With the number of Coronavirus cases on the rise across the globe, churches are increasingly relying on live streaming to broadcast their worship services. There is probably not a single ministry right now that is not feeling the effects of COVID-19, everyone is learning to do ministry differently to keep the church communication with their congregation running. One area that has felt the most impact is church communication and there is a huge amount of pressure for the church to communicate more effectively with their congregation than ever before. And live streaming is an excellent way for churches to reach out to people due to the church closures and attend the service live from the comfort of their homes as it happens.
Impact of Coronavirus on church functioning
The COVID-19 has posed significant challenges for the global communion of churches due to sudden church closures. According to Faithlive’s new survey data, the majority of churches across the globe, while the majority of churches are returning to in-person gatherings imposing significant challenges for leaders to maintain church unity within their congregations.
Hence, churches need to re-evaluate the way they worship, gather, and disciple their congregation. Even after the church has opened, many pastors find it challenging to bring their congregation together as the pandemic has imposed strict restrictions and regulations on the number of attendees.
For this reason, church leaders are turning to the best live streaming software for churches that features a set of comprehensive tools to help them ensure that they are well equipped for digital worship and setting up a vibrant online congregation. Churches need efficient live streaming solutions for conducting live Sunday worship, organizing online giving, community outreach, online discipleship, and more.
Why use a church live streaming software to broadcast your services?
To broadcast your church services live without any restrictions, you have to consider building your own online video platform. A live streaming platform will give your team full control over your church broadcast as well as additional features and functionalities to engage your online audience.
With a church service streaming platform, you can perform the following.
Publish sermon and testimony videos
Using the best live streaming software for church, you can create a video library with your Sunday services, sermon videos, and testimony videos. Considering the fact that most churchgoers lookup for a church website first, it is probably a good idea to have a platform for hosting your church services.
Engage online worshippers
If you are brainstorming about how to stream church service, it is important to have a live video platform so that you can make your congregation feel like they are actually attending your services. This is a great opportunity for pastors to connect with their congregation after the sermon to interact with the audience and to establish a connection with the members.
You can incorporate other media
With a live video platform for your church in place, you can add additional media content like sermons, special teachings, a specific style of worship, gospel music, etc. besides the normal Sunday service.
Receive donations and tithe
In a church, over half of the people would like to give to their church online. While social media live streaming platforms don’t provide secure ways to receive online donations and tithing, church live streaming platforms do. So, if you want to accept tithing from your church community online, having your own live video platform will help you to set up a secure way to receive offerings from your congregation.
Privacy and security
When you are looking for how to stream church service, one important thing to consider is the security of your live streaming platform. When making your church service available to a worldwide audience, you don’t want any intervention from any third-party with ill intentions. By using a church live streaming software, you can ensure your church live streaming platform with the best security features like password protection, geo-restrictions, AES encryptions, etc.
Getting started with church live streaming
Though the live video is spontaneous, you need to spend significant time preparing and organizing your content to get the most out of the live church streaming experience.
Here is a short guide that helps you to get familiar with the steps you need to follow to meet your goals.
Research and planning
To start with, you must brainstorm about how and what you are going to live steam and what strategies you can adapt to drive the messages you want to share. Live videos are spontaneous, but to ensure success, quality it is important to do some planning and preparation to make sure everything goes well.
Choose which programs in your church are best suited for live streaming. The easiest way to start is to live stream your Sunday service. However, you can offer more value to your congregation if you consider adapting more programs for live streaming. For example, the pastor can consider offering a series of sermons directly to the camera to interact with the congregation in real-time. Or you can consider live streaming special programs in the church like baptism, marriages, special occasions, etc.
Set your expectations and goals
Before even buying essential live streaming equipment, set your expectations and goals regarding how you want your church live streaming and what you want to achieve with it. By setting your goals, you can also measure how well church broadcast services are working in favor of your church.
For example, are you aiming to expand your reach from 100 viewers to 1000 online viewers every week? Or do you want to increase your church membership or online tithing? Or you just want to increase engagement with your current congregation. Whatever your goals are, set them before getting started with live streaming. By setting the goals and using analytics, you can determine how valuable live streaming actually is for your church’s needs.
Choose the right church live streaming equipment
The first step for a church live stream is to have the best live stream setup for church, for successfully broadcasting your church services live. There are a plethora of options to choose from and it all depends on how much you are ready to spend. For example, you can stream your services with just a smartphone or with an HD camera if the budget allows.
To get the sermon across in a professional set up, you basically require church video equipment like a camera that has recording capabilities with an HDMI output. This is enough if you have a restrictive budget. Additionally, if your budget allows and you want to experiment with high-end video production, you can consider one of the top camcorders that capture video in ultra HD 4k quality. The next essential gear is a microphone that is necessary for a better sound recording. You may need an external microphone to connect to your camera along with a small mixer designed specifically for streaming live videos. This comes in handy in case you want to add multiple audio sources so that you can monitor the tones and volumes.
Other essential church live streaming equipment are:
- Good lighting setup
- HDMI cable
- HDMI extender (If your camera is apart from the camera or encoder)
- Encoder to compress the raw video content so that it can be transported quickly over the web.
- Video Switcher (If you are using multiple cameras)
Choose the best live streaming platform
You need a powerful live streaming platform to host your online church services. To begin with, you can always choose social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube or Instagram if you already have an active presence on these social platforms.
This makes sense not only because these platforms are free but because so many people are actively using it. For example, in the second quarter of 2020, Facebook reported over 2.45 billion monthly active users, according to Statista.
With over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube live streaming is also another option that many churches take advantage of already. However, all of these free social live streaming platforms won’t replace the immense advantages of streaming your church service on your own live streaming platform.
If you want to build your live church streaming platform, that too on an affordable budget, the most viable option is to consider using a readymade script that is easily available in the market. These readymade live streaming solutions come with all essential features to stream your services to your congregation, monetization options, access to source code, and lifetime support. You can easily conduct Sunday services, bible studies, host prayer meetings, sermons, live stream gospel, conduct Sunday school, and offer all church-related services in your church live streaming platform.
Start slow and grow
When it comes to church live streaming, it is recommended to start slow and grow with time. Do your research to gain insights on best practices when you are just getting started with live streaming. You can decide to stream the entire Sunday services or just choose to broadcast our preaching or special sermons alone. Or if there are announcements you would like to give to your church members or specific issues you want to address if any, you can consider broadcasting your church programs live to potentially reach a global audience.
Test it out
Before you actually go live practice what you are planning to deliver, especially if you are live streaming your church service for the first time, that too to an exclusive live audience. Make it a practice to test the quality of your live streaming set up by checking the audio and video quality and other aspects to make sure everything is functioning well. Unless you test it out, you would never know how the audio, video, light, and background noise works. Check different camera angles and adjust the lighting to understand what works and what doesn’t.
Spread the word through social media
If a church service is broadcasted live on the internet and there is no one to watch it, it won’t make any impact. Your congregation can tune in to your online church services only if they know when and where to find it. So make sure to put in some work to spread the word through social media to increase the exposure. Share the information about your church live broadcast on your website, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Make your online audience an integral part of your broadcast
As you have chosen the right gear, live streaming services, announced the live stream on your website and social platforms, now you are ready for action. The faces in front of you are the top priority. When you are streaming your church services, make sure you address your online audience and make them an active part of your service. An occasional nod to the camera and acknowledgment of your online congregation can go a long way.
The COVID-19 pandemic has really challenged many churches but it isn’t stopping them from preaching the word. While it is a learning curve for all churches, they are getting started with live streaming to minister to the people and connect with the church community. Live streaming comes in handy when it comes to spreading the word about your church services online and encouraging more people to join your community. Many churches have tried church live streaming and in turn, have experienced a decreased number of leaving members.
Live streaming not just engages the congregation who cannot physically attend the sermons, but they also bring the church straight peoples heart and inspire them to join your live services. To start with live streaming your church services, it is not mandatory to invest in a high quality set up. Just make sure you use a professional quality live streaming solution that comes with feature-rich functionalities that helps you to live streaming your church services efficiently. With a great live streaming solution in place, you can end up bringing in thousands of people around your online church services regardless of what gear you use. If you are looking for the best church live streaming software to broadcast your live services, we are here to guide you through the process. Get in touch with us right now!