“How do I prepare my heart for a livestream service?” and other FAQs for first-timers
Salt&Light // March 14, 2020, 7:24 pm
Some churches are livestreaming their Sunday services to help stay-home worshippers stay connected. Screengrab of Paya Lebar Methodist Church's livestream recording on February 16.
If you have seniors or young children in your family, you may be opting to stay at home on weekends for the time being instead of attending corporate gatherings such as Sunday service.
The good news: You can still worship God as a family.
“God is the primary actor when we worship together – whether in private or public, in person or remotely.”
With an increasing number of Singapore churches turning to pre-recorded or livestreamed sermons following yesterday’s significant Ministry of Health advisory, your family can still “tune into church”.
Dr Sng Li-Hwei, who is on the lookout for livestream services on behalf of friends and family, told Salt&Light: “Many of my friends, including those overseas, are unable to attend church for various reasons and are looking to join livestreamed services.”
Former Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) discussion leader, Aileen Kong, has been tuning in to the Paya Lebar Methodist Church (PLMC) online sermons instead of attending service since February 9, when MOH announced that one of PLMC’s members was found to have tested positive for COVID-19.
Her four-generation household is worshipping at home for the time being in consideration of her 94-year-old mother and two grandchildren aged four and two, who are in the vulnerable group.
“Even though we miss the fellowship and the church atmosphere, worshipping together at home is still a good time of bonding under Christ,” said Mrs Kong, whose family sings a few of their favourite hymns together before logging on to the previous week’s sermon, which they can pause and discuss at any point, as opposed to a livestream sermon.
Pastor Simon Murphy, lead pastor of Redemption Hill Church, which will migrate entirely to livestreaming this Sunday, said in a letter to members yesterday: “I know that participating in service via a screen can feel strange, but let’s remember that God is the primary actor when we worship together – whether in private or public, in person or remotely.
“Let us not forget the importance of engaging in worship and sitting under the Word, especially at times like this, whether we do this alone at home or in smaller groups.
“These are new and uncharted times in many ways. Let us remember that God’s ‘perfect love casts out fear’ (1 John 4:18), let us lean into God’s Word more deeply, and let us be praying that God will use us, His people, as salt and light during this time. ‘The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.’ (Isaiah 40:8)”
If you are opting for an online sermon tomorrow, check your church website for information on availability and instructions. These are some online services available tomorrow, Sunday, March 15:
- REDEMPTION HILL CHURCH, 10am
- PAYA LEBAR METHODIST CHURCH, 9am
- GRACE ASSEMBLY OF GOD, 11.15am
- FAITH COMMUNITY BAPTIST CHURCH, 9am
- GRACE ASSEMBLY OF GOD, 9am
- FAITH COMMUNITY BAPTIST CHURCH, 11.30am
- PAYA LEBAR METHODIST CHURCH, 11.15am
Redemption Hill Church offers this helpful FAQ if you are new to online or livestream sermons:
Is there anything that I’ll need for participating in the live streaming?
Internet connection and web browser.
How can I stay connected well even whilst I have to stay at home?
God has designed us to live in community and in relationship with fellow believers. We encourage you to:
- Check in with your cell group or friends in church.
- Reach out to your pastors or elders if you’d like encouragement or prayer.
What should I do if there is a lag during the livestream?
Please ensure that your WiFi is working. If you are experiencing lag issues, please refresh your browser, check your internet connection, or switch to an adequate data plan.
I’ve never tried livestreaming into a Sunday service. How can I prepare my heart for Sunday?
1. Be ready technically. Prepare your computer device and setup to be ready. Buffer for time that may be needed to resolve technical difficulties so that you can “attend” the service on time.
2. Be intentional to stay engaged fully. Set up a physical environment for the livestreaming that is conducive and not distracting. Give your full attention and focus to follow the service, and participate in the singing, prayer and confession.
3. Be hungry for God’s Word. Pray for God to cultivate a hunger for His Word to feed your soul. Listen to the sermon with your Bible opened and your note-taking materials ready.
4. Be expectant spiritually. Expect the Holy Spirit to be present and active. Expect Him to comfort, challenge and lead you to respond by faith in Christ.
5. Be active to share with someone on how God has blessed you through this service. Share with your friends and cell group the things of which God convicts you during the service.
6. Remember that God is the primary actor in worship services. He is the living One who has saved, gathered and called his people to worship Him. Hence, the service typically begins with a Call to Worship (emphasising that it is God who invites his people to Him), and culminates in a climatic time of His Word (the God who speaks) being proclaimed through the sermon.
Therefore, we have a responsibility to respond to God wholeheartedly in worship services. God being active during corporate worship doesn’t diminish our responsibility – in fact, it heightens our responsibility and encourages our participation. God is here to meet and bless His people and we ought to engage with Him wholeheartedly!