We live in extraordinary times right now. The word extraordinary can be seen both in a negative or a positive light. The definition of the word extraordinary (adjective) is defined as “very unusual or remarkable.”
While thinking about how extraordinary things continue to be right now, there is another “e” word that comes to mind—encouragement. The definition of the word encouragement (noun) is defined as “the action of giving someone support, confidence or hope.” I have joked around at times and have said that I am pretty sure that I have met a few people in my life who have the gift of discouragement. I am sure that you have, too. Yes, we are going through some very difficult times and a season of uncertainty, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t press on and press through a difficult season. I’d like to share some things to uplift you and your music ministry and offer some suggestions for encouragement as we all navigate this extraordinary season.
Here are several ideas for helping you continue and/or create a new, online ministry platform at this time:
The first is prayer. Prayer is important and that is something we all can agree on. Knowing that God is with us not only in seasons of joy, but also in seasons of hardship. We need to continue to pray for God’s guidance and ask for God’s help in His healing hands to touch every corner of this world with the Coronavirus Pandemic. We may never understand why things like this happen. But what we can continue to do is to trust God through this storm as we have trusted God with other storms we all have experienced in our own personal lives. This storm happens to be something we all are a part of collectively.
Have an Online Presence
All churches have moved their worship services to an online pre-recorded service or a livestream platform. Know that this is temporary. While it has been a disappointment that we can not have the worship community all together at a church in a church building, there have been some very positive experiences nonetheless. In a way, it has forced churches and ministries to either have an online presence or revamp their existing online presence into the best that it can be. An online presence in ministry is huge and the effects will continue long after the Coronavirus is gone. Many churches have seen more people joining in on worship services online than what their entire sanctuaries can hold at one time. This is great!
If you are a worship leader in your church, I suggest being a part of your Sunday online worship service, but also pre-record or go live on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube in-between the Sundays. This is a way to stay connected with your congregation and encourage them not only on Sundays but also some of the other days of the week. I’m not suggesting every day, but perhaps once or twice a week in addition to the Sunday Services. Maybe to share a song or two and give a devotional. It doesn’t have to be long. It could be 5 or 15 minutes in length. Plus, I guarantee that your congregation will also be an encouragement to you!
How can I reach out and encourage churches at this time? I’m glad you asked! Here is a video that explains how my ministry is reaching out to churches and their congregation. You may want to join me and try some of these ideas! We still can partner in ministry with churches, just in a slightly different way. We shared this video on all social media platforms as well as in our e-newsletter. If you don’t have an electronic newsletter in place, now is the time!
Live Streaming Your Services
If you are a worship leader who is an on the road “musicanary,” like me, might I make a few suggestions here, as well. In the past few weeks, we have revamped my ministry’s website to make it even more user friendly. In the past 22 years, I have been “live and in person” on the road around the world, but I had not done any “live” streaming events on social media—only pre-recorded videos. My first one was on Easter and was titled, “Together at Easter.” I would suggest taking a week to promote a ministry event like this, where you and your social media network of friends and followers can help you get the word out. It ended up being a success! I was able to share music that impacted and encouraged lives and also raise funds for my non-profit music ministry. It was a very interactive time of ministry too! Also, I kept it at about an hour which I think is a good length. I believe that 45 minutes to an hour is about right for a social media live music experience.
Equipment to Consider Using:
- Movo Video Kit (includes lighting and microphone)
- WIFI Extender (if necessary)
The Movo Video Kit adds so much to the video quality and experience. You can find video kits like the Movo 7 for around $50-$150. The WIFI extender can be found for around $35 and up. If your WIFI network is a little bit further away from your filming location, a WIFI extender is a must! It can add around 1,200 sq. feet of signal to ensure that you won’t freeze up while filming your live stream.
Video Setting Considerations
Also, create a nice atmosphere that makes your live presentation very inviting. This will catch people’s eyes and will have them want to come into your live feed to experience a spiritual moment of music and ministry. You can use Facebook Live on their business music page format or just your personal page. I started filming from my Facebook music ministry page and shared the live feed to my personal page as well. This allowed others to share and create watch parties. I gave it about a minute to allow people to start to tune in and show up. Also, start with a quick “Hi,” and go into a song first before giving a major introduction or announcement. This will allow you to have more people to speak with as well as get people’s attention to your live feed. You can catch mine here.
Add different elements to your live stream. Yes, play music but also share from your heart. Share God’s word. Have a fun moment. Don’t forget to interact with your congregation/audience. And don’t forget your calling to encourage the body of Christ in this difficult season. This is a great time and opportunity for outreach as well. What a mission field opportunity we have right now. Use the technology that is all around us!
Know that I’ll be praying for you as you minister to the masses in this season! I pray that this blog has been encouraging and positive and perhaps motivational to have you continue to share the gift of music that God has placed in you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below!
God bless you, your family and your ministry,
American Gospel pianist Alex-Zsolt has a sincere passion to present the gospel through music that is inspirational. With his God-given talent, Alex presents music that ministers to people of all ages. In the past nineteen years, Alex has visited nearly 2,000 churches. With a focus and desire to honor the Lord, Alex shares hymns, praise & worship songs, and his own compositions with a deep and passionate energy that he says is given to him by the Lord.