As another way to reach out to our community with the Good News of God in Christ, we are now livestreaming our 11:15 a.m. service (and sometimes our 9 a.m. service) on our Twitter account—twitter.com/standrewsnet. This is a wonderful opportunity to share the music, message, and rich tradition of Anglican worship with folks who might not be able to attend church. Whether they’re traveling, or unable to get out because of illness, disability or lack of transportation, this is a way that we can invite them to join with us in worship.
Furthermore, it’s a way for us to reach out to younger generations, and help them stay connected with the Church. Judah and Chelsea Smith, lead pastors of Churchome—a thriving multi-site church based in Washington State and Los Angeles—cite a recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, which reveals that “in the United States just about 60 percent of people ages 18 to 29 with a Christian background have stopped going to church, more than one-third seldom or never attend religious services, and only two in 10 believe attending church is important or worthwhile.”
Fr. Shane Tucker, associate rector for Youth and Family Life, posted to our Facebook page an opinion piece by the couple titled “If churches want to get millennials to enter their doors, they need to do THIS.”
In the article, which first appeared on Feb. 10 in the Faith and Values section on foxnews.com, the Smiths point out that, at the same time, many of these young people believe that their spiritual life is important. “Considering that nearly 70 percent of people worldwide are mobile phone users, and a whopping 86 percent of millennials have a smartphone, this means engaging them on their mobile devices on a 24/7/365-basis,” they say.
Livestreaming is a tool that we can use to reach young adults where they are, which a lot of the time is online, through a medium that is relevant to them. The Smiths are quick to point out that while “online church” is not a substitute for gathering regularly in Christian community—engaging people in person at regular worship services, in small groups, and through other events is still important—it is a way to reach those who might feel disenfranchised from the church. “Indeed, technology does not isolate people from church; it allows church to reach those that are isolated and to do so in new and exciting ways,” they say.
We first “test drove” livestreaming at the 8 p.m. Christmas Eve service, when we also recorded the service for residents of the Inn at Bear Trail, an assisted living facility less than a mile from the church on South Old State Road, to view on Christmas day. Currently, we’re using simple recording technology to livestream to our Twitter feed, where you can also view the services afterward, but improvements and enhancements from our Tech Services Ministry are coming.
Watch for the “Livestreaming” signs in the windows on each side of the doors to the Sanctuary to know when we’re recording.