Church Online: The Adventure Is Worth It!

By Andy Springer

For years, I have joked that my mother said I had a face for radio. Although I’ve had the joy of hosting a live radio broadcast for 3 1/2 years while in my late 20s, and I’ve entertained the idea of going back on the radio many times since, I have never considered being on TV or live webcasts. Then came March 2020, and we were told that due to the coronavirus pandemic it would be weeks before we could physically meet in our church building. We were going to have to come up with some way of connecting with our people while absent from our campus.

For years, like many churches, we have talked about the idea of launching an online video ministry. Most of these talks resulted in excuses for why it was a bad idea and ended with, “Let’s hold off on this for a while until we are ready.” Now, we really had no option but to find a way to get online.

On March 18, 2020, I contacted a dear friend of mine, Don Schaffer, Producer at Point Light Pictures, who patiently coached us a very long way in just a few short weeks. Without his guidance, help, and support our church would still be lost in the woods when it comes to online video! If you followed along with us at all, you have undoubtedly noticed us tweak and sure up the look and format since our first broadcast, and we’re hopeful that our live services have been a help and an encouragement to you!

Pastor Andy Springer teaches with a single camera in Heartwood’s early broadcasts

I must admit that as I reflect on these last 12 weeks, I came to realize the missed opportunities from over a decade of putting this vital ministry on hold! Shelter in Place has taught me so much about myself, about my friends, and about ministry in the 21st-century. If it is true that our kids are our future, I certainly was not behaving like I believed it.

For most people 35 years old and younger life happens on mobile screens. To that generation and to those coming behind them, I apologize. I apologize for not being more sensitive to your needs. I apologize for not being accessible to you. I apologize for all the excuses that kept Heartwood from sharing the beautiful message of the Bible and the truths of Christianity with you online.

A small team of volunteers manages video and sound needs for Heartwood Church’s live stream

Today, I am thrilled that Heartwood Church has launched a brand new “church.” We call it Heartwood Church Online, and it shows up on our website, Vimeo, YouTube, and our Facebook page. Broadcasting to multiple platforms, our broadcast is accessible to just about everyone throughout the world. As someone who believes that God desires that everyone know him, this excites me! My hope is that you will continue on this journey with us as we share relevant, life-changing teaching from the Bible and the life of Jesus.

Trust me! The adventure is worth it.

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