In order to help churches survive the coronavirus global pandemic, the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) is now training pastors and leaders how to livestream their worship services.
As testing becomes more readily available, the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the United States continues to rise – as well as globally – so public health officials have warned businesses and organizations about having large gatherings such as church services to quell the spread of the virus.
However, as a recent study conducted by LifeWay Research shows, a significant proportion of churches in America (41%) have never posted any part of their services online – meaning many are left in the dark as pews in worship sanctuaries across the country remain empty. Churches must either find a way to stream their weekly services … or ultimately shut down.
TBN & technology to the rescue
As the world's largest religious television broadcaster, TBN is helping churches and congregants adapt to the sudden quarantine culture and stay connected by producing a 15-minute tutorial video that walks pastors through a step-by-step process strewn with helpful tips so they can keep meeting as a church remotely via a digital format.
With more than four of 10 pastors – who have never streamed services – scrambling to remain in fellowship with the church body during the pandemic, a free webinar ("How to Stream Your Church Service Using Facebook Live") can be accessed by church leaders on TBN's website.
The Christian TV network is eager for churches to remain beacons of light to their communities as lockdowns and quarantines increase. Toward that end, TBN marketing director Nate Daniels encourages pastors and ministry leaders to take advantage of the tutorial video at no cost so both congregants and seekers alike can continue or begin their spiritual walk as churches from coast to coast remain dark behind closed doors.
"Our heart is for the Good News of Jesus to reach the globe, and we want to equip local churches with the best practices for Facebook livestreaming – to include things we've learned as a broadcasting company," Daniels explains in a TBN press release. "It's important for congregations to find ways to connect digitally right now, and we hope churches would consider this as part of their solution."
Nona Jones, who heads Facebook's Faith-based Partnerships, contends that with unexpected crises such as the coronavirus, pastors who have previously relied solely on traditional church gatherings must learn to adopt new technology if they want to keep their flocks engaged in worship, fellowship, scriptural teachings and other aspects of their spiritual walk.
"COVID-19 has presented an unprecedented challenge to churches who have long based ministry models on in-person attendance," Jones insists. "Now that in-person attendance isn't an option, it's critical for leaders to understand how to fully use social technology so the work of ministry can still happen."
Taking into account the inescapable feelings of fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, she strongly encourages pastors to consider keeping their lines of communication and fellowship open to their congregations through online services.
"People need hope more than ever – and now they need to find hope online," Jones concludes.