I had been thinking about tinkering with the order of our worship service for a while...well, since about the third week we were online. Maybe putting the shepherd’s prayer first or changing the order of the songs or even putting the sermon before the Lord’s Supper.
This last reordering was, perhaps, the most appealing to me. If you watch the service on YouTube, you can see the number of devices that are watching at any given time (there’s a little person profile with a number by it).
I’ve noticed that the number consistently drops by 2-4 devices immediately following the Lord’s Supper. It’s kind of like people getting up and walking out of the services after communion, before I preach my sermon. I understand that sometimes circumstances necessitate leaving services early...but 2-4 “devices” every week is a little odd.
Now, before you think “Big Brother Carl” is watching you, YouTube doesn’t say who is watching, just how many, which is why I encourage those who watch to say “hi” in the live chat. But the real reason I’m saying this is...
The second most “popular” response to this past Sunday that I have heard was, “I thought you had forgotten communion.”
Sometimes change is good for us. Changing the order of service might cause some to pay closer attention. It might “force” some to stay for the whole service and discover that there is, in fact, more to worship than just the Lord’s Supper: the singing, the praying, the giving, and even the sermon can be a very encouraging and uplifting time.
Maybe the 2-4 devices that “leave” after communion are visitors (people with no affiliation to our congregation who “stumbled” upon our YouTube channel, and thought it was something else, so they leave). Maybe they are regular members at Eastgate.
I’m telling you this because, well, I might go ahead and change the order this Sunday, just to watch the “analytics”. Or I might keep them the same, because I’ve noticed friends from other places tuning in just in time for the sermon (they comment on the live chat, that’s how I know they are watching).
Every act of worship is important. I encourage you to take part in all of them...even online!