Innovative Ministry
So Your Small Church Live-Stream Stinks – Here’s Why That’s Okay
If you want to make a real difference, don’t get bogged down in the details of video streaming.

Just about every church is live-streaming their services now.

Necessity being the mother of invention (and adaptation), we’re all doing what we have to do.

Churches with pre-existing live-stream technology are learning how to conduct their service from an empty room, while those who haven’t live-streamed before are learning the basics – fast.

But let’s face two facts about churches that are new to the live-stream world:

1. Most first-time streamers are my friends in small churches.

2. Most of us aren’t doing live-stream very well.

But that’s okay.

Here’s why.

You Can’t Live-Stream Your Most-Needed Ministries

While it’s important to make a Sunday experience available to your church members, a high-quality live-stream Sunday service is not the most significant way you can serve your church or your community over the coming weeks.

Top-notch video production is not what the typical small congregation expects or needs from their church leaders.

Top-notch video production is not what the typical small congregation expects or needs from their church leaders.

Especially now.

They just need to hear from their pastor, their Sunday School teacher and their friends.

And not just on Sunday morning.

Do What You Do Best

If your service is being live-streamed, keep it simple and do it as best you can, then move on to doing the kinds of ministry you do well.

Go old-school.

Regular text messages or phone calls to check in on people will mean more than seeing you on a computer screen once a week.

Recruit some younger, healthier volunteers to find and bring needed supplies to those who can’t get out.

Those kinds of small, simple, low-tech ministries will be of far greater value than how you frame a video shot.

What We’ll Remember

At some time in the hopefully-not-too-distant future, we’ll be able to gather in our church buildings again. By then, some of our churches will have permanently added a live-stream option that will bless a lot of people.

But for many of my small church colleagues, the return of regular church services will be the end of their experiment with live-streaming.

In years to come when people look back at this time, they won’t be thinking about the quality of our live-stream. They’ll remember the personal “how are you doing?” text, the grocery drop-off, and the time their pastor or church friend stayed on the phone to pray with them through their fears and worries.

If you want to make a real difference, don’t get bogged down in the details of video streaming. Focus on Jesus. Connect with the community.

And invest in people more than technology.

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March 25, 2020 at 2:00 AM

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