Streaming Christmas Services to Reach More Congregants

Dan Daley says streaming around holidays offers a multitude of benefits.

Holidays are about more of everything. Everything, that is, except time. Some churches that have embraced streaming as a way to extend their reach are also realizing that more of it might just be the way to address some of the time pressures that come with holiday periods. At the same time, they’re also finding that expanding their streamed offerings can have a raft of other benefits that last far longer than the last bit of eggnog.

Trinity Lutheran Church of Clinton Township, MI has streamed its regular Sunday services for well over a year, but live-streams several additional events at Christmas, including its unique “Blue Christmas” event, a streamed service aimed at those who have lost loved ones or jobs in the last year and who might not be in the mood to venture out during a festive holiday.

“Not everyone is happy at that time of year, so it’s a way to reach out and remind people who are hurting about going to God for support,” explains Paul Finazzo, minister of worship and music at Trinity Lutheran. “When you think about it, streaming something like that during the holidays is the best way to reach certain people.”

Increased Presence in the Community
Shawn West, a managing partner at Worship Channels, a Spokane area-based developer and marketer of online live streaming tools for churches, says extending the amount of streaming that churches normally do around holidays offers a range of advantages. “The holidays are a period when no one has any time and they’re often caught between conflicting demands,” he says, such as church choir shows and school pageants taking place on the same nights. “Streaming events in addition to the usual Sunday services gives people options that they appreciate,” particularly if events that they cannot attend in person are also made available on demand after the fact.

West, who has been advising houses of worship on streaming technologies for the past four years, says extending streaming beyond Sunday services around holidays increases a church’s presence in the community and mindshare in a competitive environment, as well as helping communicate a church’s particular message. And as weather becomes more volatile, additional streaming of events helps keep people connected while also keeping them safely at home when weather turns bad. But as importantly, he notes, it’s also shown to have a positive correlation on financial donations to churches as a result.

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