Streaming Online Church
As your church considers streaming services for the first time, there are a few questions you’ll need to answer. Addressing these questions will help you choose the streaming service that will best fit your needs.
1. What’s your budget?
Thinking through your budget to begin streaming services is one of the best places to start. Some churches may be inclined to say, “I don’t know”, however, that’s usually not the case. Do you have $10,000/month to spend on streaming your weekend services? Most likely not. Even if it’s an imperfect figure, it’s important to determine a general amount your church is able to spend on streaming services. This general number should include potential upfront costs for new or updated equipment and an ongoing cost for streaming.
Your church may be in a position where you have no budget money available to add online streaming. This doesn’t mean you can’t begin streaming this Sunday. Instead, you should choose a streaming option that uses the equipment you already have.
2. What’s your team’s expertise?
Some churches have a full-time individual dedicated to church communications, worship, or even production. These churches may be able to choose a more complicated streaming option that requires some expertise to stream. Most churches, however, may only have a few part-time employees and a dedicated team of volunteers available to help with church streaming. If this is your church, you’ll want to consider how easy it is to use a streaming service and platform when making your selections. Look for streaming options that work automatically and don’t require a lot of upkeep. Ask about available support in setting up your service and what options are available if you run into problems.
3. What equipment do you already have?
You may be able to utilize equipment your church already owns to stream services. Instead of feeling like you need to replace everything, consider how you can use what you already have. Yes, you may need to invest in a new camera, stand, microphones, or switcher, but first consider how you can use what you already own, and adjust only as quickly as you can afford it. As you consider these questions, also investigate your church’s internet speed. If you plan to live-stream your services, you’ll need to make sure you have the fastest upload speeds possible.
4. What are you expecting from your streaming service?
If you plan on streaming to multiple locations your church will need a streaming service capable of sending out multiple streams. Does your church need the ability to chat, simul-cast, or have strong analytics? The more you ask of your potential streaming service, the more you should typically expect to pay. However, you can get a lot for around $100/month or less.
5. What do you expect regarding your user experience?
Similar to considering expectations of your streaming service, how do you expect the average user will interact with your church service? Are you hoping the streaming service will open an avenue for interaction with your church website? Or, are you looking for a person who feels far from God to watch and gain spiritual inspiration from your message? Some churches may want both types of interaction. If your church hopes to mimic in-person church in an on-line ministry, then simply sending people to Youtube or Facebook to watch your weekend services will not be sufficient. Your church would also need to have a page dedicated to online church. Missional Marketing can help you create a church online page for your website if you aren’t able to do so yourself.
Setting up a digital church is an essential step for churches looking to grow their ministries in the coming years. There may come a time when your church has more online members than those attending your services in-person each week. Establishing your online church may seem intimidating or complicated. But, answering the five questions offered in this post will help your church determine what you need to move forward.
Here to Help
If your church needs help setting up or growing your online presence, the experts at Missional Marketing are here to help. Schedule an appointment below to find out how you can reach 1,000 new people with the truth of God’s love.