/ The Remote Church- Live-Streaming
The Remote Church- Live-Streaming
WARNING: This article contains humor, movie references, and sarcasm. Like many of you, some of us at ChurchTrac are going a little stir crazy from being inside all day and we need a little laughter to get us through. Enjoy ?
With most of us going remote, live streaming is becoming a reality for many pastors that have never live streamed before. Just until last week, pastor Jerry thought the live stream was where everyone was “slaying” the trout. Sorry, Jerry...trout season just got pushed back 2 weeks anyways.
In this article, we want to talk about the who, what, where, and when of live streaming. Because we’re not a Live Streaming Service, we will stay in shallows of practical use and leave the deep stuff to the professionals.
Cool beans? Let’s GO!
The first (and most important) question about live streaming...
Should my church live stream?
YES! No matter the size of your church or the resources you have, your church should live stream. What you should be live streaming is a different question.
Live Streaming Short Videos Vs a Worship Service
As we’ve seen with Youtube, Instagram Stories, and TikTok...content is KING. Don’t believe us, just ask your youth to show you how many dance moves they’ve learned on TikTok this year! If you have a short captivating video that you want to get out, using a smartphone in the comfort of your living room can work just fine.
A worship service, on the other hand, requires much more. The level of production expected for this is much higher than a quick devo you put on Instagram. Your viewers need to be able to
- See the pastor
- Hear everything clearly
- Be able to respond during and after the service
Does this mean you need thousands of dollars in AV equipment and a team of professionals to do this? Absolutely Not! But here’s a quick 4 question test to help you out.
THE OFFICIAL TEST OF WHETHER OR NOT YOUR CHURCH SHOULD LIVESTREAM A WORSHIP SERVICE
- Do I have a streaming capable video device that takes both HD video and good quality audio? (Y/N)
- Do I have a staff member or volunteer that can run this device for the entirety of the worship service and do it well? (Y/N)
- Do I have a separate staff member or volunteer that can stay in the chat to communicate with everyone during the service to assist the viewers and do things like take prayer requests? (Y/N)
- Do we have a stable internet connection with an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps and a backup? (Y/N) go to https://www.speedtest.net to find out
If you answered NO to any of these questions, you should definitely rule out
live streaming for your worship service. Especially question number 4! An inconsistent or slow internet connection will cause your live streams to look TERRIBLE. Seriously....it will be bad.
If you said yes to all 4 questions... check out this article we stumbled upon that dives deeper into live streaming worship services: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/livestream-church-service-practical-guide/
*We do not officially endorse any outside vendors/websites apart from Chic Fil A*
I failed the official test and still want to show our worship service!
That’s okay. Many churches fail this test just because of #4. In this case, you should record your worship service and post it online later. Doing this will ensure your quality is good and your people can see and hear everything clearly.
What to do before you say I DO ???? (to live-streaming)
“If you stream it, they will come.”
. If you don’t tell your people ahead of time that you’ll be live streaming, you will probably have like 2 viewers. One of which will be your spouse and the other will be that creepy lady that comments on everybody’s Facebook posts and peddles "natural" essential oils. Let your people know through multiple mediums ahead of time. Text, call, email, smoke signal...whatever you have to do. Don’t forget to use ChurchTrac Messaging and Church Connect!
“I’ll just stream in my pajamas!”
That’s a negative ghost rider. We’re not saying you should wear a suit...but make yourself (and space) look presentable before you start sharing the daily devotional to all your church peeps. Leave that white T-Shirt with the BBQ stain in the closet and pick up those 8 empty cans of sparkling water piled on your coffee table.
Make sure you have a backup plan just in case you can’t live stream. Devices break, internet goes out, kids get sick roughly 78 times a year...etc. Have a backup plan in place ahead of time.
“What Platform should I use?”
It depends...if you’re live-streaming an entire worship service to 100+ people, then you should probably use a paid service of some sort. If it’s a smaller crowd for a devo or quick vid...something like Facebook or Periscope may work well for your needs. See this article for more insight: https://filmora.wondershare.com/live-streaming/10-best-live-streaming-platforms-you-should-know.html
Other things you should consider...
- Create a schedule of live-streaming and stick to it.
- If you do not have CCLI licensing for streaming worship music, you should stick to just sermons and devos.
- If you’re live-streaming your worship service, stream at the same time(s) you’ve already been holding them.
- Encourage your other leaders to live stream. This will help you put out more content without creating a huge burden on the main pastor.
- Run a test stream with a couple people to get used to it and make sure your audio and video are good.
- Test your internet connection speed.
- Make sure your devices have plenty of charge. Live streaming will KILL your battery much faster than you think.
- Always have a backup live streaming device.
- Have good lighting. Bad lighting makes bad live streams.
One last thing
Even though Live-Streaming is a fantastic tool...it's not the end-all-be-all of reaching your people when going remote. If you haven't yet read it, check out our first article in the Remote Church series HERE
. It's a good read (because we wrote it)
Stay tuned for more!