergency or weather related closings. I mean that you just decided it was not worth the effort that day, never unlocked the doors, and never let anyone know ahead of time.
That is exactly what it is like when you develop a pattern of streaming your worship service to the Internet and then skip one Sunday. It is the equivalent to leaving people standing on the “church steps” in the heat or cold. They will be less likely to come back next week or maybe ever.
“Large crowd” is a relative term to each church. You need to be prepared for whatever size crowd is larger than normal for your church. For a physical church service, you probably have an overflow plan. For online streaming, make sure the solution you have in place can scale to accommodate as many people as desire to connect.
Two areas to consider:
Whether it is the pastor or someone else welcoming people to the worship service, be sure to welcome those “who are viewing online” as well. This does at least two things:
While they may not be physically present in the church building, today’s technology affords the opportunities and methods for people to participate in worship in the following ways:
Seeing a room filled with people provides one indicator that the church is meeting a need at some level to those who physically attend. However, from the pulpit it is not easy to know whether the online stream is reaching people.
In actuality, online metrics can provide a very reliable sense of the breadth of reach for the online stream as well as identify locations for starting Bible studies, planting a campus, or planting a daughter church. For more details and ideas about this, read my post, How Your Website Can Identify Church Growth Opportunities.
What other items need to be included to take online streaming beyond a simple broadcast of the worship service?
Original photo courtesy www.lightstock.com | Chad Madden
Steve's passion is to help ministers and churches do ministry in our new digital, social, mobile world at the speed of life through building a strong ministry infrastructure (minfrasTructure). With a background in church administration, Christian education, missions, and technology, he offers advice, tips, and tools through writing, blogging, podcasting, speaking, online courses, consulting, and personal coaching.
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