HomeChurch OnlineLive Streaming5 Myths About Small Church Live Streaming

5 Myths About Small Church Live Streaming

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Church live streaming is all the rage right now and your church’s online presence is more important than ever. One study even suggests that 33% of parishioners first learned about their church online. This means that regardless of size, your church needs to have a presence on the web and social media to reach potential new members. What better way to expand that presence than live streaming your church services and events? Small churches looking to grow their congregations can benefit from live streaming.

In the church tech world, live streaming is still relatively new and many churches are on the fence about it. In this article, we’ll walk you through five myths about church live streaming so you can decide if it’s right for your church.

Myth #1: It’s Too Expensive

Smaller churches have smaller budgets and are often concerned with being good stewards with the congregation’s giving (and rightfully so). Many people think it costs hundreds of dollars a month to live stream in addition to the cost of equipment. While you can spend that much money, in reality, some basic solutions are free while most services specifically geared towards the church are less than $150 per month. A video camera ranges from $800-$3,000, but you could also start out using an iPhone and upgrade to better equipment as your budget allows. If you don’t know what equipment to buy, this live streaming guide shows the best church streaming equipment for all budgets.

Myth #2: Our Church is Too Small

Churches with fewer than 100 members often think they don’t need to live stream their services because they’re so small. However, streaming isn’t about size, it’s about reaching more people. Jesus commanded the disciples, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19 NKJV) Any good fisherman will tell you that to be successful, you need to cast where the fish are. Live streaming is all about casting your message to where the people are. People who watch a service online are more apt to attend in person, which means you could add new members.

Myth #3: I Don’t Have Enough Technical Support

You don’t have to be a church tech guru to run a church live stream. In fact, an average volunteer can do it! All you need is the right streaming service and a camera. Plus, if you go with a service like ChurchStreaming.tv, it comes with free setup training and technical support.  This service includes technical support on weekends, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Sunday. It’s important to note that even though live streaming your church service is easy, you’ll want to do a test run before making it publically live on a Sunday.

Myth #4: No One Will Watch it

You’ve heard of the summer slump. All churches face it. Vacations dwindle weekly attendance. What a better way to keep your members connected than to let them watch a live stream! Also, many live streaming programs have an option to record the stream and archive it so your attendees can watch it later. This is perfect for church members who like to re-watch sermons or those who couldn’t attend the live service. Have some older members who have trouble getting around? What about that member who is ill or bed-ridden? Many assisted-living facilities have turned to live streaming church services in their dining halls or activity centers for the residents who can’t travel. Remember, even if you only have a few people watching it, you’re spreading the vision and message of your unique church.

Myth #5: In-Person Attendance Will Drop If I Live Stream

Your church is so much more than what someone will see on a live stream. It’s family and faith and praise. Corporate worship is powerful and people enjoy coming to church to fellowship and spend time together. Live streaming can’t replace that. What it can do is offer another avenue to stay engaged and connected for those members who are away. And for the seekers out there, it gives them a powerful glimpse into what you already know, that you’ve got an awesome body of believers. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

With live streaming, you have the power to spread your message on many different platforms, whether its Facebook, a YouTube channel, or on your church website. This is your message and you have something important to say. Whatever you decide, ask your congregation to spread the word and share the live stream on their personal social media channels. Who knows, you may have people from all over the country turning in after a while. If you’re still not sure about live streaming, try ChurchStreaming.tv for 30 days free with no obligations.

Sean Dunster
Sean Dunsterhttps://churchstreaming.tv/
Sean is the Webcast Operations Manager for ChurchStreaming, overseeing the sales and support interaction and satisfaction of all clients. He has an extensive background in television broadcast production and news journalism. Church technology is near and dear to him because he's been where many of you are, a volunteer in his local church, using his gifts to further God's Kingdom.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Is “live” really valued? I would guess most people want to watch at a different time, much like the way people watch TV today. Live streaming services usually allow a rebroadcast, but wouldn’t it be cleaner to upload something cleaned up?

    What do you do about copyrights? One can pay a stream/broadcast upgrade, but if the choir is singing something not covered by CCLI, for example, you’d have to live stream something else in that spot. How do people handle that? In our audio recording, we pause when we are singing something that is not covered.

    • Very good points, Paul. Streaming should be considered from the end-user experience, namely when, where, and even how they’d like to view or listen. Streaming is all about making available your ministry to anyone, anywhere. The rigidness of specific times goes away for those who choose to view later, but I do think the experience as it played out originally has inherit value, if I’m understanding you correctly. When we clean up a service, we start placing the value on the production rather than the message. If there’s a terrible buzz in the audio or the color is way off and can be cleaned up in post, then I believe there’s value in editing as watching a service like that would be too distracting.

      For the CCLI, my own church has not run into that issue. Unless a church decides to go heavy secular or a modified version of a secular song, the license does a pretty good job covering you legally. You’re right in those rare instances where a song is not covered, the tech team will need to have a plan mapped out. There’s a good chance with hundreds of thousands of songs under the license, most churches will be fine.

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