Moving from Pre-Recorded Church Online to Live with JD Mason

Welcome to this week’s unSeminary podcast. We’re talking with JD Mason, the online campus leader from Liberty Live Church in Virginia.

JD is chatting with us today about how church online has evolved for Liberty Live Church since the pandemic and why they made the decision to transition to live, rather than prerecorded, broadcasts.

  • Trial and error. // Though Liberty Live Church had an online campus before the pandemic hit, there was still a huge learning curve during the changes over the past year. Before COVID, they used to pre-record all of the host segments, intros, and outros, but they switched to a live broadcast during the pandemic. When COVID hit, there were no volunteers and minimal staff, so learning how to automate as much as possible while doing a live broadcast was key. While recording live, it takes a lot of trial and error when dealing with technical glitches or unexpected situations, such as a fire alarm. Help the staff stay calm and explain to the audience what is going on so they are in the loop and can pray along with you.
  • Why live? // Having plans for a live broadcast can help bridge the gap to getting to know people who are in their homes. Live broadcasts, with all of the unknowns in the moment, can also still help people feel like they are in the room and a part of what’s going on at the physical campus. As host, sharing something that’s happening in your week makes you relatable. Ask questions in the chat to create conversation and connection. Comment live on what people are sharing, and pray for people as their prayer requests pop up in chat. This interaction makes your online community feel seen and heard.
  • Harness the energy of the room. // Initially the worship used during the online services was prerecorded because it was higher quality, but Liberty Live discovered that people preferred hearing the worship streamed from the main auditorium, even if it was more raw. Create anticipation for your online community and throw to the live broadcast of worship as the energy and music are building.
  • Plan for growth. // If you are building a community of online churchgoers, think about how you can keep growing this campus. What are your goals for the future? At Liberty Live there are online Wednesday night services on certain topics for the purpose of discipleship, and Sunday nights will begin to broadcast exclusive worship nights with an acoustic vibe. Future plans also include an online women’s bible study, and a Right Now Media catalog of all pastors and staff featured in messages, so the online community can get to know the staff. As Liberty Live Church builds an inventory of services and studies, they will also catalog them on a YouTube channel for on-demand streaming. Online church can help you reach out to people everywhere. Create a plan to use your online services to extend your reach, whether it’s locally, regionally or globally.

You can learn more about the online campus at Liberty Live Church at https://libertylive.church/online/.

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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Leadership Pathway

If you are trying to find, develop and keep young leaders on your team look no further than Leadership Pathway. They have worked with hundreds of churches, and have interviewed thousands of candidates over the past several years. They are offering a new ebook about five of the core competencies that are at the heart of the leadership development process with every church that they partner with…just go to leadershippathway.org/unseminary to pick up this free resource.

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.