5 Things to Stream Other than Church Services

By Jeff Reed

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Through streaming, churches like yours can access a powerful tool that can effectively disciple the people you’re already connected with and help you reach new people. 

But livestreaming church services is just the tip of the iceberg. Using the same technology, churches can create other intimate, relational, and simpler ways to engage with people online. So, let me give you five ways your church can use your livestream technology to connect people that go beyond streaming your church services

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#1: Deleted Scenes, Q&As, and Interviews Left on the Cutting Room Floor

I’ve never met a pastor who didn’t want more time for their sermon on Sunday morning. The reality is that good stuff inevitably gets cut from the sermon. Another unfortunate reality is that the sermon’s point, the application of God’s Word, can often fade from the listener’s mind by the time Sunday lunch is over. 

But what if you could leverage your livestreaming tech and all of the pastor’s cut material to engage your congregation throughout the week? Or imagine a fireside chat-style Q&A with a subject matter expert on the sermon topic. Another innovative idea would be to offer the congregation the opportunity to submit questions about the sermon and then answer them throughout the week in short videos. Your church’s small groups could even use these video resources to spark conversation during their weekly gatherings. In this way, the sermon’s application would remain top of mind. 

Using Resi On Demand , after you stream these “deleted scenes” and bonus features, you can upload them to your church’s personalized Media Site (available with a Resi On Demand Pro or above subscription plan) and arrange them into easy-to-navigate playlists in an interface that resembles popular streaming platforms. 

#2: Online Prayer Experiences

Whether churched or unchurched, prayer is desired. Even people who do not believe in God oftentimes will not walk away from the opportunity to be prayed for. 

Imagine if your church engaged in online prayer sessions, fostering deep connections within the community. Encourage active participation by having members share their prayer requests on platforms like Facebook groups or text chats, followed by a prayer meeting streamed through various channels and platforms. A virtual prayer environment can be as intimate and welcoming as a physical gathering. Open up space for intercessory prayer, lead the participants through liturgies or requests, and reinforce with relevant Scriptures.

The benefit of streaming prayer sessions is that you are engaging directly with people online. Even in a texting environment, take the opportunity to listen to people and show empathy through prayer. 

#3: Morning Devotionals

Host an online morning devotional session where you engage your audience by reading a book of the Bible together. Encourage discussion on its application and conclude with a moment of shared prayer. It’s easy to overthink this, to think this is the equivalent of a sermon and will take a lot of prep time, but simple processes like the HEAR Method (Highlight, Explain, Apply, and Respond) give you a simple way to process scripture, and train your audience on how they can do it on their own.

What would it look like for your church to stream a daily devotional? They don’t even have to be very long and could be delegated to other staff members. Empower other staff, deacons/elders, or volunteers to lead the devotional thoughts. Make sure it’s scheduled and ready to go at the same time every morning —the consistency will help encourage more active participants. Morning devotionals another powerful way to reinforce spiritual disciplines utilizing streaming technology and allows your church to engage people outside of the Sunday service.

#4: Wedding and Funerals

In the tapestry of human experiences, events like weddings and funerals play a significant role. They’re not just occasions; they’re shared rituals that bring us together. Offering livestreaming services for weddings and funerals is an effective way to bridge the gap between those who are physically present and those who cannot attend.

For weddings, livestreaming allows family and friends who couldn’t make it to still be a part of the special day. It also allows couples to share their love with a larger audience, including loved ones in other parts of the world. 

For funerals, livestreaming can provide comfort and closure for those who cannot attend in person. It allows them to grieve alongside others and honor their loved one’s memory despite physical distance. Plus, it eliminates the added stress of worrying about travel arrangements during a difficult time.

#5: The Heartfelt Conversation

What if your pastor had a weekly stream where he could just be himself and talk about what’s happening in the life of the church? 

Pastors, from larger churches to church plants, can often feel distant from their members and supporters. Sermons can be a way to connect, but advances in streaming technology offer so many different opportunities for pastors to connect with their congregants. From sharing weekly announcements to discussing what they’re reading, these heartfelt (and casual) conversations can go a long way in building a rapport between church leadership and the rest of the congregations. Think of it like “office hours” your college professors would host.

And the good news is that this doesn’t have to be a top-tier production. I actually have a video camera built into my desk and can stream easily with just a couple flips of a switch. So, don’t let the technology overwhelm you. But, if you’re looking for a heartfelt way to connect with your people, making yourself available via stream is a great way to do it.

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The Challenge of Quality

The tension you probably feel in doing any of these options is quality. While we want to continue raising video quality as much as possible, quality is not the reason to stop this. Some of the opportunities can be filmed with a smartphone horizontally orientated and then scheduled for broadcast through the Resi. Or, maybe, this is an opportunity to purchase a second, more portable encoder and build a simpler streaming solution for your church.

I encourage you to break free from being confined by quality standards you adhere to during a church service. Embrace opportunities beyond services to innovate and discover what resonates with your church and its ethos. Worrying about quality might just be the barrier preventing your church from reaching its full potential. Experiment with these different options, and then invest in the ones that appear to be really resonating with your audience. 

Seize this opportunity to expand your perspective beyond merely streaming church services. Delve into how streaming can infuse a human touch into your church, making it more accessible and captivating.

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Jeff Reed

In 2018, Jeff stepped out of a 15-year church staffing career in production, creative, and communication to start THECHURCH.DIGITAL, a non-profit designed to help churches find their purpose through digital discipleship, mobilizing people on digital mission, and planting multiplying digital churches. He lives in Miami with his wife and two kids.

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