I spoke with a pastor the other day who is dropping the livestream broadcast of his Sunday worship. He was frustrated (and probably a little embarrassed) that only 10-15 people were watching, so he felt like it wasn’t worth the trouble. Let me tell you why that completely misses the point of livestreaming:

What if those 10-15 people actually showed up and visited the church on a Sunday?

The pastor would be thrilled. He would pull out all the stops to make them feel welcome, enjoy the service, and hopefully come back again.

So why aren’t we as thrilled when we have 10-15 watching online?

We live in a world today where many people want to start the relationship by watching at a distance. Still more can’t physically show up on Sunday due to travel, illness, disability, or something else. So why not make them feel just as welcome as those who actually show up?

In a perfect world, everyone would come, be part of the fellowship, worship together, and grow as disciples. But in today’s world, the reality is that won’t happen. But on the positive side, digital technology has given us incredible tools for welcoming far more into the service than you can ever see from the pulpit.

And who knows where it could grow? I met a pastor in the Midwest who takes his livestream very seriously and really works it. As a result, although he has 700 in his actual service on Sunday, 10,000 are watching online.

Don’t worry as much about starting small. Every life you touch with the message of Jesus is worth the effort.


Phil Cooke, Ph.D. is a producer and media consultant to churches and ministries across the country. His latest book is “The Way Back: How Christians Blew Their Credibility and How We Get It Back.” Find out more at www.philcooke.com.

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