How to get your Church services online
The current climate poses a very tricky time for churches amidst the Covid-19 situation. Governments are shutting down the opportunities to meet in person and it’s time for all of us to rally around and be there for our community at this time.
It's never been a better time to get online with your services. I'm hoping that this guide will be useful in this time of need. I've written this with most of the context for doing this in your physical church setting, with congregations meeting. Below this I have suggested adaptations to these methods which can implemented without a congregation and from home. These will be labelled as [HOME]
This guide is the simple ways to get your service online. I am not going to go into the more complex ways in this blog.
What You Need:
- Camera (smartphones will do)
- Microphone (or a direct audio feed from mixing desk)
- Laptop with Ethernet Internet Connection
- Broadcast software
1. Choose the platform you are going to use. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo all offer different ways of livestreaming. For this example, we'll use Facebook Live. This can be run off your church's Facebook page. Head to that page now.
2. [SIMPLE] Press "Go Live" on your phone and put in a title or description. Then Facebook will go live capturing what you can see and hear through your phone.
3. [ADVANCED] You can use a broadcasting software such as OBS to stream your service to the social media platforms. You can find out how to do so via the links below.
Obviously with the current situation, sticking a phone at the back of church filming the service isn’t an option at the present moment. Here is how to have a service at home from home.
1. Get participants to film themselves delivering parts of the service at home using their smartphones. (Make sure to get and record their consent for appearing online in videos!) This is best done with a plain background in a well-lit room with the camera recording in Landscape mode.
2. Edit together the clips to form the service. This can be done using video editing software (free video editing software is available)
3. Upload to YouTube, and schedule it as a Premiere. This means that you can get it to go out when you would usually have your service time.
Have you thought about doing a Church podcast? This is a relatively simple thing to do and you can use it to reach people with readings and sermons from the previous week.
You can find out more information over on the podcast host website, who have a load of brilliant resources to get you underway.
I would also highly recommend Anchor as a platform as it has an easy to use platform to create your podcast and does all the hard work behind the scenes getting your podcast across all the different platforms.
Don’t get caught out!!!
If you are live streaming your service, make sure that you have the right licence in your country. Also, if you substitute live music performances for YouTube videos, check YouTube copyright licences. Facebook and YouTube have AI Algorithms that take down videos if copyright strikes take place.
Another option is to utilise music streaming software such as Spotify to create playlists that you can share with your Church Members with music to fit in with your service theme. An example is CCLI have a playlist of the top 100 songs played in church. You can see this below.
Below are my suggestions for kit you can get to help you out. These contain affiliate links which help me out.