We have experienced six Sundays of on-line worship. And whether you are coming back quickly on May 10 or returning to live worship cautiously, the end of everyone watching online is coming to a close for most of us. We will continue to use our online worship service as we move forward, but there are some important things we are learning about connecting with people in this way. We have learned that we can reach people we normally could not have reached through this medium. It is a nonthreatening way for those suspicious or previously hurt by the church to participate and hear the Gospel. It is definitely not a substitute for the physical gathering of the church, but it will continue to serve an important role as we move forward.
We have also learned that the reach of our worship service is completely dependent on the efforts of each of us. The interaction through the comments on Facebook has been a great way for people to stay connected and also minister to the many guests that join us every week. We can see that the more the service is shared the more people who will see it. Facebook started having technical difficulties three weeks ago and many switched over to YouTube to have a smoother video experience. With that switch we saw a decrease in the number of facebook shares which greatly impacted the number of people who had access to the service. Here is the last six weeks starting with the most recent.
· 15 Shares 528 Views
· 13 Shares 623 Views
· 25 Shares 950 Views
· 37 Shares 1,780 Views
· 30 Shares 1,883 Views
· 29 Shares 1,370 Views
Don’t think of these views as the number of people who attended worship. They represent the number of people who watched at least 3 seconds. But it is a great tool to see the number of people who had access to the service. Understanding this, I want to challenge you that even if you watch on YouTube go to Facebook and share the video, so your friends and family have access. After you share, host a watch party. This will invite your friends to join you for the service.
Let us not miss this opportunity of people being confined to their homes looking for ways to connect. In a couple of months this window of opportunity will be over. Let us know that we did everything we could to provide hope and point people to Jesus during this difficult time. Online worship may not be a great substitute to the gathering of the body of Christ, but it is a great tool for sharing the Gospel with he world. Your participation in sharing the feed is for the glory of Christ.
Hebrews 13:16, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”