Romans 8:28 - NIV
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
2020 was a bombshell to how we did Church. In 2021, what's the fallout?
When lockdowns began, the conversation around getting Church online was an urgent one. The questions were simple: Who? How? What? Where?
Who knows what to do? How do we do it? What do we need? Where do we post?
You'll notice I left out the 'Why?'. And why?
Because it was obvious.
Why try to connect online? Because we couldn't connect otherwise.
As the dust settles on the Pandemic and people return to Church, the answers to all the 'Who, How, What, and Where' questions mostly remain the same. But it's the 'Why?' that has drastically changed.
'Why Do We Do Church Online?'
Offering Church online is no longer a necessity. It's a choice. Many Churches now have the gear and knowledge to be online in some way. So what's the strategy going forward?
I asked over 100 churches and here is what they said:
I believe God has used the Pandemic to take Churches through a one-way door into the digital age. It's easy to go back to old ways, but surprisingly, only one Church said they would stop streaming.
43.9% See their stream as a way to service existing members.
Interestingly, 10% of the total see this as the sole purpose of a livestream (multiple options could be selected in the survey). As a stream consultant, the only reasons 'inward hyperfocus' occurs is either due to a lack of vision - they can't imagine how they could use their stream to spread the gospel and grow - or unfounded fears.
30.8% Selected that they do see their stream as a new front door.
Stories from Churches within the Church Livestream Level Up group have proven how easily new people have found them, due to their stream. During the Pandemic, this was an easier task for several reasons. Post-pandemic, it's encouraging to see Churches believe they can use the technology they have 'so that by all means we might reach some'.
17.8% Said they would minister to a fully online congregation.
What was once limited to Mega-Church televangelists is now possible for the small Church too. The place of this kind of ministry is still a contentious conversation in the space, but no doubt these Churches have a gospel mindset to spread the word online.
6.5% Said they would use their stream to plant home Churches.
It was Bill Hybles who first said, "The local church is the hope of the world." In the digital age, there is becoming a re-defining of the word 'local'. Technology is geographically unlocking Churches. This is the 'Why?' I think will develop the most over the coming year.
I recently had this discussion with Digital Minister Andy Barras. He created a small video studio for his Church 'St Johns Diamon Creek'. They use it to create a fully online Sunday service each week. Simultaneously they are repacking that content, as well as creating additional resources that will equip home-hub micro churches. They call it the 'Tri-modal' model of Church. You can see that interview here: https://youtu.be/EuI10e3xgd8
Why are you streaming? And if you aren't, why not? It's not too late!
Now is the time to seize the opportunity. We must continue to innovate and find new ways to use the technology we have so that by all means we might reach some. God's word is timeless, but how He works throughout history to reach the lost is not.
Personally, I can't wait to see how this massive trajectory shift plays out over the next five to ten years.
Interesting in hearing more about Church Streaming Strategy? Stay tuned for upcoming interviews with different church leaders on how they plan to use their online strategies post-Corona. Sign up to our newsletter below OR you can check out our full course that will help you take your Church Livestream to the next level
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