Over the last couple of years, there has been a trend for churches to make all of their services available to the general public. It seemed to be a good idea once the Covid19 virus hit. I contend that it is not a good idea. In fact, it may be one of the worst things we could do.
Had we not closed our churches, we would not have needed to conduct online services, so that argument is automatically negated. Hindsight is 2020 because now I think we all know we made a mistake.
While Walmart never closed its doors, churches did. Walmart offered online shopping, but did not require it. Too many of our churches eliminated church and did their services online. But, that is not my argument in this article.
Let me give you several reasons why I believe we are making a mistake allowing our services to be offered to the general public.
Scorners are using our pearls and adding it to the slop of their own lives
Many sermons preached by sincere men are used as ammunition against them. Stop giving them the ammunition. Quit giving them a club to hit you over your head with. They don’t deserve it.
I’m reminded of the Scripture that says, “What have they seen in thine house?” (II Kings 20:15 and Isaiah 39:4).
We are allowing our people to have exposure to these scorners
They come on our websites, watch our programs or services, and make comments that have adverse effects on our people. We should protect our people, not expose them to the scorners.
We say things in the heat of preaching that probably don’t need to be aired to the general public.
For the same reason I would not have live-streamed disciplining my children when they were young, I would not live stream my messages for others to see.
We call our church the church family
We are turning it into reality television by live-streaming it. It is not the general public’s business to sit in on our family gatherings.
If you want to get the message out, carefully edit it and do it in a way that cannot be easily used against you. Live streaming is carelessness. The most effective services online are those that have been carefully crafted after the fact before they were aired.
Rather than the general public viewing on line; set up private access for people who cannot attend. That said, don’t tell everyone they can watch services rather than attending. If they’re not shut-in or sick in the hospital, they need to be in the church, not watching online.
Stop offering a backslidden option
We’re frustrated because people aren’t coming to church, yet we are the ones that set it up for them to be able to watch church on television.
We are teaching our people that the church is not where we gather. A church is a called-out assembly and you cannot assemble online.
You are not as good as you think you are
Forgive me, preacher, but most of us are not good enough to put ourselves out there before this world. The quality of our services can’t match the quality of society.
We make ourselves look bad by doing a second class production. It is probably not expedient financially for most preachers to spend the money necessary to do it in a first-class fashion.
I have watched many online services and been quite disappointed at what I’ve seen. I am for you 100%, my brother, but you really need to stop live-streaming your service for the general public.
I understand your argument. People will watch that otherwise wouldn’t attend. Will then why don’t you work harder at getting people to attend rather than watching. Maybe we’ve gotten a little lazy about the visitation of our absentees.
Eventually, your people will compare the quality of your services to others once you’ve introduced them to the idea of watching church online. When their church was closed down because of the virus, I spoke to many people who bragged about watching three or four services on Sunday morning at home.
Perhaps that’s not healthy for them or you. You don’t know what they’re getting. We have become an online society, and we need to get away from letting our churches be overly dependent upon the Internet.
These are my thoughts, and I strongly believe in them. I welcome your dialogue. I hope I can help some realize the danger of putting your pearls before the scornful swine.