When I started out 3 years ago trying to figure out how to live stream my church’s Sunday services, it was difficult. The information available was outdated, unhelpful, and ended up costing me money and time. Hopefully, this article will make your journey a whole lot easier and will save you time and effort as you reach out to your community with your live streaming ministry.
Can You Live Stream A Church Service For Free?
Some of you may be hoping that you can start live streaming your church services for free. Unfortunately, nothing except your salvation is free. Even that cost Jesus his life.
The bare-bones minimum that you are going to need is a smartphone or a camcorder to record the services. Both of these will cost you money. And to be honest, the quality of your stream will not be very attractive and will not accomplish the goal you have of reaching your community.
After that, you are able to use Facebook Live and YouTube Live without a fee. However, they are hosting your live video. You do not own it. They have the ability to take down your videos and ban your channel or page at their desire. With the recent incidents of the social media giants censoring views they disagree with, this is a risk you need to take into consideration.
I know that we all want to be good stewards of the finances that God has given us. Just don’t equate cost with stewardship. If you want to reach your community, invest in good equipment and services to reach your goal.
How To Live Stream A Church Service
To answer the question about how to live stream a church service you have to determine the level of quality you want to achieve. As you increase the quality level, the process becomes more complex with one caveat that I will share later.
The Cheapest Way To Live Stream
If you decide to go the cheap route, or you just absolutely cannot afford anything for your church live streaming ministry, then you have the option of using a smartphone or a camcorder and a computer to produce the streams of your live events to social media.
In order to go live on YouTube, you need to have at least 1000 subscribers to your YouTube channel to stream from a smartphone. If you are going to use a camcorder, then you will need a computer (another expense plus a volunteer to monitor the video) and you will need to have your YouTube channel verified by providing a phone number. You can learn more about live streaming on YouTube here,
Facebook is much simpler but is not as easy to embed on your church website. In order to start live streaming your church events, you need to have a Facebook page for your church. Once you have that established, then all you need to do is log on to your Facebook page and hit the “Live Video” icon at the top of your church’s Facebook page. You can do this either with the Facebook app on your smartphone or from a computer using the Chrome browser. (To learn more about how to stream on Facebook, read this article.)
A Better Way To Launch a Live Streaming Ministry
The next step up in quality is for your church to invest in some equipment to make your live streaming more polished. This is the step that my church initially took and we were able to do it for less than $1,000.00. Obviously, you can spend more (and many churches d), but we did not have a large budget since we were a small church.
The benefits of this approach are that you can have better sound quality, better video quality, place overlays of the worship graphics, Bible verses, and PowerPoint presentations into your video.
In a nutshell, you will need….
- A Camcorder, Studio Camera, DSLR Camera or other recording device.
- Live Streaming Software
- A Laptop or Desktop Computer
- An HDMI To USB Video Converter
- A Tripod
Optional equipment would include….
The Best Way To Live Stream a Church Service
If you really want to do things right, then you want the ability to own your live streams rather than trusting Silicon Valley to host them. In order to do this, you need to invest in a hosting solution for your videos, live streams, and online events.
I wanted to find a solution that would provide the best live streaming solution for churches that saw the value of live streaming but didn’t have the expertise in their congregations to mess with all the hardware, software, and training of volunteers. Eventually, I found that solution and Easy Church Tech has partnered with StreamSpot to bring you a streaming solution that is high quality, simple to use, and reasonably priced.
What It Takes To Live Stream Your Church Service With Our Solution
- A Camera Or Recording Device
- A Subscription To Our Service
- A Tripod
- A Video Switcher For Multiple Cameras Or To Use Your In House Presentation Software
- Stage Lighting
As you can see, we have eliminated a lot of the equipment needed to stream your church services live. To learn more about our simple live stream solution, click here.
How To Simulcast Your Church Services On Multiple Platforms
There are only 2 ways that I am aware of to simulcast your church services on multiple social media platforms or at other church campus locations. You either need software that has this feature. Or you need to be using a church live streaming service.
Using a live streaming ministry service (like the one we provide) also allows you to simulcast to your secondary church campuses. If your main location is having a Bible study or prayer meeting, you can simulcast those events to your other locations. You can also designate which feeds get these simulcasts. If you don’t want your prayer meeting on YouTube or Facebook, you have that ability.
Live streaming ministry lets your congregation watch these streams on-demand at a later date. So they are not required to watch them live. They can binge-watch your online church if they so desire.
How To Set Up Live Streaming For Your Church
Setting up your stream for your church services live is rather a simple process once you have all the parts in place. (For a complete description of setting up your stream, click here.)
You connect your camera to either your live streaming service via a video streaming encoding box, which connects to your router. Or you connect your camera to an HDMI to USB converter that then connects to your computer that has the software to stream to your destination of choice. You then configure the software you are using and send the feed to the social media platform of your choice.
The Easiest Method To Start Your Live Streaming Ministry
As I mentioned earlier, Easy Church Tech has the easiest method online. I say that without blinking. It is the simplest and most cost-effective method to stream your church services live.
It requires no volunteers. You just set up your equipment, schedule your live church service times, and the rest is done automatically. You do not need someone to monitor the computer or run the software. In fact, if your camera is stationary, you don’t even need a camera operator. You just need to turn it on.
The Easy Church Tech solution doesn’t require an extra computer, extra converters, or extra software. This lowers your cost dramatically. Plus you own your videos. You have access to them and can embed them automatically on your church website.
It is the easiest method to start your live streaming ministry that is out there. I was adamant about this. I wanted to prevent all the problems and issues I experienced when I first started live streaming.
This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.