We all compare ourselves to others. Churches compare themselves to other churches. Pastors compare themselves to other pastors. Online streamers compare themselves to online streamers. There is some good in that, as long as one is looking for a goal and to learn. The problem lies in looking at the current state as if your current state is similar. It isn’t.
The COVID-19 virus currently sweeping the world (whether physically or mentally/emotionally) is shining the light back upon this for me, especially for those who are finding themselves in the middle of trying to do something with which they are unfamiliar and unprepared.
There are a number of easy ways to get online streaming started. However, your first run will probably be a bit rough. It might even be awful. That’s okay. In many ways, just to be clear, I’m preaching to myself as much as I am speaking to you. I mentally rip apart each of the streams I do with what I did badly. As long as I don’t tear myself down and learn from it, and improve, that’s fine. It should be the same with you.
A lot of small (i.e., don’t have much/any “spare” money) churches are going to be live streaming this weekend. They will be doing it on a shoestring or zero budget. It’s also likely that those further along the streaming road will criticize the shortcomings of the stream. It’s quite possible that congregants, too, will be unhappy and complain. Not only are the congregants unable to go to church, now they have to watch this “awful” thing on their phone, computer, or TV.
The sad reality is that many churches (including my own) will be compared to “professional” setups that (frankly) most churches just can’t afford, or would even want to. The big “professional” setups cost a huge amount of money. This is not to say that the “professional” setups are wrong, they just aren’t the calling of most churches.
Ultimately, give yourself grace to do this. While broadcasting online really isn’t that new, churches (even those who are “professional”) are still learning exactly what it means to be “church online”. Don’t think you need to be up to speed this Sunday.