Never miss worship on Sunday
By JOSEPH HARRIS
Director of Communications
One question we often are asked is: Can a church extend the reach of its worship services and sermons beyond the walls by using today’s technologies?
That is what live video streaming makes possible.
It provides a way to connect in real time, using the Internet, with people who are not physically in a sanctuary during worship. It is one way to fulfill Christ’s call "to go and make disciples of all nations." This technology is wonderful for the Church when used redemptively.
At least 10 Oklahoma United Methodist churches are putting to good use this communications tool. They regularly are digitally broadcasting their Sunday morning services.
The Department of Communications this summer began placing links to those worship services on the Oklahoma Conference website, www.okumc.org. We will expand the list as we learn of more churches that do this.
Is your church among those with live video streaming? A survey by the Department is asking about that.
When you’re away from home — perhaps out of state — or at home because of illness, you do not have to miss church on Sunday. We invite you, wherever you may be, to watch an Oklahoma United Methodist service on your personal digital device.
Furthermore, you aren’t limited to watching in real time. Many of these streamed worship services also are archived. You can view past services online at convenient times in your daily schedule. This option is great if you want to catch up on part of a sermon series that you missed.
UMCom offers system
If your church is considering live video streaming, United Methodist Communications’ TechShop offers help.
Learn more at http://myumclive.com/livestreaming
MyUMCLive offers discounted pricing to United Methodist churches that seek to engage people through these broadcasts. MyUMCLive has some advantages that are not available through free streaming services, as explained by TechShop.
Viewers stay on your church’s website, where you embed the video player.
No outside advertising or inappropriate ads or video appear next to your live stream.
Your church can receive online donations when you place a "Donate" button next to the player.
Interested? A team will walk you through setup.
Also, our Department is happy to consult with any church interested in live video streaming. Contact 405-530-2073, to discuss how it might serve your church right now or in the future.
Tell us about your church
Our board of advisers this year has been surveying best practices and uses of technology throughout the denomination and within annual conferences.
The board’s strategy includes a local-church survey because of the goal to identify the state of and individual needs for technology and communications in Oklahoma’s churches. The local-church communications survey will be emailed from the Department to churches’ Lay Leaders, communications staff, and pastors.
We hope that by getting an accurate picture and relating it to strategic communications planning, the Department can better serve you.
To participate in the survey, you can access it online at: www.okumc.org by November.