Should churches still livestream services?

Should churches still livestream services?

During lockdown, live-streaming became a lifeline keeping congregations connected. But post-pandemic, does it still have a place in church?

During a recent Elim Digital Debate, three pastors shared their experiences.

Oscar Mucyo, Coventry Elim’s digital director, says the church began experimenting with live-streaming before Covid but today relies on it to help build connections with people all over the world – some of whom have even made the move to Coventry.

We’ve heard stories of people who’ve been watching in their home countries and have had the opportunity to move to the UK. Because they’ve been watching us they’ve come to church, joined us physically and are now serving on team. For me that is a reason not to stop live-streaming.

We had a story of a lady who watched us from Pakistan. She used to really engage online, chatting with the digital pastors who knew her and her needs. She was planning to come to the UK and couldn’t wait. She was so excited because she just wanted to actually be here in person.

Then, one Sunday she was here! She went up to pastor Duncan and showed him a bunch of pictures of people watching our livestream in Pakistan. She had maybe 20 to 30 people in a room watching it on a phone! That was encouraging because it felt like, wow, we are in a country like Pakistan!

The idea of shutting down our livestream is just like, no! We could be shutting down something for someone who finds it really important.

We’ve got a team of online pastors who are there to listen to people, hear their prayer requests and make that bridge connection between in-person and online so people who are on at home or watching from around the world can feel like they’re part of what’s going on.

<strong>A ROW BEHIND THE BACK ROW</strong>

For Lifecentral Church in Halesowen, livestreaming became a feature of church life after lead pastor Leon Evans felt called to stream their services before the pandemic. Now they find their online offering is a key step on many people’s spiritual journeys. Back in 2019 I felt we should be live- streaming our services and said to our tech team, “Let’s go for it!”

All of them said they weren’t sure, we weren’t ready, we hadn’t got the cameras and the experience. It was one of those occasions when I just felt a nudge from the Lord, so I said we’d be all right and would figure it out as we went.

We started in January 2020, then when Covid hit in March everybody looked at me and said, “Wow!”

Initially it was necessity, but the necessity soon became an opportunity – for mission. Our mission is to help people find and follow Jesus, and we found so many people have met him through our online ministry.

Coming out of Covid, we’ve baptised more people than we’ve ever baptised before. Many of those have started their journey with God online. Online can be a really key part of somebody’s journey.


Read the whole article in context in the January 2024 issue of Direction Magazine.

Direction Magazine

Direction is the official monthly publication of the Elim Pentecostal Churches in the UK, and is packed with all Elim's latest news, inspiration, vision and teaching. Find the latest edition and many back issues of Direction here.

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