What happens when the members of your church cannot make it for a service but still want to attend the service? Thanks to technology that allows church members to tune in to church services online with live streaming. Church live streaming is transforming the way congregations practice their faith. Live streaming is an excellent way to connect your worship community across the globe and hear the same message wherever they may be.
What is Live streaming
You probably would be familiar with live streaming, in simple terms, live streaming refers to broadcasting an event in real-time online. So why churches must adopt live streaming? As we already said, there is a limit to how many people can physically attend a service but that finite number can be multiplied exponentially through live streaming.
Even though your church will be attended just by thousands, it will be viewed by millions. It might sound extreme, but such is the power of live streaming, it ensures your sermon reaches millions across the globe.
Why Your Church Must Live Stream?
In 2016 over 166,700 church services were broadcasted live across 59 countries. As we head to 2020, more and more congregations will join the trend and leverage live streaming to grow their reach worldwide. Observing that their community is spending more time online, churches across the world have started to take advantage of the high tech era by live streaming their services to meet the viewers where they are.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of live church broadcasts and why your church must choose live streaming church events and services.
Leverage the Outreach Potential
The outreach potential of live streaming is pretty great. While your church members may not find it difficult to attend the church, not everyone will be able to make it. Many people are restricted by location or some reasons. Live streaming efficiently allows reaching people you have never reached before.
Not just people who are willing, you can also reach seekers and their family that has never known god. Church live streaming allows people to join your community in real-time. Watching a church service online is a convenient option for many including old people, sick ones, and a lot of other categories of people. The best thing about live streaming is members can participate even when they cannot attend the church physically.
Strengthen the Church Community
Social media at its very foundation is meant to encourage and establish connections and communication with people. Being a powerful tool to build and connect community church leaders who are serious about strengthening roots within the community prioritize live streaming to spread the message worldwide.
Greater Engagement for Church Members
Watching a church live streaming leads to greater engagements because viewers will be able to clearly see and hear the sermon. Moreover, it is interactive, a live stream on the church’s page gives member’s opportunity to play an active role by asking questions and commenting. Church members who are traveling can tune into the broach and be a part of the community.
Potential Church Visitors Can Discover You
Church live streaming turns every sermon into an opportunity for potential church visitors to discover your church online when someone in your community considers attending your church, your website is going to be their first stop. Live streaming g your church services allows new people to tune in and experience your workshop and listen to your messages. This helps them to know what to expect when they show up in your church. Live streaming helps to increase exposure to your church messages both for people who are intentionally looking for your church and those who stumble on your service online.
Opens Channel for Collections, Donations, and Giving
These days’ online transactions are preferred methods for making and receiving payment. Churches’ can request encouraging viewers to make a donation or contribution to the collection. It is also possible to offer live stream content for online subscriptions. It is much easier to give when they are on your church website.
Connect with the Youth
Besides the committed churchgoers, church live streaming helps to reach people from outside the church community. There are many people who search for churches online that can make them feel a part of communities. It is also a great way to connect with the youth and help them feel connected and supported.
Social media is also a great way to promote your church services and activities. You can embed your live streams directly on Facebook and your website as well. It is the best way to get in touch with younger people and an increasing number of elders who are on social platforms as well.
Share Important Events
Every church, a church hosts lots of important events and moments like holiday concerts, weddings, Easter services, thanksgiving, Christmas celebrations, bible studies, and more. Sometimes, the people who want to be there just can’t make it. Being able to watch the event live allows your church members to share those important moments with the church family despite their physical distance. Your church plays a big role in the lives of your members and live streaming helps them share that with the people they love.
An Excellent Way for Multi-Campus Churches to Thrive
If you have a multi-campus church, church live streaming allows all your campuses to benefit from the same service. This is a great way to share valuable resources ensuring that your limited staff and team members are making the biggest impact possible. If you have enough staff, live streaming is not a necessary element, you might just want to share the sermon across campuses. But, the benefits of live church broadcasts for multi-campus churches with limited resources can be great.
Church Live Streaming Basics
Before you start church live streaming, it is important to think where live streaming is right for your church, how to do it and the costs involved. While the cost varies greatly depending on many factors, it doesn’t cost much to get started.
Something that people never talk about is how church leaders, band members, choir members, and church members, in general, feel about having themselves streamed online.
It is also important to discuss this with everyone to ensure that live streaming suits you.
Your church must invest in live streaming only if
- You want to expand your church to reach worldwide
- Church members find it beneficial
- It doesn’t strain your church budget
- It helps you reach specific church goals
While some churches see an increase in reach and online giving after implementing live streaming, every church can’t expect the same results. In fact, a brand new church might find it more beneficial to simply upload sermons on their website to build a following before starting with live streaming. The key to success with live streaming is setting goals and knowing how to measure the results to see if live streaming is effective and if not, how to improve it.
Setting your Expectations and Goals
Before you even invest in your first price of equipment required for church live streaming, set realistic expectations and goals. Why because you need realistic ways to measure how good live streaming is for your church services. For example, do you want to expand your reach form 100 members to 1000 online viewers every week? Or do you want to increase online tithing by 20%? Or are you looking to increase engagement amongst your current church members? Whatever your goals are, make sure you set them before starting with live streaming. In this way, you can determine how valuable live streaming actually is for your church’s needs.
How Much you Must Invest
This is the hardest question to answer- How much should you invest in live streaming to broadcast your church services live. The truth is that you can actually start with a smartphone and a free live streaming platform. If you are new to live streaming, you shouldn’t make a major investment. Starting out, you can start live streaming your church services for less than a few hundreds of dollars.
Choosing the Right Camera
If you want to start church live streaming with a camera, you can either choose webcams, camcorders, action cameras, DSLRs, or even cameras that are specifically listed for live streaming. While webcam is one of the cheapest options, it can be tricky to work with as it needs to be connected to a laptop or a desktop. If you have an exclusive team to take care of live streaming, it is a great option to start with.
As camcorders are designed specifically for capturing videos, they are also an ideal choice but make sure you choose one with HDMI capability and WIFI for best results. DSLR is also designed for capturing high-quality pictures and videos. Actions camera is the ultimate choice as it is designed for more active live streaming in case if you need more stability. Pricing for the above-mentioned camera can range anywhere between $100-$2000 or more. You don’t have to go with the fanciest or expensive options, make sure you get what is right for your needs.
Other Must-Have Equipment
Besides the best quality camera to shoot videos, you may also need to invest in audio equipment. If you are streaming in a small set where there aren’t many people talking at a time, you can just do with the microphone on your camera. Otherwise, you will want to invest in microphones that feedback to your camera. For a more complex live streaming setup, you will need multiple wireless microphones that connect back to your camera via the main audio and video controller which can be a laptop with the right software installed.
Live Streaming Platforms
Once you have got all the basics sorted out, it is time for the most critical step- choosing the right live streaming platform. You will need a live streaming platform to broadcast your live church sessions for people to view your church services online. If your church has a website, you can integrate live streaming on the same website or can choose a separate live streaming platform that suits your requirements.
Spread The Word Through Social Media
If your church service is broadcasted live on the Internet and there is nobody to hear it, it doesn’t make any impact. People can only follow your live streams if they know where to find it. Hence, it is important to spread the word that you are going to live through social channels or platforms where your church members or viewers engage. Put in some work in the days leading by sharing the information on your website, newsletters, and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Include Your Online Audience In The Sermon
You have the right set up, have selected the best live streaming platform, announced ahead on social media and you are ready for action. But before your sermon begins, don’t forget to address our online audience as well. The occasional nod to the camera and acknowledging your church attendees online can go a long way.
The goal of any church is to reach people, share the good news, and touch lives. By live streaming your church services and other events, you will be able to take your ministry beyond the walls of your church. Church live streaming makes it more accessible for church members and visitors to gain access to services and events alike. It opens up convenient ways to reach potential visitors. And ultimately, it can increase the impact of the gospel you want to share with the world.