Sunday, March 15, 2020 might go down in history as the day millions of North American Christians stayed home from church and worshiped via live video streams on their computer, iPad or smartphone. Some people went to church online that normally NEVER go to church – on this historic Sunday. (Praise the Lord). If not March 15th, perhaps March 22nd will be the day remembered. Here’s what seven churches did on Sunday morning, March 15th.

See daily updates here

Church Video Streaming – Case Studies

1 – Grace United Reformed Church – Portland, OR

Pastor Steve Overman, of Grace URC wrote the following to his pastor friends, on Friday, March 13th:

As we all follow the most relevant news, we face the question: how to respond? Last night the consistory of Grace URC Portland acted to cancel onsite services and will call the congregation to worship via our livestream channel on Youtube

Truly. Just a few days ago I couldn’t have imagined consistory taking this action. But we did. The primary reason was that in light of the most recent medical reportswe could not ensure that our facility and interpersonal liturgy is _reasonably_ safe for the vulnerable.  

We noted that the “call to worship” is not a “we hope you can come” but a divine summons to meet with God. It is not for some, but for all who will come. Therefore, in light of recent news, can we ensure it is reasonably safe for all? Our answer: No.  This line of thought made the hard and unprecedented decision relatively easy. I want to share it with you because we pray for you weekly and because we covet your prayers. Be assured that we are acting with a reasonable faith, trusting in the LORD, while praying for the wisdom to navigate the path before us.

2 – San Antonio Reformed Church (OPC)

Pastor Andrew Moody is leading a recent OPC church plant in San Antonio, TX. He received word on Saturday morning (March 14) that the congregation could no longer worship in the public school. All the schools in Texas were closing down because of the rapidly spreading and highly contagious coronvirus (COVID-19) and the global pandemic. The school building was going to be locked down for several weeks (or months) and would only be open for bio-hazard cleaning. No special meetings could be held in the school building since it would be locked up.

Since San Antonio Reformed was already using Vimeo for posting pre-recorded videos, they opted to go with Vimeo LiveStreaming. It was the quickest way to get up and running within 24 hours (for their situation). Please note — Pastor Moody is a very tech savvy guy, and he made it look easy on Sunday morning – with worship broadcast from his living room. An instant replay of the Vimeo Livestream is here, along with a duplicate Facebook video.

Pastor Moody explains: “Vimeo connects to Facebook and Youtube as well as other platforms. So, we had the video shared widely on Facebook with 371 views. We had 71 views on Vimeo. Many of these views represent a family or
group gathered around a tv or computer. So, the actual number of people watching far surpasses the
typical 85 people we have in our normal morning services.”

3 – Cresheim Valley Church (PCA) – Philadelphia, PA

You can see a small group gathered along with Pastor John Leonard (video embed below) and check the Facebook link to see people’s comments and greetings. [Editor’s note: They are apparently using Zoom in combination with Facebook. More about that later….]

4 – Providence OPC – Mantua, NJ

Pastor Steve McDaniel of Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Mantua, New Jersey worked quickly with several of his tech-savvy young people to get a Facebook video feed going from his personal Facebook profile. (Pointing this out, since it might be the fastest way to get a live video stream going — at the last minute.)

5 – Byron Center CRC – Dr. Ryken Preaching

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals was hosting the Philadelphia Conference of Reformed Theology at 1st Byron CRC church near Grand Rapids, MI — scheduled to happen from March 13-15, 2020 (Friday through Sunday) / Just as the conference was beginning they posted this announcement.

Today the Alliance, in conjunction with our host First Byron Christian Reformed Church and local officials, has decided that the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology in Grand Rapids will no longer be open to the public. Soon after that decision, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order canceling all events over 250 people and all assemblages in shared spaces over 250 people beginning on Friday, March 13 at 5 p.m. In light of this we will offer free live-streaming of the event instead.

Here’s Dr. Ryken preaching the Sunday morning sermon…

6 – Christ Covenant (PCA) – Matthews, NC

Dr. Kevin DeYoung preached from Mark 4:35-41 in a message entitled “A Calming Christ in the Midst of a Storm”. You might not realize at first that Kevin was preaching to row upon row of empty pews, with hundreds viewing the message online — sitting at home with families viewing from their PCs, iPads and smart-phones.

NOTE: This urgent and time sensitive case-study is in active blogging mode, with updates daily as we gather and validate new information. Content on this page may change frequently. (We have to sleep and stay healthy, too.)

7 – Briarwood Presbyterian Church (PCA) – Birmingham, AL

Briarwood is a large PCA congregation in Birmingham, AL. You might find it helpful to see how they have organized their streaming video resources.

Here’s Dr. Harry Reeder with a message entitled: A Christian Response to the Coronavirus.

Editors note: Briarwood is obviously using YouTube to post videos, along with Facebook videosand we are still investigating other tools they use for video streaming.

Related Resources

Livestream Audio/Video

Online Giving

Related Stories

Similar Posts