We are navigating through strange and serious days. Never would we have imagined a moment in America where we’d be advised not to assemble as a local church. We must act with caution and care. With restrictions on gathering in place, live streaming preaching has become a valuable tool for propagating the Word of God. 

As many men of God are mounting pulpits and preaching to a camera in an empty auditorium, I’ve been asked by several men for some advice on making the most of a live stream message. In times like these, Bible preaching is absolutely vital. Maybe the following thoughts will be a help.

  1. Doing radio helps me with live streaming. Time consciousness is important. I try to preach 30-35 minutes on average anyway. Keep the service moving and timely. Your people love you, but with all of the in-home distractions they’ll be battling, an overly long service will lose viewers.
  2. I make sure to have a good outline since crowd reaction and feedback won’t help you any. It’s a little harder to flow through a message with no actual audience interaction. Know your message and keep eye contact with the camera as much as you can. You’re speaking to people even though you can’t physically see them.
  3. Treat it as important as an actual service. I see some guys going more casual with it, but I think that lessens the message they’re giving. Get behind the pulpit. It weakens the message to sit casually in a recliner or to lean on a desk. For updates, that would be fine, but for a preaching service, I would avoid it. Make the livestream look like “normal” church as much as possible.
  4. The crowd is much larger than normal, and the message will live on through the video. I prepare as if the nation and even the world will tune in. It’s amazing how many people see videos via social media and sharing. People are bored and looking for something to be a part of. We’re made for fellowship. They’re also scared and more interested, sensitive, and open to spiritual things. It’s a great time to get the Gospel out!
  5. Now is probably not the best time to be overly controversial since it’s out there for the world to hear. I’m not suggesting we curtail our preaching, but I am suggesting we minister to the masses and represent our Saviour well. Preach the Bible.
  6. Be Positive. Express faith in God. Be a leader for the sake of your people. People hear about the virus all day on social media and television. When they tune in to church, they’re wanting to hear from Heaven. Deliver the news report from glory that God is still on the throne!
  7. Use this time to get valuable information and announcements to your people. Share updates, giving options and pertinent prayer requests. Your people will be helped by simply “seeing” you on their device. It’s a great time to “howdy” a little with your church family. Put people at ease and look ahead to better days when everyone can be back together.

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Justin Cooper

Justin Cooper, Assistant Pastor

Since 2006, Pastor Cooper has served as an evangelist and as a pastor, traveling across the nation holding revival meetings and preaching in Bible conferences. Pastor Cooper moved to join our staff in 2019 and is building the Tabernacle Bible Class. He and his wife, Desarae, are an incredible blessing to both the college and church families. Pastor and Mrs. Cooper have one son, Lincoln.