My Issues and Hope for Christian Live Streaming
Sermons and songs. These two things are the most common types of content Christian churches and ministries are live streaming today. Meanwhile, creative people across the world are engaging new audiences, entertaining and building communities through new types of live stream programming and content that is different than what you might see on television or Netflix type streaming platforms.
Live streaming on social media is a very recent consumer technology. Creating content outside of television once involved owning cameras, computers and expensive software. Since 2016, however, live streaming has been made easy and accessible for billions of Facebook users worldwide that can now live stream from their smart phones and devices.
I’ve seen this influx of low cost and ease of use technology impact our consumption of programming (both Christian and secular) in a couple of major ways.
All Around Too Much Low Quality Content
With no real way to prevent people from uploading live stream content, unless it’s offensive or violent, the live streaming content on our social media feeds is filled with sub-par material. In television, they used to make you pitch ideas, film a pilot and secure financing among other things before a show was able to be seen by the world. Now anyone with a smart phone and an internet connection can share their programming with the world – which they sometimes do with bad audio and video connections.
Could you imagine if the latest episode of Big Bang Theory or the football game on Sunday was presented with the same audio and video quality of your friend Jerry who just live streamed his dog running around the park on a windy day with the sunshine glaring in the camera?
In addition, the multitude of content may hinder some people who have good ideas and are attempting to create quality programs from finding an audience. They may get lost in a sea of Jerrys on your Facebook feed. Maybe Christians need to police themselves and be honest with one another when they see believers putting out content that looks or sounds bad. Christian content should look better than Jerry’s Dog Show at the Park!
Christians aren’t Capitalizing
Live streaming could be an effective evangelism tool. Yet, believers and churches who use this new technology continue to air the staples of sermons and songs of our past. Did we forget that networks like Daystar and TBN are already offerings these types of programs? While those kinds of programs have their place, let people go to radio, television or even church to find those things!
As individuals, Christians are walking around with unique gifts, talents and perspectives. We should be using those individual tools together to build and engage audiences by sharing the love of Christ with new types of creative Christian content. It’ll be okay if the only Christian programs aren’t the latest Hillsong offering or last week’s message from Pastor Seenthatalready. I know this because I have seen Christians find success approaching social media in new and unique ways already.
One example is John Crist, a Christian comedian with faith centered videos and observations that millions of people have watched. Another great example of the opportunity for the future of Christian live streaming is CA Miljavac. She has built a community filled with hundreds of thousands of moms and believers through her God given gifts to be funny, but also because she is relatable and authentic while talking about every day life in her car. Since I know it’s possible, I think Christian wanting to share Jesus on social media can and should try something new to gain an audience and influence others as a Christian without preaching or singing.
Instead of falling back to what we’ve always done by airing the same canned sermons we’ve aired on the radio and television for decades, shouldn’t we seek to use this new technology in new ways that honor and glorify God? Shouldn’t we seek to use our gifts and talents to create Christian programming that people want to watch for entertainment as much as they want to learn.
We have been given the mandate to go out into the ends of the Earth and share the gospel. Are pastors and worship leaders the only ones that can do that? Absolutely not! You have a phone. You have gifts. Pray and ask God what you might say or do on live streaming to glorify His kingdom. If you don’t want to be on camera find a way to get involved behind the scenes. If you don’t have those gifts, you can be involved simply by following, watching or support Christians who are trying to do new things.
Twenty years from now, I don’t want to see the world have all these great ideas and shows while my kids are still have to watch episodes of Billy Graham’s Hour of Decision and Veggietales because it is the only quality Christian content we can come up with.
Is the best way we can honor God with the live streaming blessing He has given the world to do nothing new and continue to teach the lessons of past decades by people who are dead and cartoons that aren’t real? Or would it be better to go out and use our gifts and talents to engage a new audience with excellence and creative ideas that we can pray and ask God for?
Now it’s your turn to believer. Use this live streaming platform as a tool to grow your God given gifts and talents and bring attention to Christ. Pray and ask God for an idea or way to do what you are good at. Share a link below to your content in the comments so others can see.
Check out a new live streaming Christian network here. My ministry, Testimony House, just built a brand new studio to be part of the change I am hoping to see in other Christian communities moving forward.
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