By MWS Carol Clark, Presbytery Builder
As we look forward to the day of returning to in-person worship, you will want to continue sharing services by internet. An effective way to do this that does not involve recording and then repeating a service is live streaming. Already used successfully in several of our presbytery’s churches, we are glad to offer hands-on help and advice from Mark Clark who has years of technical experience with live streaming.
Now back in my North Carolina church, we began live-streaming in ‘2000. I thought carefully about the validity of this next statement and in over seven years, doing two services each Sunday, funerals, preschool programs, and weekly devotionals, we NEVER had one break down or even a glitch severe enough to interrupt the service. If you have the right equipment, people who know what to do or people who can be trained to do it well, along with a strong and reliable internet, which you need for any kind of recording to be shared, you can have a great experience with live-streaming. While recording and posting later works fine, there are some definite advantages to live streaming:
- You can see people who are attending and have a stronger sense of community rather than staring at an empty sanctuary.
- In my opinion, for a preacher, it’s easier and more effective to preach while you have people present because the Spirit does flow through us!
- You do not have to do two recordings of the same service – live and recorded.
- The live-chat features are really live and could be used to have people share prayer concerns that could then be incorporated into the service, ask for announcements, and other ways that would strengthen connections.
- The service you live stream can be simultaneously live on Facebook, Youtube and/or your website and later archived.
It is coming! You might as well embrace it now. If live-streaming seems daunting, we have resources for you. One of them is an actual person who has been working with live streaming since 2009 and creating videos for churches since the 90’s when it took five hours to render a video that would take only minutes now. His name is Mark Clark, pictured here in his ‘studio’. Mark has prepared a document about live-streaming that you can find by Clicking Here. This document offers ways to live-stream from the least expensive, a cell phone, to more sophisticated, a three-camera approach, to the most sophisticated and everywhere in between. Download the document at the link at the bottom of this page.
As part of his offering, Mark will come to your church at no charge, meet with you, evaluate your space with your existing sound system, guide you through decisions about live-streaming and equipment purchases, train needed volunteers, and oversee your start-up. Read through the document and if you decide you want some help in making your decision about live-streaming, contact him at 501-563-6239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Happy Streaming!