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Summer On-Air: Live-Streaming for Churches

John Gilman July 11, 2016

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It’s summer time and people are on the move. Families are enjoying much-deserved family vacations across the country. Individual and couples are sneaking way for relaxing weekend experiences. And, some stay-cationers are simply sleeping in and taking it easy. And yet, many will miss (and feel the loss of) your weekend services.

This makes summer quite possibly the best time to start live-streaming your weekend service. But, regardless of the season, there will always be people who are at home, sick; who’ve moved out of town but want to stay connected; or who simply couldn’t round up the kids quick enough to get them to church on time.

Whatever the case, live-streaming is an asset to your church. And it doesn’t take much to get it started. In fact, you probably already have most of what you need on hand. All you need is:

  • A Camera: It doesn’t have to be fancy, but hopefully something a step up from a smartphone
  • Decent Lights: For the picture to come in clear, people’s faces can’t be too dark.
  • A Computer: Make sure you have the proper cables to hook it up to your camera
  • A Tech-savvy Volunteer: Someone’s gotta hold the camera and make sure things are going smoothly. This person doesn’t need to be an expert, but at least have the ability to troubleshoot and learn best practices.
  • A Live-streaming Service: A free social media platform for streaming, or a dedicated, paid service. This is the service that takes your video and broadcasts it to whoever is watching.
    • Periscope and Facebook Live allow you to stream live video to your followers and fans for free
    • Other free options include Ustream.tv and Google Hangouts, each with their own limitations.
    • Good dedicated services include WorshipChannels.com, MediaFusion.com, and ChurchStreaming.tv – all of which have fees

Whatever you decided to use for your streaming service, keep in mind that giving people access to the media is important. You’ll want to provide a link a few hours or even a day before the live streaming begins. Using your ChMS to send ongoing notifications and reminders of upcoming streams is a great way for people to stay connected.

And what if they can’t watch it live but still want to see it? Host a library of past services on your Church Ministry Software or website so people can access service archives whenever they want.

Don’t be daunted by the technological hurdles and vague mysteries of live-streaming. It’s really not that hard, once you sink your teeth into it. Gather your resources, equip your people, and start streaming.

You’ll increase connection and offer a great growth tool to those inside and outside your church. Take you’re ministry beyond Sunday with live streaming and video.

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