Over the last 10 years our church has been producing short 5 minute videos that we use in our small groups so have learnt some lessons about producing video content.
We’ve taken the chance to provide some help cross the following areas in 4 separate posts to try and fast track your set up.
4. Ideas on adding creative content to your live stream service (this post)
In this post we’re looking at some ways you can get creative with your online services. We are on this journey as well – trying to create engaging online experiences – so if you have any other ideas we’d love to hear about them.
1. Worship with all the senses
In our churches, we are used to our worship experiences revolving around music. With social distancing that is almost impossible but it’s a great chance to get creative with our worship experience.
One way to consider this is through the idea of Howard Gardners theory of Multiple Intelligences. Our school systems tend to focus on being word-smart and number-smart but Gardners theory gives a broader variety to that. We can worship through nature, through movement, spatially and relationally.
So many of these ideas are about exploring worship with all the senses.
2. Pre-recorded testimonies
Testimonies are always great to hear at church. At this time people are getting opportunities to practically love people or they have been the recipient of that practical help and sharing these stories can be an ongoing encouragement. You can get someone to pre-record their testimony (maybe send them the tips on presenting well on video) and then you can add that to your live service.
3. Take communion online
If you give people notice they can prepare their own communion elements and have them ready to have together during the live stream. It connects the online experience to the physical experience.
4. Live engagement
Use a platform for your live streaming that lets people engage in real time. Facebook live is easy as you can see who is watching and interact with them. We are using the Church Online Platform which has some other cool features like live chat, and the ability for people to request prayer live which our online hosts can respond to.
5. Separate content for Adults, Youth and Kids
During our live service we are sending pre-recorded content for the kids and teenagers which they can watch at the same time or after the service. We don’t have the ability to create content each week but what we can do is use some of the great resources online and our Kids Pastors are top and tailing that with a short video so our kids get contact with them each week. Think Orange is a good example where all ages content is made and available to download.
6. Worship with word or picture
Rather than using music to create space for people to connect with God, try using the spoken word or a set of pictures that represent creation. Your worship could be reading a set of favourite Psalms or you could experiment with the tradition of liturgical reading. It's not something we do a lot of in our Charismatic and Pentecostal churches – but could work in this environment.
The idea is a communal response to the spoken word of either praise, thanksgiving or even repentance.
7. Create A Call to Action
This is the area we are looking forward to exploring the most as social distancing goes on for longer. What better way to create and improve engagement that a response to the message we are giving. Some ideas here include:
Dropping off food and toiletries to those in need
Getting a sign up to a follow up event (e.g. a weekly Google Hangouts prayer meeting)
Sign up to another church social media channel
Download a follow up document like an eBook, Infographic, Devotion
Get people to send photos of them watching the live feed
If someone has a birthday or special event arrange a co-ordinate drive by
We are all in this together and our hope of sharing these posts is that you can continue building the church during this challenging time. If you have any ideas that are working we'd love to hear from you as well.