This was a first for me.
While I made video content before, the idea of not going to a church building, but organizing something from home was definitely an experience.
For those of you that like data, here are the results:
(If you don't like data, numbers, and charts, then skip down to where it says "So what does all this data mean?")
On Saturday, March 21, 2020 we had 142 devices that viewed the Streamed Sabbath Sermon.
(I say devices, because if someone visited the website on their phone and then on their laptop that would count as two viewers)
We had 208 views. The reason that the views are higher than the viewers is because one person can click on the video multiple times. Out of all those views half came from external sources like my website. The other half watched it directly on YouTube.
Here is a closer look at the numbers that breakdown the 208 views.
42 views came from subscriber notifications.
17 were direct or unknown. (most likely they came from a direct link or button)
9 views came from people just simply browsing youtube and came across it.
8 views came from other youtube features (like being on their dashboard)
For me the most telling and clearest data was what every who was on YouTube was able to see while it was streaming. By the time the sermon was well on its way, it stood strong with 50 devices watching at the same time.
All that was the data I collected was from YouTube analytics.
But now lets look at the data coming from my website based off of google analytics.
During that day we had 224 devices visit this website. 160 of these devices were new. (I say devices, because if someone visited the website on their phone and then on their laptop that would count as two users)
It peaked at 11 am where the 112 devices visited the website.
The majority of people came directly to the website. In other words they simply typed www.WayneJamel.com or clicked a bookmark or a link in an email or text message. T
The rest came from things like facebook shares.
Majority of people visited the website on their phone. We truly live in a mobile world.
As you can see only about 10% of the devices looked at the discussion questions.
So what does all this data mean?
Data is important and says a lot, but in the same time you cannot fully interpret it. Data is a bunch of numbers and statistics. And while that is fascinating, you don't know how people are reacting. You don't know if the video is playing in the background while they are doing something else. You don't know if someone is watching the video on their TV while a family of 5 are watching. So while YouTube says there were 142 unique visitors, what was the quality of those visitors? While 50 people were watching at the same time during the stream, the amount could have easily been double that considering that some were watching together as a family. While numbers are important (after all the Bible went out of its way to mention that Jesus fed 5000) it doesn't say enough. It doesn't tell the full story. It doesn't show the heart (those same 5000 left Jesus after they came back for more but didn't like what he had to say).
The most important number is... "1"
Jesus left the 99 and went after the 1. YouTubers chase after the big numbers, but the Good Shepherd chases after the small number of 1.
What touches my heart more than the number 50, 112, 142 are the testimonies of the 1s.
All those comments that people shared on the website were so positive. When I started calling the members the next day, they were so pleased to have this video and teleconference options. The whole purpose of doing church like this was to provide people with a sense of community although we are not physically around each other.
For Sabbath School...
Youth met on zoom.
Children's church met on Google Hangouts.
About 5 adult Sabbath School Classes met on Phone Conference lines.
One person said that although they were not in a church building, for some reason it still felt like church.
That is music to my ears. Because it was Church. Church is not confined to a building. Church is the community of believers. We came together. Although it was virtual, we came together and we connected.
Another person told me that the message on YouTube brought a tear to his eye.
Another was so motivated, somehow he got the message to be shared on on the FM radio in his town.
People discussed the questions in their homes and on WhatsApp.
People chatted on the YouTube Live Chat.
People called each other to talk.
And someone who isn't even my church member said to me that if he could join our church he would.
There was a sense of community.
Now, I know not everyone joined. So we are working to get the missing members to connect through one of these mediums.
If you are one of my members, make sure to let me know that you want to get access to one of these Sabbath School groups. If you are not my member, you can still join or you can set up your own online or on the phone with people you know.
Let's reach out to others as a witness.
Lets get connected... Lets stay connected.