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Many churches take advantage of the ease of streaming their church services using Facebook Live, or are contemplating doing so. I’d like to share my thoughts on the advantages of doing so. I understand through research just how much live streaming’s popularity is increasing every month, as churches realize just how simple and inexpensive it can be. So there is almost no reason I can think of why you wouldn’t want to take advantage of utilizing Facebook Live to reach a large number of people with the gospel, that you would not normally reach without it.

Live Video

Let’s talk about live video and its advantages, and pre-recorded videos and its advantages. Streaming live is my preferred way if I had to choose. I like real-time video. As we are having service you are a part of what is happening at that moment as opposed to what has happened. It’s the next best thing to being there in person. Not that God can’t use both, of course; He can. He’s God!

You get to, in real time, interact with viewers and answer questions. We have people every service interact during worship, by texting back parts of a song as they worship with us from wherever they are. It keeps them connected to church. “I can’t be there in person, but I can watch in person,” is the mindset. It helps people to feel as if they haven’t missed church. Again, the next best thing to being there. It serves its purpose. People also stay engaged for the entire service.

Pre-Recorded Video

Pre-recorded video also has its advantages. First is the ability to edit video. You can take out parts that are not relevant to the overall message or theme of the service. I think that’s important because you want them to watch the entire service. With shortening the service on Sunday morning from 2 hours to 90 minutes or less, people have a tendency to watch the entire service.

Also another advantage is reaching those who normally don’t attend regular church services. So if they don’t go to church, the odds of them being there at 10:00 a.m. are slim. But a pre-recorded video can be viewed at the convince of the viewer. We actually have more views after our live stream than during. So it plays a vital part in reaching the un-churched vs those who normally attend church.

Facebook Live

I’d also like to address the advantages of Facebook Live vs Skype. We used to use Skype several years ago, so I may be a little out of touch on the updates of Skype. But when we used it way back when our internet connection was not what it is today. That matters with Skype because the more people that log in to watch, the more bandwidth it took and we would have viewers being knocked off. That’s the reason we began to research for a better alternative. The load was completely on us and our internet connection just couldn’t keep up.

With Facebook Live, all you need is a good wifi connection if you’re using an iPhone or most smartphones. Facebook takes your signal uploaded to them and makes it available to all. So the bandwidth load is on Facebook, and not on you. So no limits as to how many people you can reach.

To begin streaming to Facebook, first set up a account through Facebook for your church if you don’t have one already. Having a Facebook page for your church allows a central place for people to gather, it identifies your church, and you can also set up events to boost or advertise your weekly events.

Now you need a way to get your weekly services to Facebook. The easiest way is by using an iPhone, iPad, or android device, etc. You will also need a full battery and you will also need wifi connection. I would suggest purchasing a tripod adapter to hold your device for a more professional looking picture. They can be purchased from eBay or Amazon easily and economically.

Then when you’re ready to stream your church service, open up Facebook, go to your church account or page, hit the publish button, then the live video button, then hit the blue button Start Live Video and you’re all set up. You can even title your video for more church branding and identification. You will see how many people are watching your feed, you can even engage with comments during your stream. Also it gives the Pastor or designated volunteer an opportunity to engage with attendees after service as well.

Our church currently uses three cameras. We also use software called wirecast that allows you to do live production like lower thirds, etc. In addition we use churchstreaming.tv to upload our video feed to them and they broadcast it to Facebook, Roku, Apple TV, our website, etc.

God Bless, I hope this helps your church get started in live streaming your church services and reaching the lost with the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Finished Work of the Cross.

Pastor Nathan M Parfait can be found online at New Beginning Community Outreach Church. You can connect with him on Twitter, and watch services live on Roku, Apple TV, Facebook, and at nbcoc.churchonline.org.

 

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