I'm not an active WL right now, but the church where I used to be is thinking about what is going to happen if we have to stop meeting on Sunday mornings - in California, one state over from me, they are strongly discouraging gatherings of over 250 people, which is going to affect a lot of churches if it becomes a rule.
I've been doing a little brainstorming myself, and one thing that struck me is that if we're not gathering as a congregation, it's not really a situation where we need to "livestream" the service - the individual bits could be completed with a Saturday night deadline, assembled into order and then maybe just dropped as a podcast on Sunday morning. "Congregational singing" maybe doesn't happen, the music part of the service could be linked youtube videos. Does it even need to be video'd, would an audio-only "service" work just as well? Do the communion elements still need to be blessed by an ordained minister, or could everybody watching just have their own bread-ish substance and grape-based beverage ready to go and serve themselves when they get to that point in the service? Prayer Requests and offerings could be handled online and maybe even have everybody who plans to "attend" post a picture and a little news about their "Christian walk."
At some point,hopefully, it will be safe to assemble in large groups again, but in the meantime, what if we had to go online to hold the congregation together until that day comes? Right now we have a traditional worship service and a contemporary service, and certainly some parts of the service could be re-used, tho' I'd be disappointed if it turned into just two identical services with different music...
Ideas & comments on ideas all welcome.
For what it's worth, this is happening now. They are not meeting for an actual service this Sunday, 3/15, but are saying they're going to "livestream" something, I'm not sure they even know what yet. But I think the intent is just to have SOMETHING available to keep people connected to the church until they can start meeting again. There are probably ways to take advantage of social media to do that that would work BETTER than just a video of what's going on in an empty sanctuary.
Hey Charles! Our church discontinued services starting last Sunday as well... for at least the next 4 weeks. We do not live stream, for whatever reason, although we have a 2nd location that has live worship then streams the message from the main location each week. Anyway, what we did this weekend was the pastor and a small worship team met on Saturday and recorded a service. Worship was normal length, but more "acoustic". Had keyboard, acoustic gtr, some electronic percussion and vocals. It was simple but well done. Recording was very good quality and mixed well. They were on our regular stage, although in a condensed, simplified setup. The pastor then gave a message that was off of the current series and instead brought a word specific to what everyone is going through. As much as possible, they tried to make it feel like a live service. Then the video was nicely edited and put together, and made available Sunday morning for people to watch from home.
We're determining what this will look like in the weeks ahead and what will change or not change. Crazy times. Hopefully this doesn't last as long as some say it might.
Well, this past Sunday (3/22), they did some sort of a "drive-through" church. I didn't go (and, yeah, I realize that shouldn't be talking about services I didn't even attend, but I've kinda decided that as part of my post-WL time, I still need to 'self isolate' from a situation that just makes me unhappy), but it looks like they just had a driving path through the parking lot - a place where you could drop off canned goods & stuff to be donated elsewhere, a place where you could pick up a few groceries if you were out, a place where you could drop off your offering and a final stop to greet the pastor... I don't know if they were doing communion or not, but there are probably ways it could be done relatively safely...
Anyway, as I've mentioned before, I resigned / retired as WL back in September, and I'm still not entirely over why I did, but I'm still staying away for now - but I thought this might be worth mentioning to others... surely lots of other churches are having to do things like this, let's hear about it!
They'd doing the drive-through worship again this week, here are the details they sent out:
is a stream of a Vineyard School of Worship online discussion of livestreaming worship services, and from listening to the first couple minutes, it sounds like they ARE discussing what's going on now that we aren't doing live services in church. I haven't listened all the way through (it's an hour and a half long), but might be of value to somebody...