Tweaking in Pakefield
The lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced many of us kicking and screaming into the 21st Century!
Pre-lockdown I had never thought about visuals, sound, recorded music, filming the service, posting on Facebook or YouTube, because we have a wonderful tech team to take care of all of this. So, suddenly, it was just my husband and I with his mobile phone.
We decided to livestream on Facebook, before uploading to YouTube and our website. Then convert the video (MP4) into audio (MP3) for CDs to send to congregation members without internet access.
To ensure online congregation participation, we display PowerPoint slides on a screen. This low-tech way of doing things has been easiest for us. It is simple to do with the most basic of equipment. We’ve learnt as we’ve gone along, tweaking things to get the best picture and sound.
Our online services are now an integral part of our worship pattern, even as we tentatively start to worship in the building again, they are here to stay. This is because we are reaching people on the edges of church life, those perhaps who come at Christmas or Easter, those who are online but housebound. I’ve had wonderful conversations with people: “the grandchildren bought me a mobile,” or, “I can watch YouTube on my television,” or, “I work shifts so I can watch it when I get home.” We have many more views on Facebook/YouTube than attendance on an average Sunday morning.
As churches, we must engage with the digital as well as the physical. Whilst the pandemic may have forced us to change how we ‘do church’ week in week out, I think we should take encouragement from the way God is working through us in the digital; reaching people that, perhaps six months ago, we didn’t realise was possible.
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