I think all of us wondered what would happen when we were left with few choices for worship on Sunday when it became necessary to stop meeting at the campus for a time. Lakeview is truly blessed with the Media Arts Team led by Glad Kynaston along with Johnson and Toni.
We have been live-streaming to YouTube and Facebook for nearly three years. This is the “television” of the future and we have our own “channel”, Lakeview Alive. Up through February, our viewership was growing slowly, around 70-80 viewers live. Then March 15, our last physical time together happened. 300+, 400+, 500+, and now around 650 “log-in’s” happen each Sunday. Through the week to follow even more people watch and they remain easily accessible on YouTube and through our website.
We are estimating that of the 650 log-in’s, perhaps 1/3 are two or more viewers so that means we may have around 800-850 people just on Sunday. We are seeing comments and hearing from people around the country; former members, winter residents, family members, and friends we haven’t met yet are sharing in this worship together. Because of our internet advertising and the way they share information every time someone pressed the “thumbs up,” clicks “like,” or subscribes more people get a chance to see and hear the good news of Jesus.
So, if you watch regularly, be sure you hit that thumbs up when you are touched by music or the Word. Share the links and tell your friends (as many of you obviously are!) so more people can hear and see. Because of your foresight, the gifts of our media team, and your generosity we are making an impact, a difference in the world one Sunday at a time.
Now, we realize not everyone in our church family uses a computer, smart phone, or “smart TV” (is that an oxymoron???), so we’ve also added the ability to dial-in and listen to worship on any phone. About a dozen of you are taking advantage of that service right now. We’re also broadcasting on a low-power FM radio station (licensing in process) that will cover about a mile radius of the church. You can find that broadcast at 88.1fm. Let me be clear. I do not like not having in-person worship.
We miss your faces and ministering to you in the hospital and at home. We miss your smiles and tears. We miss the laughter and chitchat. But what we are doing online IS worship. We gather, we sing, we pray, we hear the proclamation of God’s Word, and we share the bread and cup of communion as one body. When we do open the sanctuary doors to you again, I suspect that many who join us will continue to do so because they will have connected with this part of Christ’s church.
Pastor Smoot could not have imagined this when he gathered a few people to start a new church called Lakeview, but I think he’d be excited to see so many from across the land joining in praising God. God is doing something good out of the bad of covid 19. I’m grateful to be along for the ride and I’m sure glad you are too.