Submitted by Dan Steen, Park Church, Holland, MI
We started live-streaming our worship services, not because we wanted to, but because we had to. We now realize that the live-streaming worship will continue, and mostly as an outreach tool. We know that like a church website, the live-stream worship can be a “new front door” into our church community. There are some who would be hesitant to show up on a Sunday morning, but they might be less hesitant to join us at home and listen to sermons or services on-line. Others might live outside the Holland area, but are still tuning into a church service for the first time.
So, our new experiment has been to record a special video greeting specifically for our on-line congregation. We begin live-streaming our prelude about 5 minutes before worship begins. Once that gets started, then we cut away from the prelude and play a 2-3 minute pre-recorded video greeting. The video greeting is geared toward those new to Park Church or new to any church, with less Christian background and knowledge. We can briefly explain the sermon series or tell them about a part of the worship that they will be seeing. For example, this week the video greeting briefly describes “What is Palm Sunday and Holy Week?”. Next Sunday, we’ll create another new video greeting to provide some context for the Easter worship service. We have only just started this, for about the past month, and so far, it has just been videos from me as the pastor. But, we hope that it is an idea that can continue to improve over time and even include other staff or other members who could also share a video greeting to our on-line congregation before worship begins.