How Live Stream can SAVE your Church during Winter

On January 22-23, 2016 the winter storm Jonas (not to be confused with the Jonas brothers or even Nick Jonas) wrecked the East Coast. This storm dumped as much massive amounts of snow all over causing many accidents, deaths, airport and school closures and YES, Church closings.

Because some churches had online capabilities they were able to stream services even though their church building was "closed".
Because some churches had online capabilities they were able to stream services even though their church building was “closed”.

It was very unfortunate that so many churches had to close shop that weekend. HOWEVER, as many churches closed up and down the east coast, there were some that stayed open.  In fact, DJ Chuang shared a list on Sunday, January 24th of Churches that were still open.

How were they able to stay open?? Because they had live stream and video service capabilities.

How did live stream help them? They still couldn’t get to Church. Because, when you live stream your services you have a recording of them. And when you have a recording of them you can pull out and do 1 of 2 things:

  1. Show the recorded service again (it’s always good to have a backup).
  2. Add to the recorded service and make it fresh and new (i.e. edit the old service and insert some new announcements into it.  NOTE: this takes planning ahead a little).

As we were looking at the weather forecast for the Jonas blizzard, we began to prepare for the closing so we were able to record a few new parts to it to make the service feel new and fresh. Even though the music and message were from a previous service, there were 3 elements that made it fresh: an intro, mid-service and a set of exit announcements. After some editing and putting it all together, the finish product turned out great!

Being online with live streaming capability not only enabled “our” church to get to experience church and community together on that Sunday but other people who were without church that week were able to experience church and community that day as well! It was a HUGE win, win for the Kingdom!

The reality is with the way technology is evolving, making things cheaper and more assessible, there isn’t one church out there that should not be thinking of using live stream or other technology tools for your ministry.  It’s not about expanding YOUR reach. It’s about helping people discover God who may not have that opportunity to get to church or be apart of a ministry for whatever reason.

And the great news is you don’t need to be a mega-church to live steam!  It’s not just for the “cool kids”.  Any church has the capability to do live stream. In fact, you can check out more information on Church Online, this blog post about How a Small Church can leverage Church Online and how you can be using apps like Periscope and Meerkat to reach people online.

Now (and especially over the winter months) having these tools and technology at your disposal is the best time to start getting into online ministry. Having live stream was a huge asset when the blizzard hit and will continue to be a major benefit to our Church for years to come, especially when the next snow storm hits. Don’t wait until the next blizzard or event closes your church. Check out how your church can utilize Live stream today

What about you? Are you using Live Stream?  How has it helped you during the winter months?  Share your stories below or on social media using #ymsidekick so we can be encouraging each other in the new year!

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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