Hey Immanuel Family,
We have had many questions about our decision to stop Live Streaming our services. Admittedly, I should have communicated better with the church before those changes were made after our Easter Service. Please, forgive me for not doing a better job in explaining this decision. It was communicated in the Friday reminder but you deserved a better explanation and I regret that I didn't provide it.
That being said, I want to take some time to explain what we're doing different and how you can stay connected. There are many churches that are in the position of deciding what is best for their congregation during this ever changing time. If we find ourselves with a need to bring it back due to circumstances with Covid, we are prepared to do so.
As the number of Covid cases declined and people started coming back to church we started noticing changes in our live stream. In fact, almost no one was watching our Sunday School class other to log on and stay less than just a few minutes. When you see a view count on the video you may notice a higher number of viewers but then when you look to see how long those viewers stayed on, it was a short amount of time.
The same thing was happening with most of our live services as well. But, there was more of an explanation as why that was happening. First, when our Praise Team would perform certain songs with tracks, Facebook software was recognizing the music and muting the sound of our songs. Many people are not going to continue to watch a live service they can't hear. Next, we would often have disruptions in our streaming due to internet issues on our side and on side of the viewers. This also made for a poor experience for those watching live. This led to frustration and many logging off. Many did come back later to watch once the stream was finished.
We feel that we can offer a better service watching experience if we are posting the recordings of the sermon after the service. As for now, please allow our team 24-48 hours to post those messages. It does take some time to process and if there is something extra going on after the service they may not be able to finish it at that time. Our new app and website will be the best place to view or listen to these sermons. For those with Smart TV services like Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Google, and Roku, they will be able to download our church app on their TV to watch services on their TV.
For those that are physically unable to attend in person, we are working on a solution to still offer an online Small Group experience and DVD's of the service for those that don't have access to the internet. Please, be patient with this process as we are looking for the right person to lead this group and serve our homebound members. Please, join us in praying for this person to develop a desire to help with this area.
Finally, and most importantly, there is no substitution for gathering physically as a Small Group and as a Church for worship. God made us to be in community and Jesus designed His church to gather in community (in-person). Part of following Jesus is serving His church and "not forsaking the assembly of the saints" Hebrews 10:25. As Pastors, it is important that we take a stand against the cultural norms of making church second place to activities, preferences, and conveniences while leading God's church to prioritize the importance of discipleship in small groups, gathering for worship, and serving others in love.
Again, I apologize for not fully communicating these important changes but hope that this clarifies the steps we are making to serve you better.
Please, let me know if you would like to discuss this any further or need more assistance in connecting with us online.
For the Kingdom,
Associate & Family Pastor