How To Live Stream Your Church Service

March 18, 2020 Live Streaming 4

The Coronavirus pandemic is beginning to make a huge impact not just on our health but also on the way we live our everyday lives – this includes the sudden need for churches, religious organisations and community groups to rethink their Sunday services and regular meeting formats.

This morning the Prime Minister announced restrictions on gatherings of 100 or more people indoors – we understand this news is causing many churches and religious organisations in Australia to start moving their meetings to an online gathering.

Live streaming or pre-recording a service or sermon can be daunting, especially for organisations that haven’t explored online streaming before.

There are lots of questions to consider including what platform you should use, what equipment you need and technical capabilities to think about.

We’ve put together a quick guide to help you get started with your transition to live streaming  – we’re also available for online consultations, training on how to host your own live stream or we can even come to you to pre-record or live stream your services.

Simple Live Stream Set Up

  1. Pick a space to do your live stream – be mindful of what’s in the background, what the lighting looks like and if there is any distracting background noise.
  2. Set your camera up on a tripod.
  3. Connect your camera to your PC using a USB capture card.
  4. Connect audio.
  5. Open ‘YouTube studio’ website, create a new stream then create a Facebook post with the new YouTube video link. Next copy the stream key.
  6. Then start OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) and post in the stream key – this connects your live stream from your camera to OBS to YouTube or Facebook.
  7. Start the live stream from OBS to begin sending your online stream data to YouTube.
  8. Monitor your volumes and audio – it’s best to have another person monitoring the software and equipment while another person is in front of the camera.
  9. When you’re ready, in YouTube click ‘Go Live’ when you’re ready to start the live stream.
  10. When you’re ready to end the stream, you can simply stop it in YouTube.

Questions to consider for your live stream:

What Platform Should We Host Our Live Steam On?

The two easiest platforms to access and use are Facebook and YouTube but there are other options worth considering too.

There are lots of pro and con’s to using Facebook or YouTube for your live stream including who can access the stream, how easy they are to use and helping your viewers find the stream.

What Camera Equipment Do I Need For Live Streaming?

You can shoot a live stream on your mobile phone – this limits you in some ways but can be an affordable option and a good place to start.

There are also cameras specifically designed for live streaming such as the Mevo camera – there are pro’s and con’s to using a camera such as a Mevo – it’s affordable and more versatile than using your phone but it can also limit the production quality in some ways.

Using a DSLR or camcorder gives you more flexibility and will enhance the viewing and audio quality of your live stream. Using HDMI you can connect your camera directly to your computer to create a high powered webcam ready to broadcast your message online.

You’ll want to look at audio sources too – if you’re live streaming from your church or own venue you may be able to use your audio mixer to run the audio through and monitor.

In addition to the camera and audio you’ll need a tripod to place the camera on – depending what software you’re using you may be able to run multiple cameras and switch between them during the live stream.

How long you’re planning to live stream your church services for will also impact the kind of equipment you choose to use – if you’re planning to live stream long term, investing in the right equipment is worth considering.

Can Your Internet Connection Keep Up?

To maintain a consistent live stream, you need an internet connection that can maintain the quality – in situations where there are lots of people with mobile devices you may need to upgrade your internet capabilities to sustain the live stream.

There are lots of thing to consider when moving your message online. Video and live streaming can be a great solution when events, services and meetings start to be cancelled or downsized.

We’d love to chat with you about your live streaming goals and work with you to help you use the equipment you have, or purchase additional equipment within your budget, so you can achieve the live stream you need to keep getting your message out into the world.

If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about how we can work together to capture your live messages, please get in touch today.