Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also an incredible opportunity to share the gospel because more people, including non-Christians, are more likely to attend worship services on Christmas Eve than any other day of the year.
The Bible encourages people to go out and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). The heart of this gospel message is what propels churches to spread the good news across the street and across the globe. Live streaming can be a tool that furthers this mission.
The holidays are already a busy season, why not offer live streaming of your Christmas services in addition to any of the in-person events you plan on hosting? Some people don’t feel comfortable or maybe they’re under the weather and aren’t able to attend. Others are traveling or out of town. Live streaming makes it possible for everybody to still celebrate as a church family and to invite new people to experience church who normally wouldn’t attend otherwise.
Holiday Service Live Streaming Ideas
There are multiple ways you can engage your congregation and also reach beyond the walls of your church this Christmas. Below are some ideas on how you can use live streaming for holiday services.
Christmas or Christmas Eve Services
A pretty obvious way to connect with your online congregation is to offer your Christmas and/or Christmas Eve services digitally. This will allow those people who are out of town or busy with family to still engage. And like we stated previously, live streaming provides another opportunity to reach those people who plan to attend on Christmas who normally wouldn’t attend other services. This may even make them more comfortable because they can “go to church” without having to go to a physical building.
Another fun way to engage others is to offer a Christmas play or musical online. This could be done in-person and also offered via live stream. Plays can be a beautiful way to share the story of Christ’s birth in a narrative. Listening to a sermon is great, but by offering the Christmas story through acting, it can really bring it to life.
Many churches have a special choir on Christmas. Consider bringing people together for a choir concert that can be live streamed for others to enjoy. A lot of churchgoers love singing traditional Christmas hymnsv as part of their experiences during the holidays. A live streamed choir is a beautiful way to incorporate these songs and engage many people.
Who doesn’t love watching kids act out the Christmas story. They’re so adorable! Live streaming your children and youth programs allows for family and friends to attend who aren’t local. The grandparents who live out of state will no longer miss out enjoying watching their grandkids’ performance.
Live Streaming Best Practices
- Do a test run before going live.
One key to a successful live stream is to test it before going live. You’ll want to ensure all your video and audio equipment are operating correctly. To ensure a quality viewing experience, testing it beforehand will make a big difference.
- Include the online audience.
Make the congregation who is attending online feel like they are part of your service. Welcome them at the beginning. Look at the camera throughout the message and talk to the online audience as well as the people who are attending in-person. This will make everyone feel included no matter where they are watching.
- Have a team for live chat and prayer.
You don’t want the people watching online to feel like they are simply viewing another piece of video content. Have a team in place to moderate the live chat, connect with people, and offer prayer. When people are engaging with those watching the live stream, they will feel more connected.
- Start the live stream early.
You’ll want to begin your live stream services a little early. This will allow people time to get on the platform they’re planning on viewing it from. It’s a little like congregants getting to church early; you don’t want to turn them away because you don’t have a welcoming space. Include a live countdown or a live view of the sanctuary. Be sure to have your chat moderators welcoming people beforehand as well.
- Promote the live stream service.
Whatever you’re doing for your live stream services, be sure to let people know about it all ahead of time. You’ll have more people attend online if more people are aware. Especially for holiday services, you’ll want the word to get out! ShareFaith has some wonderful graphics to help with your event promotions too.
- Simulcast on social media.
Aside from making your livestream available on your church website, simulcast it to your church’s social media platforms to reach your existing audience. Some people might not remember to watch from your website, but if they’re already scrolling social media, they can tune in right there.
Get Ready to Live Stream This Christmas