As Operations Manager at StreamSpot, the number one question I hear from houses of worship is a fairly basic one: “Why should I stream?” It’s a question that all streaming providers in the industry are asked, and from a technology standpoint, we all mostly answer it in a similar way: in addition to discussing the ability to stream in today’s world, we speak about reaching out to those who cannot make it to services, due to difficulty or distance: those who are sick, homebound, traveling, and cannot make it to services. These are all great reasons, but I recently felt compelled to look deeper as to the “why,” not only why from a practicality standpoint, but from a biblical one. I reflected on the underlying question, “what does the Bible say about live streaming?”
Taken literally, it seems like a silly question, as the apostles were not exactly using Facebook Live while they were preaching in villages, but I spent the last week exploring this, and I kept coming back to the Great Commission, the last words Jesus spoke before his ascension into heaven following his resurrection:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
This command is given to us to "go;" this calling is to spread the gospel, and while serving and helping in communities are great ways to do so, the other side of this command is to make disciples. Making disciples requires a more focused training, teaching, and uplifting of others. In both of these commands, live streaming presents an excellent tool God has given us that can be used for these purposes. It offers the primary way we can deliver our message to the world, as anyone with an internet connection can receive the gospel and hear of the grace of Christ, anytime and anywhere. Modern technology has afforded us a powerful and profound outreach, and to not use all of the tools at our disposal to lift up the kingdom of God is not fulfilling the commission's laid out to us above in Matthew.
This week, this was shown to me in the church home group I lead when a new person attended. He is moving to Cincinnati from Virginia and was in town for training while his wife and kids were back in Virginia. They will be moving here soon, but have been looking for a new church to attend. In their research, they viewed our archived services online and wanted to know more. We were able to talk fellowship and disciple to him on a deeper level, all because of the expanded outreach a program like live streaming provides.
There are certainly many practical factors to live streaming, but it was refreshing and fulfilling to me to look at what God says in his word and apply it to a modern age with the true capabilities to go and disciple to all nations. Never in our history have we had more tools at our disposal to achieve the Great Commission that was laid before us!
Ryan Campbell is Operations Manager and all-around streaming guru. When he is not sharing his knowledge of streaming with StreamSpot users, he can be found spending time with his family and is very active in his local church, including his involvement in youth leadership.