We have had an interesting phenomenon at church (Wake Forest Presbyterian) this week. The communications team has – albeit in very rudimentary manner – started to live-stream Sunday morning’s message.
- Here’s the link: Rebekah’s Message on 9/25
Now this might not sound like much for those of you in technology-heavy congregations, but you have to understand it’s only recently we’ve even been recording! And sermons are still not available as podcasts, you have to go to the church website to find them!
What makes this a phenomenon isn’t so much that fact of live-streaming, or that a church in the Research Triangle is finally using some of the technology its members make their living doing (as IT specialists and computer engineers)… the phenomenon is how many people seem to be tuning in!
The communications folk at WFPC say close to 400 additional people have viewed Rebekah’s message as of Wednesday morning. Many more have clicked on the link and watched segments; but the 400 number represents those who have watched the entire 20 minutes.
This of course begs the questions of who? and why? Apparently this breaks down into four groups.
- First, people who were unable to be at church but didn’t want to miss the message (folk who are sick, traveling, away at college, or otherwise not physically present).
- Then, there are those who enjoyed the message at church and want to listen again.
- Additionally, it is reaching people (family members, friends etc.) who WFPC church members are sharing the link with, along with a “you need to watch this” nudge.
- Finally, streaming like this engages the interest of the seeker, the curious, the researcher, the potential visitor checking things out first… And the list could go on.
SO WHAT? STOP THE ROT!
The “so what” of this conversation is fact that I believe it is critically and increasingly important that we present the message of the gospel to the world via as many creative vehicles as we can. There is such a lot of what the British call “rot” out there, being sampled, consumed, and very often rejected by those who still don’t know that – as Paul pointed out – there is “a still more excellent way.”
“Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.” – 1 Corinthians 12:31
A MORE EXCELLENT WAY
Rebekah and I would not be so committed to the ministry here in Wake Forest if we didn’t believe with all our hearts that there really is “a still more excellent way.” And that way, as Paul goes to point out over the next few verses (1 Corinthians 13), is the way of the Gospel of Love.
And if love is not the way you understand gospel, then you need to listen to this particular “live-stream” message; because Rebekah does an excellent job of kicking off a mini-series on the Fruit of the Spirit, and it’s all about love.
If we can put the Way of Jesus, the still more excellent way, in front of a few hundred more people every week via live-stream, then I say let’s do it, and let’s do it with as much passion and creative ingenuity as we possibly can.
Please pray for the ministry here in Wake Forest. There is so much that needs to be done, and so many broken people to reach – DEREK