Setlist - 22 Mar 2020
Online Worship with Kings

Tags: online, coronavirus

  • [C#] All creatures of our God and King - St Francis of Assisi, David Crowder
  • [C#] I waited for the Lord - Chris Juby
  • [E] My hope is built on nothing less - Edward Mote, William Bradbury

Where to start with this one? For the benefit of posterity, church gatherings have been closed everywhere in the world because of the Covid-19 virus. We, along with everyone else, moved our service online so people could participate from their homes.

We decided to pre-record the service on Friday rather than livestream. In a makeshift film studio at Mark's house, each contributor took turns to record an element of the meeting, and Dan stitched them all together. We broadcast the video at our normal time of 10:30am on Sunday via YouTube and our church Facebook group.

At first it was very odd leading worship to a camera, but I imagined congregation members behind screens looking for a sense of connectedness and peace after surely the strangest week of everyone's lives, and it quickly felt meaningful.

I chose my own songs and public domains hymns because we don't have copyright for streaming totally figured out. YouTube still flagged a copyright claim against the video - for the melody of an 800-year-old hymn. There's definitely some work needs doing in that area!

When it came to this morning, I hosted a 'Watch Party' on our in-house Facebook group. About 45 people/households joined, with about 110 more on YouTube.

I encouraged the church to join in as normally as possible. People shared Scriptures, posted prayers, gave "Amen"s and asked questions in the comments. It was a much more corporate experience than I was expecting. Lots of people posted how grateful they were to be part of it after it was finished.

My main reflection is this: I was nervous about the imperfection of what we were able to produce in such a short time, particularly putting it out on video platforms full of content with the absolute highest musical and production standards, but actually the value of doing that for our own community is 100% the point. If an outsider looks at our stream below, they might notice the times I sang out of tune or the stumbles when people were speaking, but for our community: this is us. We're keeping a rhythm of worshipping God together and we're still connected even through this strangest of seasons.

There's loads that I'd want to improve, but I'm actually really looking forward to doing that again.