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Hallelujah! Tradition and technology a joyful mix

 Hallelujah! Tradition and technology a joyful mix

Hallelujah! Tradition and technology a joyful mix

26 June 2018

Livestreaming has become the new "norm" for MelbourneSALVOS@4pm.

By Faye Michelson

MelbourneSALVOS@4pm, based in the city’s eastern suburbs, started as way to connect with older Salvationists who miss the traditional style of worship they had grown up with.

It has a steady congregation, with 100 people attending the monthly meeting at Waverley Temple Corps. However, no one ever expected it to have an international reach, with more than 1400 people around the world joining them in worship. That’s what happened when they combined tradition with technology earlier this year to livestream their meetings on Facebook.

Lieut-Colonel Frank Daniels says the first MelbourneSALVOS@4pm, which he describes as “both devotional and missional”, was held just over a year ago.

“The Army caters for youth by having meetings with music they relate to – and rightly so. However, some of our older Salvationists from our Camberwell and Waverley corps discussed how they missed the form of worship they’d grown up with, particularly the theology and devotional nature of our older songs and music,” he explained. “They had this sense that the spiritual heritage, through the words and music of the Army, has been lost for them.”

On the first Sunday of the month, from February to November, MelbourneSALVOS@4pm offers a traditional style of worship supported by a band, songster brigade or vocalist, with songs from the songbook, a chorus and testimony time, clapping, timbrels and even occasional flag waving. 
 
“These choruses convey testimony of salvation, holiness and praise; the sense of joy they bring to the meetings is quite overwhelming,” Lieut-Colonel Daniels says.
 
Feedback has been encouraging, from “I wouldn’t miss this monthly meeting for the world” to one man who said “things of faith and God became clearer to him” through the meetings.

In February, bandmaster Brian Davies received a message from someone too ill to attend who asked if it was possible to record the meeting.

“We began to livestream the meeting on Facebook with amazing results and recently launched a Facebook group called MelbourneSALVOS@4PM to make the livestream more accessible to a wider audience,” Brian says.
 
“Our April ‘Resurrection Sunday’ meeting had more than 1400 views from all over the world, with many people expressing their appreciation for this style of worship.
 
“Our viewers now include those separated by distance, illness and disability, who say they are being impacted and drawn closer to God. What a privilege to have such a ministry, far greater than we could have ever imagined. Glory to God!”

Frank says it’s important to acknowledge that while we are living in an ever-changing society, our community is made up of people of all ages.

“We also need to be relevant to our older members, who need to have their faith nurtured as well,” he said.

The Facebook livestream begins at 3.45pm (AEST) on the first Sunday of the month.

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