Duke Taber has been a Senior Pastor of various churches since 1988. Prior to that, he was involved in the Christian rock scene opening for such notables as Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Rez Band, and once played briefly with Darrel Mansfield. Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world. Currently he is serving as a Technology Consultant for Living Waters Fellowship In Mesquite NV.
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 The information available was outdated, unhelpful, and ended up costing me money and time.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.
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Source: Church Leaders