Live Streaming of our Sunday service will end starting from the 1st Sunday of November. (11/6) Now that most of our congregation is back in person on Sunday, we decided to channel our media resources into creating a better in-person experience instead.
The practical reason why we won’t do both at this point is we have limited resources. We only have one camera, and that can be better used for in-person service needs. Moreover, stopping the live-streaming will allow us to have a seating arrangement that will better suit in-person participants.
But most importantly, except a few legitimate reasons such as illness and travel, there is now no good reason to choose online service over in-person service. Online service has served our church well during the Pandemic. But it wasn’t the better option, but simply the only option. One Christian writer said, “digital is a necessary compromise for some and not a convenient option for all.” If digital becomes no longer a necessity but a convenient option, sticking with online may do more harm to our faith than good.
I used to believe online church could be a good entry point for our VIPs who might not feel ready to join in-person service yet. But looking at the level of engagement in our livestream, that doesn’t seem to be happening now. And after worshipping through livestream three times while I had COVID-19, I realized how difficult it was to concentrate, even as a pastor. The experience proved to me that worship is a corporate discipline, and we need each other to focus on God during the service.
However, we understand that there are members who are temporarily away and still want to connect with our service. So, we will be uploading sermon audio instead, which can be accessed after the service.
We don’t know what will happen in the future, including our view of online service. But one thing we know for sure is we will continue to adapt and choose what glorifies God and edifies his people the most.