3 Ways To Improve Your Church Live Stream Experience
I started filming our church services and putting them on our website back in 2009. No special lighting or flashy effects, just a simply HD Camcorder, a tripod and a bit of Final Cut Pro.
Since then, filming services has moved into another league altogether. Multiple broadcast cameras, professional switch gear and even seperately mixed audio for the worship.
However, despite this, live streaming, or at least the customers experience of it, has a long way to go.
Here are three simple ways you can improve how you engage with the digital church goer with your live stream:
Get a strategy
For many, live streaming is something we just do. It is part of the church culture and routine. It’s a bit like the standard monthly prayer meeting, mid-week groups or gender based gatherings.
They just happen. It’s what we do.
What’s interesting though is when you ask the church why they are streaming in the first place. What is the strategy behind it? Are we reaching the lost or providing a service to those who can’t attend church?
After the often bemuzed look from many that I speak to, I find out they either don’t really know the answer or they cheerfully say “both, of course”.
The problem with both of these statements is that your chosen strategy will dictate how you go about the stream.
For example if you are reaching the lost, is streaming the whole service live really the best answer? Will someone who doesn’t already attend your service be able to find you streaming whilst browing the net?
We need to get clear on the strategy, and then think how the amazing technologies we have at our disposal can help us achieve it.
Make it accessible
Once we have the strategy, we then need to think where these people hang out, so we can make our content accessible.
As I mentioned before, if we are trying to reach the lost, it is doubtful people not in Church are hanging about waiting for a service to start on your website.
They are most probably just doing life. Taking kids to events, enjoying the peace of a Sunday morning, or just having a lie in.
The mistake I see many churches make is they put a great deal of effort on ‘their’ stream that is published to their website, but then neglect the most important streams like Facebook live where potentially millions of people could see it by sticking up a mobile phone feed.
We also need to think about the cultural differences between the Christian and non-Christian.
As regular church goers, we are used to a 40 minute sermon. It is normal. But ask a non-Christian when was the last time they sat and watched a 40 minute teaching on anything? They don’t do it. It is alien to them.
It’s no wonder they don’t respond. They are used to watching engaging content that take 2–3 minutes. Content they can pick up and consume easily.
We need to think much more carefully how we package our content, so we can look to deliver it in different ways.
Many churches do a great job of this. They have teams of people on the broadcast date. Keyboard warriors ready to pounce on any sign of engagement.
However, after the service has finished, there is a silence. The online teams seem to go on a sabatical until the next event.
The Facebook posts stop, enagagement fails and an opportunity is missed.
If we have been smart enough to break our services into bite sized chunks that most people want, we should have no end of content to publish during the week and drive continuous engagement.
People need to be drip fed content to truly engage with any brand or product and church should be no different.
We are fortunate enough to have significantly more content than most organizations and we have a message that can change lives. It’s time we gave this vital part of church the focus it deserves.
I would recommend to all of you currently streaming, to take a step back, think why you are doing it, and then adjust how you do it based on the strategy.
Streaming offers us an amazing opportunity, don’t waste it.
About Digital Church
Here at Digital Church, this is our passion. We want to help Churches recognize the opportunities and then give them the strategies, tools and practical help to put it into practice.
Please do reach out and contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested in how we can help your church or organization.