At Harrow United Church, we’ve been providing an online worship resource since the first week we closed the church building and cancelled regular services. These videos take hours of work to produce, and we are grateful to Dennis Graham, John Woodbridge and Larry Anderson, as well as the members of our Virtual Choir, and those who contribute their talents as scripture readers, and guest musicians.
We have not “graduated” from a pre-recorded worship resource to live-streaming. There are two basic issues. One is that we don’t have all the technology we need to do livestreaming well. Our cameras and video equipment in the sanctuary are quite old, and operate on the analog system. (All the video we are currently making available is “shot” using tablets or smart-phones.)
The other issue is how to do livestreaming, while maintaining safe physical distancing, and also produce a worship resource that is helpful and interesting. (I have seen a few livestreams that just feel sad, because what you watch is a couple folks standing around in an echo-y, empty sanctuary.)
Here are some statistics from www.revdarrow.com where I post the printed version, and a link to the Youtube-hosted video of our weekend worship resource:
March 22 230 views
March 29 142 views
(April 5) Palm Sunday 293 views
Good Friday 235 views
(April 12) Easter Sunday 254 views
April 19 112 views (YouTube counted 90 views of the video)
April 26 170 views (YouTube counted 127 views of the video)
May 3 124 views (YouTube counted 101 views of the video)
It appears that about 20% of those who use our worship resource read the print version of the service, and do not click to watch the video.
When I post the worship services to my blog, they are also appear as an article on Linked In. I also post them on my personal Facebook, and the church Facebook page.
We have had people looking at our worship resource from twenty countries, including Canada, U.S., India, Singapore, Japan, China, the U.K., the Philippines, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Ireland, France, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Romania, Kenya, Argentina and Russia.
In March, our top three countries were Canada, the United States, and India. In April, our top three countries were Canada, the United States and Singapore. So far in May, the top three are Canada, the United Kingdom, and a tie between the United States and Germany.