I thought that live streaming for churches would be more widespread by now. I am surprised at how few churches in my tribe are offering live streaming of worship services.
In another post, I shared four reasons churches should be live streaming their worship services. Church leaders don’t usually disagree with those but still don’t add the service.
So, let’s look at some of the objections I frequently hear. Here are five common objections to live streaming for churches.
# 1 Live Streaming for Churches is too expensive.
I worked for over 12 years in local churches. I get that there is rarely extra money for anything. But what is also interesting is that there is almost always money for what is essential. The first step in getting over the hurdles to live streaming is to start helping people see how important it is to the ministry of the church. The next step is discovering that it is not that expensive.
For the importance of live streaming to ministry, check out the third post in my series Technology and Pastoral Care.
If you have an iPhone (or know someone who will let you borrow one on Sunday mornings) and a Facebook account, you can actually stream live for free. Check out this excellent article from Church Tech Today on how to get started:
To see some more advanced (and more expensive) possibilities, check out my page Live Streaming Options.
#2 Live Streaming for Churches is Too Complicated.
That is a fair objection. Getting started with live streaming can seem overwhelming. There are a lot of moving parts to consider. However, every day there are more and more resources available to make it easier. You don’t need to be I.T./media genius. You just need to have some patience and the willingness to ask for a little help.
Check out my Introduction to Church Live Streaming for a basic overview.
#3 There are Too Many Copyright Issues.
If this is your objection, I am pleased that you care about copyright. However, it isn’t as complicated as it seems. Your church should already have a performance license from an organization like CCLI. All you need to do is add a streaming license. Then, make sure all your music is covered by your license (which you should do anyway), and you are all set.
#4 My People Aren’t Technical. No One Will Watch.
You will be surprised what people are capable of when it is something they want. The beautiful thing about live streaming is that you aren’t forcing anyone in your church to do it. No one has to tune in via the internet. They can still show up on Sunday morning. Those who can’t be there, and still want to be a part of worship, will find a way to figure it out. I have witnessed many grandparents who claimed to hate technology, suddenly become masters of the iPad when they found out they could Facetime with their grandkids.
#5 It Will Keep People from Coming to Church.
This has been a common objection since churches first began to live stream. However, there has never been any evidence of it happening. Even the very best live streaming experience pales in comparison to being present in worship. There are very few people who would rather watch their favorite sports team on their iPad than sit courtside, or on the 50-yard line. Even the most significant advances in digital audio, speakers, and headphones haven’t stopped millions of people from paying huge ticket prices, finding parking, and standing in line to see their favorite artist live. If people would rather be part of worship online than come in person, you may want to revisit your worship experience.
So, are you ready to get started? Here are some resources that may help.
Church Live Streaming – My Getting Started Guide that covers the basic information about all the things you will need to consider before you get started.
Cameras for Church Live Streaming – I cover the three basic types of cameras you have to choose from and make some recommendations.
Capture Devices for Church Live Streaming – This page covers the device that will connect your camera(s) to your computer.
Software for Church Live Streaming – Depending in your setup, you may need software to prepare your audio for upload to your streaming service. This page offers some options.
Church Live Stream Service Providers – My review of some of the more popular live stream hosts.