A LifeWay simulcast is an excellent opportunity to join with friends in your community and thousands across the world to worship and hear the Word of God taught by dynamic, inspirational speakers.
If you’re not familiar with the term, a simulcast is when a live event is held and the video of the event is simultaneously seen by others via the World Wide Web. Some popular simulcasts include Priscilla Shirer Simulcast and Living Proof Simulcast with Beth Moore.
But how can you join in and watch? Simulcasts can be viewed on your laptop at home, with a large group of people and even shown to your congregation at your church. Not only is this experience customizable, but the prices are affordable, too. Check out the following tips on how to host a simulcast party.
1. Consider your environment.
In order to create a successful simulcast party, you must consider your environment. Have you set up a welcoming environment for worship and studying Scripture? Sometimes the smallest factors can affect your simulcast experience:
- Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature.
- Arrange your space so that there is plenty of room for your guests to move around.
- Make sure there are no bad seats and that there are no places where they may have difficulty seeing the screen.
- For worship, it is best to keep the lighting low so everyone feels free to worship without distractions.
- During the teaching sessions, make sure you have adequate lighting for guests to take notes.
- Set your audio to a comfortable level for both worship and teaching, with worship volume being higher as to also help your guests feel free to worship comfortably.
Lastly, some people fear that it may feel awkward to worship and study Scripture via broadcast, because they’re interacting with a screen. But don’t worry. Many churches who host the simulcast say that after a few minutes, most participants forget they are at a simulcast.
2. Make it fun.
- If there's a certain type of dessert or coffee that's popular in your community, then provide it.
- If your church loves a photo booth, then do it.
By thinking outside of the box you can provide a unique and unforgettable experience. But it’s important to choose wisely and not overdo the party arrangements. That will be covered in the next step.
3. Keep it simple.
You may have heard it said, "Women plan all events like a wedding and men plan all events like a barbecue!”
But simulcasts should be somewhere in the middle. There is certainly planning and creativity involved, but hosts should make a list of all their creative ideas and select the top five to implement.
If you keep your event simple, you make the worship and teaching the focus. Not to mention, keeping it simple allows you and your volunteers the opportunity to soak it all in too.
4. Remember to test your simulcast.
Since the simulcast is an event that occurs through the Internet, it is important that you conduct multiple tests in the same location where you plan on showing the simulcast. LifeWay provides an initial test available for hosts, as well as optional weekly tests after registration.
In addition, LifeWay hosts a mandatory test the night before the simulcast for all hosts. This allows you a final chance to check your screens, lighting, and connection before the event the next morning.
5. Don't hoard the work.
In order to provide the best simulcast experience, it’s important that you invite others to join in with your preparation. Gather a team around you to help with the planning and implementation of the event as well as prayer warriors to pray in the months leading up to the simulcast.
Simulcasts are a tremendous opportunity to strengthen your ministry team, develop new leaders and cultivate new relationships among the people in your congregation. Don't miss out on these opportunities by hoarding the work. Allow others to serve with you in offering this to your church and community.
6. Invite people from your community.
What if your event was the place where people from outside of your church came and decided to follow Jesus or rededicate their lives to Him?
We often hear from hosts that events have served as a "mile marker" in their lives. In order to do this, you must think outside of your church walls and invite the greater community to join you. What kind of impact could it have on your entire community if all of the churches in town were working together to reach the lost and hurting in your city? Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity for God’s kingdom.
7. Create a follow-up plan.
Consider how you can use the simulcast as a launch pad for something else.
- Could it help you start new small groups or begin a new Bible study?
- Is it helping you start up a ministry or local outreach group?
- (Also Read: 9 Essential Steps for Starting a Small Group)
Don't let this opportunity come and go without a follow-up plan!