Is live streaming really something worth spending your church’s resources on right now?
J.L. Kraft (head of the Kraft Cheese Corporation) once said, “The only investment I ever made which has paid consistently increasing dividends is the money I have given to the Lord.” If he were going through COVID-19, I wonder if he would have kept on giving.
For the past several months, church members everywhere have had one thing in common regardless of denomination or creed: They’ve been through one unpredictable year. Rich or poor, no one has been able to sit this one out.
Church members have reacted to COVID-19 in a variety of ways. A recent survey done by the Barna Group found that while a third of parishioners haven’t changed their habits at all (they’re faithfully watching their regular church online even if they can’t attend in-person), another third have either switched churches or are digitally shopping around.
The remaining third have simply stopped going altogether!
Hopefully, you have found your remaining congregation to be like-minded with J.L. Kraft and just as generous with their giving now as they were before the pandemic, but a wise church leader has to ask the question we started with:
Is live streaming worth it?
In the past several blog posts, we’ve been making the case of why live streaming for churches is important. We’ve covered several key things you need to be aware of as a pastor or team member in charge of your church’s media presence:
- Why Facebook Live and YouTube may not be the best platforms
- How to choose the best streaming company to partner with
- How to avoid costly traps and not waste money
- How to choose the right equipment for your situation
In this post, we want you to have confidence that live streaming church services is indeed good stewardship of the hard-earned money given by your members.
Here are three huge benefits of live streaming for churches:
- Church services that can easily be found online have the potential to reach more people than ever before.
- Archives can be made available to members who miss a Sunday service. (Pastor, imagine hearing “sorry I had to miss your message last week” and being able to say “That’s ok, here’s a link to it!”)
- People are more likely to “drop-in” virtually to check out your church before they ever step onto your property. It’s a low-risk introduction for visitors that increases their comfort level, making them even more likely to visit you in person.
Let’s unpack those a little more:
1. Reach More People Than Ever Before
A Gallup poll in 2017 asked people who once attended a church, mosque, or synagogue—but “seldom or never” do so now—what their reasons were. The number one answer? 44% said they prefer to worship alone.
They like church…they just don’t like going to church. And that was the case 3 years ago! Can you imagine what COVID-19 has done to those folks now? And don’t forget the many others who do want to go to church, but just don’t have the confidence yet that it is safe for them to return.
Quality live streaming for churches can bridge the gap!
2. Keep Feeding Your Flock
Any pastor worth their salt has at some point in their career done an illustration involving the habits of sheep. (If you haven’t yet, let me help you jumpstart next week’s sermon.)
Sheep are not smart.
Sheep need constant attention.
Sheep tend to wander off if they aren’t being fed.
Now, I won’t insult your congregation by assuming that either of the first two is true. Your members are wonderful and are probably the exception.
But I feel pretty confident in saying that if your flock doesn’t have access to your messages each week, many of them will eventually wander to greener pastures. (See the Barna research above.)
When you partner with a quality live streaming company, you will be creating a vast library of archived content that your congregation can access anytime they like. If one of your sheep has to miss a week for whatever reason, your church’s messages are there to feed them whenever they’re ready to eat.
Live streaming your church services keeps you connected to your members no matter where they are!
3. Let Them Peek in the Windows
In spite of your best efforts at making guests feel comfortable, visiting a new church can be a terrifying experience for many people:
- New building.
- New people.
- They all know each other, and I clearly stand out.
Thanks to COVID-19, those people are definitely not walking through your doors like they once did. (Hardly anyone in many cases!) What are they doing instead? They’re watching online in a digital version of peeking in your windows to see what your church is all about.
Live streaming your services online lets visitors get to know you before they ever meet you. Once they’ve built a virtual relationship with you, they are far more likely to eventually join you in-person when they get the chance.
Streaming your church services can become your virtual welcome mat!
So is it worth it to invest your members’ money into streaming church services?
Whether or not you’re able to connect and communicate clearly could make all the difference in someone’s life. When you consider the possible impact your message can have, doesn’t it make sense to make the most of every moment and do it with excellence?
We understand the importance of what you do…for the people you serve, and for those you still want to reach. That’s why we’re committed to coming alongside your church as a partner in ministry and a guide through the world of church live streaming.
WSN began as a live streaming provider for high school sports, where quality and reliability are essential. (Just try explaining to coaches, raving fans, and the quarterback’s mother why the big game had some glitches.) We understand what it means for you to be seen and heard without a lot of noise and distraction. That’s why we’ve built our platform so that it simply works.
We also understand that streaming your church services can be an incredibly valuable way to steward the resources that have been given to you.
Schedule a Discovery Call to learn more. We’ll answer your live streaming questions and help you determine the best next step for your church’s live streaming needs.
You can also download a resource we put together for you: a free PDF on How to Choose the Best Live Streaming Partner for Your Church.