Want to have live music at Church? The Baptists have answers to livesteam ban

In Australia’s new lockdown capital, Sydney, a number of churches oppose a ban on livestreaming music. “No singing. Not only no singing in church but to a camera for church online. It’s just not right. Let’s make a stand,” is how Brian Houston Hillsong’s global pastor has responded. And over in Sydney-Anglican-land, a lively discussion on Dominic Steele’s “Pastors Heart” podcast featured professor Neil Foster who belives a government email to church leaders contradicts  the Public Health Order. (You can read the email and link to Foster’s discussion at this earlier Eternity report.)

Sydney’s Anglican Archbishop, Kaniska Raffel suggests “I think the wisest course is to accept the advice for this coming weekend.” The Archbishops letter interprests the Public health Order differently from Foster – the Professor believes that an exemption for performers should apply to churches, while the Archepiscopal letter says “Under the current Public Health Order, singing is not permitted in indoor areas of places of public worship. This includes during a livestream, and in regional NSW.” Raffel takes the email to church leaders as authoritative.

But it is the Baptists that may have hit on a solution. They suggest three options.

One is pre-recorded music which many churches (including mine) already use. But the other two can go out live.

  • Singing is performed outside in a livestream, or recorded video.
  • Singing is recorded from residential premises, with no one but household members present

These two would allow what Houston asks for as far as singing is concerned. Anywhere outside on  Hillsong’s impressive main campus. For smaller churches, the household situation could work.

One of the ministers most concerned about live singing told me he is thinking of having the singer live from the church porch. He’s an Anglican but is thinking like a Baptist!