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New audiences thanks to live streams

by Michael Ford last modified 26 Mar, 2020 11:18 PM

St Paul's in Salisbury is certainly learning on the road when it comes to the best way to live-stream.

But they have learnt that when it comes to Facebook and YouTube, sometimes you need to do both - but that whatever you do you can attract new worshippers and can renew hope.

Nick Baker from St Pauls explains:

"We streamed our main Sunday gathering on Facebook and YouTube. With 118 devices logged on to Facebook and 48 to YouTube we clearly had well over 200 people gathering with us, but it is obviously hard to tell how many people were sharing devices. We also had 22 members of our youth, meeting separately on Zoom.

"Although we used Facebook Live last week when we still had people coming to church, this week we pre-recorded. This made it easier for us to safely include more people in the gathering (for example we kept our regular intercessors and readers) which we hoped gave people a sense of continuity and connection. We also think this will be a more sustainable way forward if movement restrictions are tightened as people will be able to record sections at home and forward them to us for editing together.

"We then set up the pre-recorded files as 'Premieres' on Facebook and YouTube to launch at our normal time of 10.30.

"A couple of other learning points were that we used Facebook AND YouTube. Each has their advantages. Using YouTube allowed people with smart TVs to search for us and watch the gathering on their main television. Facebook allowed more exchange of messaging and was also more missional. Some of us clicked on the 'Watch Party' button which then invites all your Facebook friends to join. I was really interested to see someone I worked with 10 years ago in London, and someone I know through the scouts joining in despite having no connection with our church."

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