Thanks to social distancing and all the various precautions we’re taking to keep everyone safe during this pandemic, live streaming your church services has become a necessity to stay connected with your congregation. Even though most churches can make a way for people to attend in person in limited numbers, there are still plenty of people looking for ways to worship virtually.
You might have been using Facebook Live or YouTube Live over the past few months…and that’s gotten you through to this point.
But you might have also discovered some of the downsides of using Facebook and YouTube for your church’s live streaming. You might be frustrated with the lack of support, unreliable connections, poor quality, and unwanted advertising. You might also be hearing from your church members that the viewing experience on their end is less than satisfying.
What other options are out there?
Several companies specialize in live streaming various events, including church services. However, sorting through them all can feel overwhelming.
We understand. We’re one of those companies, and even we can get mind-boggled by the massive amount of information available!
Who has time for that?!
As a church pastor or ministry leader, you’ve got enough on your many (many) plates already. Finding the time to sit in front of a computer and search through site after site researching companies probably isn’t the best use of your day, is it?
But the responsibility for making sure your congregation stays connected has been dropped in your lap, and you need solutions that fit your ministry and your budget.
So how do you find the right live streaming provider for your church?
We recommend that you do a couple of things when you start searching for a partner to help you live stream your church services. We know that peace of mind comes with being informed, so we think it’s worth your time to review several live streaming solutions.
Naturally, we hope you’ll pick us to be on your ministry team! But we’re not scared to be compared. So here are a couple steps you can take:
1. Ask around.
One of the best places to start is by talking to folks who are already doing it. Since pastors are good at staying connected with pastors, you most likely already have people in your world who have worked with live stream providers.
Check with friends at churches who have been live streaming their church services for a while. Watch some of their archived services to get an idea of what they look like, then ask them about their experience.
Here are a few questions to be sure to ask:
- What company are they using?
- How long have they been using them?
- Are they and their congregation happy with the results?
- How helpful is their tech support?
- Are they available when they have last-minute problems?
- Do they experience a lot of downtime or connection issues?
Simply Googling “best live streaming services” won’t get you very far. You’ll get page after page of results pointing you to ways to watch TV.
That may be what you’d rather do, but if you want to create church service live streaming that your members will enjoy, you’ll have to go a little deeper.
Go online and select three live streaming companies. (Limiting yourself to three will help you avoid drowning in the sea of possible providers!) Take a look at their websites to compare what they offer and get an idea of what you can expect.
Be aware that lots of live stream companies work primarily with larger corporations and conferences. They may not have much experience with live streaming church services and the unique needs that churches have.
Some pointers to keep in mind:
- Take notes.
- Be sure to read the fine print. (If you can’t find any fine print, be concerned! Lots of companies try to hide extra fees and limitations from you.)
- Look elsewhere online for reviews to see what people in the real world are saying about them.
- See who they’ve done business with. Then contact those churches or companies to find out more about their live streaming experience. We recently put together a helpful church live streaming PDF that goes into more detail about what we’re discussing here.
If Facebook Live and YouTube Live aren’t cutting it anymore, or you’re simply ready to take the next steps towards getting your church set up to live stream with quality and reliability, then download our free guide – How to Choose the Best Live Streaming Partner for Your Church. And when you’re ready to get answers to your live streaming questions, schedule a free Q&A call with our team. We’d love to see how we can help!