How to Engage with Live Streaming
Throughout February and March, we spent several sermons under Jesus’ teaching in Luke 8 as he emphasized the eternal importance of hearing the Word of God. How we hear and receive God’s Word impacts whether that word bears fruit in us, it affects how receive Jesus who is presented in that Word, and it ultimately proves whether or not we are in Jesus’ family! In line with Jesus’ teaching, we want to “take care how we listen” by preparing to hear God’s Word taught on Sunday morning especially during these unique circumstances. Our hope is that this guide will serve you and your family to not just participate but give careful attention to listening and doing God’s Word as we gather via live stream.
Preparation for Our Sunday Live Stream
- Pray in advance. Consider praying for your own heart to be receptive to the Word that is going to be preached, praying for those who will be joining our live stream, and praying for God to meet us in power even as we gather from our homes.
- Listen to how the Lord may be prompting you to build up/encourage the body. If you believe that the Lord gives you a prophetic word/exhortation/encouragement to share with the church family, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the livestream so the leadership team can prayerfully consider it.
- Review the next passage in Luke. One of the best ways to prepare to receive God’s Word on Sundays is to give ourselves the opportunity to hear it and dwell on it ahead of time. Consider doing this as a family or even as a small group over video chat.
- Consider joining the pre-service prayer group via Zoom from 9:45-10:15am. More information can be found in our weekly email and/or Church Center.
- Set up your device/tv a few minutes before the service starts. In order to limit distractions, it may be helpful to connect to our live stream 10-15 minutes in advance in order to ensure that you are able to best see and hear our service. We will be starting the stream at 10:15am with Scripture prompts and background music to focus our attention prior to opening our service. Click HERE for livestreaming options.
Participation During Our Sunday Live Stream
- Make the live stream a personal priority. By God’s grace, live streaming our service in no way subtracts from the power of his Word. In the same way, our need to experience God through gathering in whatever way we can, exposing ourselves to his Word, and welcoming the work of His Spirit also has not changed. The worst thing we can do for ourselves and our families in this season is to cut ourselves off from an opportunity to be renewed and pointed towards Christ.
- Be sure to have your Bible with you. Engaging the sermon with your bible open, and a pen/journal or computer/tablet/phone handy for note taking will be of enormous help.
- Minimize distractions. It goes without saying that we are surrounding by things that can divert our attention from what is vitally important. A moment’s attention to minimizing distractions can aid in how we take part in our live stream time.
- If we sing, sing along!
- Pray in line with our service. We will be spending a portion of our service praying together for various topics especially as they relate to our current situation. Prayer is not a way to fill up the time, but rather an opportunity to call upon the Lord who is a very present help in times of trouble. Pray as a family over these things or even spend time in quiet prayer.
- Listen to how the Lord may be prompting you to build up/encourage the body. If you believe that the Lord has given/gives you a prophetic word/exhortation/encouragement to share with the church family, please contact email@example.com during the livestream.
Things to Consider after Our Sunday Live Stream
- Utilize the time directly following the service. Our live stream services will be slightly abbreviated leaving a window of time to continue worshipping the Lord through reflection, prayer, singing, or discussion. Consider what it might look like for you or your family to creatively use this time as a continuation of the Sunday service.
- Pray throughout the week. Some ways we can participate after our live stream include praying for one another, being constant in prayer about the global COVID-19 crisis, and asking that God would cause his Word to bear fruit in our own lives.
- Communicate with others in our church. We want to strive to be of the same mind together which is increasingly difficult as we are separated geographically. However, there are still ways in which we can encourage one another and spur one another on to love and good works. Thankfully, we have lots of avenues to maintain communication (anything from video chats to old-fashioned letter writing!) and to even strive to apply God’s Word together.
- Provide technical feedback. If you had trouble viewing our live stream or if everything seemed to work accordingly, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Regarding the Lord’s Supper
One of the wonderful privileges we have each week, when we gather face to face, is to enjoy the Lord’s Supper together. Our leadership team has wondered aloud, “What about the Lord’s Supper? Should we try to figure out how to enjoy the Supper somehow in the various locations the livestream is being watched?” We believe that it is the teaching of scripture that we have the joy of enjoying this meal whenever we gather together as a local church (one of the reasons we enjoy it weekly). Certainly, we are indeed gathering together as we livestream, but we nonetheless believe that there is a very tangible reality that is meant to be enjoyed in our participation of the Lord’s Supper. Meeting over livestream is a helpful option in the case of a crisis like we’re in, but there are tangible realities that only meeting together in person affords. Worship in song is one of those things we enjoy together as we sing and hear each other’s voices – I cannot wait until we get to do this together again! Worship via the Lord’s Supper is enjoyed as we gather and wait on each other, as we eat/drink together, as we look to Christ and to one another as His unified body. Worship via believer’s baptism is another (we currently have four who are ready to be baptized). For these reasons, among others, we so very much look forward to the joy of meeting together in person once this crisis is past, Lord willing.
What a privilege it has been, for a number of years now, to be able to enjoy the regular means of grace in our Sunday morning celebration services without much interruption. We pray that these days of crisis will end quickly for a number of reasons, one of which is the re-establishment of the regular, face to face, weekly Sunday morning gathering where we can enjoy pre-service hospitality, worship in song, worship in the sacraments, the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the variety of gifts given and face to face, hands-on prayer ministry.
Until then, we gather online and remain grateful that as we gather in our separate homes that indeed we gather together before the very throne of God by the blood of the Lamb. What a joy!
- Steve, Dan, Cale, and Mark