Live streaming is a must-have for church online, but the ins and outs of live streaming well can get frustratingly intricate. We’ve boiled it down to the basics! Successfully live stream your church services fast—and go back to focusing on sermon preparation, outreach, and online church community building.
Here’s what you need to know for your live stream church services.
You can start live streaming for free
Get 30 days of unlimited Faithlife Live Stream free, no strings attached.
You might already have all the equipment you need
Fancy equipment isn’t required to live stream. First, you’ll need a reliable internet connection.
To figure out what else you need, first, answer this: How would you like to capture video?
- With a computer or mobile device’s built-in webcam and microphone
- With a dedicated camera
- With multiple cameras
Once you’ve decided that, click on a link below for your live streaming equipment list:
You can design your presentation & record your live stream for free
To give your live stream a professional look and record it, you can use Faithlife Proclaim church presentation software—also free for 30 days.
Proclaim integrates seamlessly with Faithlife Live Stream, comes with hundreds of gorgeous church media, keeps you from having to type in song lyrics and Bible verses, and a whole lot more.
How to live stream
For an overview, read this blog post: 3 Reasons to Live Stream Your Church Service–and How to Do It with Faithlife.
Next, watch this video walkthrough:
Then follow along step by step right here: Stream Your Service with Faithlife Live Stream.
8 tips to make your church live stream appealing
- If you’re live streaming with a camera or phone, use a tripod.
- Look at the camera or webcam, not the screen/monitor.
- Make sure you’re well lit, and test your lighting before you live stream. If you’re using a webcam or phone, you can buy small, affordable lights called ring lights that mount above your camera. To add soft lighting to a larger area, you can buy freestanding lights like you may have seen in photography studios, called umbrella lights, for around $50.
- Include slides throughout your live stream and in the bottom part of your live stream church service as you present. (You can easily create slides with Faithlife Proclaim. To see how to position video overlays in your live stream, look again at Stream Your Service with Faithlife Live Stream.)
- Clear distractions from your background. Simple decorations like greenery add a nice touch, but that’s all you need.
- Give yourself plenty of time to prepare. Speaking to a camera feels odd at first, and being natural takes practice.
- Record at least from the waist up so the camera captures your gestures and body language.
- Get someone to monitor your live stream so you can focus on communicating and engaging your audience.
How to engage during your live stream church service
- Encourage questions and comments. You may not be able to see your viewers, but you can still invite conversation.
- Try to trim your service length since people are at home and can be more easily distracted. Many pastors recommend around 45 minutes.
- Have someone comment with verses and key points from your sermon to keep the chat section lively.
- Ask your leadership or hospitality team to welcome and respond to people on the live stream chat. Having a few people assigned to help can help create a warm place that your members—and even first-time visitors—feel comfortable to jump into.
- Offer ways to connect people outside of Sunday. Is your church running an online Bible study or a women’s event? Invite people to join you, and give them clear instructions on how to sign up. That could be as simple as asking them to email you or RSVP for an event in your church’s group on Faithlife.