Live streaming is a great way to keep former members, missionaries and others connected to your church.
Live streaming is a great way to keep former members, missionaries and others connected to your church. (tdjakes.org)

There's a persistent myth about church live streaming that needs to be put to rest: The idea that once you go live online, your members will stop coming to the services. Nothing could be further from the truth. I don't have statistics; I can only give you my experience with the hundreds of churches we've worked with around the world.

Over and over, as we help churches live stream their services, the actual Sunday attendance in the building goes up. In other words, putting your services out there online for others to see actually draws more to the Sunday service.

There are plenty of amazing live stream stories. I was speaking at a pastor's conference in Oklahoma this year and met one pastor who preaches to 700 people in his congregation. But his live stream is viewed by an average of 10,000 people each week.

We worked with a large church in the Southeast who actually gets as much as one-third of its total income from the live stream audience. In fact, one Sunday, the pastor called me, excited to share that the previous Sunday, the church received more donations online than the congregation gave in the offering plate. That's unusual, but it does happen.

Think for a minute about former members of your church who have moved but would like to stay in touch. Students who have left for college, business people in the congregation who travel. Missionaries you support. I can tell you that whenever my wife and I are on the road on a Sunday morning, she always opens up the laptop and watches the live-streamed service from our church.

The bottom line: There are millions of people outside the walls of your church who need to hear your message. Certainly you won't reach all of them with your online service, but the fact is, if you're holding back from doing a live stream, you won't reach anyone beyond those walls.

If you're a pastor or church leader interested in live streaming, ask any questions in the comment box, or contact our team. We want to see your message reach as many people as possible, and a live stream is a relatively inexpensive and effective way to make that happen.

 Phil Cooke has actually produced media programming in nearly 50 countries around the world. In the process, has been shot at, survived two military coups, fallen out of a helicopter and in Africa, been threatened with prison. And during that time—through his company, Cooke Pictures, in Burbank, California—he's helped some of the largest nonprofit organizations and leaders in the world use the media to tell their story in a changing, disrupted culture.

For the original article, visit philcooke.com.

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