Do you live stream your church services? If not, we think you should, because a church live stream can accomplish so much. However, I won’t try to convince you of that today. Rather, for those who have already implemented a live stream, let’s look at some ways to take your church live stream to the next level.
For our purposes a live stream is any method of streaming video of your services on the internet. This can be as simple as someone holding up an iPhone and broadcasting the services on Facebook Live or Periscope, and it can range to advanced 4K multicamera setups. If you’re anywhere on this spectrum, consider these tips.
1. Implement Chat During Your Church Live Stream
One of the biggest differences between attending a worship service and watching one on live stream is, unsurprisingly, the feeling of connection. It’s easy for live streamers to start feeling like spectators rather than members of the body. One way to alleviate this is to designate a person who’s in the service to facilitate live chat. This is really easy to do on Facebook Live, which allows real time social interaction.
Social live chat is a great place to start, but consider taking this one step further by designating a pastor or lay leader to be available for private chat or even digital counseling, during and after the service. Use something like this to mimic your “in-house” experience, where those in need of counsel can seek it as needed. Be sure to communicate that this option is available, too — either in the group chat via Facebook Live or displayed visually on screen.
2. Use On-Screen Text and Visuals
Including visuals and textual cues on your church live stream can keep your digital audience engaged and on track, just like those elements do for your in-house crowd. Pretty much all the software platforms used for this kind of video production offer the ability to seamlessly switch from video to computer (PowerPoint, Keynote, etc.), so if you’re running a “high octane” setup, this is a breeze.
It’s harder to do well if your setup is on the simpler end, but it’s still worth attempting. If you’re streaming from a phone, make sure your “videographer” is seated somewhere where he or she has a good view of both the platform and the screen. Pan the phone over to the screen as appropriate. If it’s logistically possible to get both in the frame, that can work, too.
3. Leverage Mobile and Social Giving
Another part of the worship service where live streamers tend to check out and become spectators is the offering. Offertories tend to be nothing more than two to four-minute mini concerts as far as your digital crowd is concerned — but it doesn’t have to be this way! You can use the tools we’ve already discussed to prompt your live stream audience to give during the offering, too.
Of course, this only works if you’ve embraced a modern giving solution like Givelify. Assuming you have, go ahead and send out a chat message reminding folks to give via the app. Even better, share your social giving link to drive live streamers directly to your organization’s giving profile.
A church live stream is a great way to minister to those who can’t be there in person. Implement these tips right away to minister even more effectively.