Places of worship were not immune from various stay-at-home orders, and many still have not resumed services. But a Houston startup is giving religious institutions an opportunity to reach their congregations — virtually.
Houston-based Church Space allows groups to rent spaces for worship and is described as "the Airbnb for churches." In light of the pandemic, the company is gearing up to launch Church Space TV, a streaming program that allows churches and ministries to stream worship services for free.
"It felt like the perfect opportunity to give churches a way to reach more people during the pandemic," says Day Edwards, founder and CEO of Church Space. "This would create more impact than anything we could possibly offer at this time."
Church Space focuses on weekly worship services to growing churches and one-time community events. The space sharing platform helps churches earn extra income while helping growing congregations by providing them with space to gather and worship.
Now with the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent stay-at-home orders, many churches have closed, with many growing ministries no longer able to reach congregations in a shared space. Church Space Tv offers churches a new solution by providing a streaming program for worshippers on Roku and Apple TV.
"The true church has no doors, and we must adapt during these uncertain times," says Edwards. "We must rely on a wildly imaginative use of technology to reach more people than ever before."
For Edwards, a second-generation church planter, the inspiration for Church Space comes from her childhood growing up watching her mother, Paster Cherry DeeDee Edwards, transform living rooms into worship rooms for new burgeoning churches.
Now, Edwards continues that legacy with the help of modern technology.
"Many churches already recognize the need to incorporate live streaming into their worship services and have experience doing so through their websites and Facebook pages," says Edwards. "Through Church Space Tv, we want to help them expand their reach beyond their current congregation, network, and community."
Church Space Tv allows churches and ministries to expand their reach with 36. 9 million Roku users and 35. 8 million Apple TV users. According to Edwards, they already have 36 hours of content and counting ready for audiences to view from churches all over the country including ministries from Florida, Atlanta, and California in their catalog.
"It brings communities together by watching with friends and family," says Edwards. "And it brings those who may have to work or those who cannot worship in person with a sense of comfort by being in their home while still feeling part of the church community while expanding their access to a more diverse catalog content from different churches."
Church Space TV is launching Sunday, May 24, on Roku and Apple TV. According to Edwards, she expects this iteration of the Church Space brand to become the "Netflix for churches."