Pre-recording church services is a reasonably simple and easy way for churches to meet virtually. However, many churches value meeting together and watching the same service at the same time, even if it has to be online. That’s why some churches consider live streaming. 

In this post, we’ll go over many of the details and decisions involved in live streaming a church service. 

Online Meetings

Before we dig into live streaming, let’s talk a little about online meetings. This isn’t something that is mentioned a lot, but your church leadership and committees may sometimes benefit from a way to meet online rather than in-person. 

Two of the most popular platforms for this situation are Zoom and WebEx. Here are some of the pros and cons of each: 

Zoom (free version)

  • Up to 100 participants
  • 40 minute time limit

WebEx (free version)

  • Up to 100 participants
  • No time limit

Zoom Pro (paid subscription)

  • No time limit
  • Additional features

Now let’s move on to live streaming.

Live Streaming Requirements

In order to live stream your church service, you’ll need some basic technology:

  • Computer or mobile device with a webcam
  • A reasonably fast internet connection: you’ll need an upload speed of 3 Mbps or higher. To test this, you can use a website like Speed Tester
  • An account with a live stream service like Vimeo, YouTube, or Facebook

For a more sophisticated live stream, you can invest in fancier technology like a professional video camera or video production service. However, you don’t need those things to get started. 

Facebook and YouTube: Quick Starts for a Live Stream

Facebook and YouTube are two of the fastest and simplest ways to live stream a service. Let’s go over how to start a live stream with those platforms. 

Facebook: Go to your church’s Facebook page if you have one. (By the way, if you don’t have one, seriously consider creating one.) Near the top of the page, there is a button that you can select that says “Live.” 

If you don’t have a church Facebook page, you can go to your personal page. Click “Create Post.” Live streaming should be an option for the type of post. 

YouTube: Click the camera icon at the top left of the page. Click “Go Live.”

With either Facebook or YouTube, you can broadcast from a computer, embed the link in your website, and save the recording for replay. However, Facebook can also broadcast from mobile and begin the live stream immediately. YouTube requires you to have 1,000+ followers before broadcasting from a mobile device and also takes twenty-four hours to provision before beginning a live stream. Nevertheless, they are both good options for a church live stream on a deadline. 
Long term, your church may want something more permanent than a Facebook or YouTube live stream. In this case, you can purchase a subscription to a better streaming service. Three good options would be Boxcast for Churches, SermonAudio Webcasting, or Vimeo Live Streaming.

More Information

If you want to hear what other churches are doing when it comes to live streaming or pre-recording their services, you can check out some of our other blog posts, like “Church Video Streaming”. For a live demonstration of some of these live streaming services and some tips from a pastor whose church is trying Vimeo, you can watch our webinar

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Similar Posts