Ever think your pastor would come to you requesting a list of equipment to purchase for livestreaming that could cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars? Thanks to the pandemic, this is where a lot of us worship and tech leaders find themselves today. 99.9% of the time, we have been the ones pushing for a few extra dollars to spend on new equipment, but now we are being asked to essentially launch an online campus. So where do we start? In full disclosure, I am not extremely tech savvy but as a worship leader, I have learned my way around the booth enough to make me dangerous. This blog is for those who are just looking for a first step towards livestreaming and hopefully some additional resources that you might find helpful!
Evaluate Other Churches
The number of churches that are actively livestreaming is only going to continue, and most likely, you have connections with other people who are currently doing it. Find 3-4 churches and watch the live stream of their weekend services. Some key factors to be looking for are the amount of camera angles, the quality of the picture, how (or if) they are displaying lyrics, consistency of the stream (does it drop out or lose connection), and the quality of the audio. If you are able to, reach out to the worship leader or tech director of those churches and ask if they can give you a general idea on how much their system costs. This could be a great way for you to approach your pastor with tangibles that can also help you understand what his or her priorities are.
2. Finalize your Budget
Make sure you and your pastor are on the same page when it comes to finances. It’s easy to spend a ton of money in this area! Most likely, your initial wish list will be a bit overwhelming in cost, so be humble, flexible, and yet prepared and educated on the equipment and the standard of excellence you are trying to establish.
3. Set your Goals
What are you trying to accomplish? Is it launching an online campus or simply capturing and streaming what happens live on Sunday morning? Set the expectations for this ministry and figure out what it will take to pull this off on a CONSISTENT basis. Figure out how many positions you will need to fill on a weekly basis with volunteers, what skill sets you are looking for in new volunteers, and what your onboarding/training process will be. Recruiting the right people to run your cameras, produce, and oversee the livestream commentary is the most important piece in this process. You can have $100k worth of equipment but without the right people to run it, it will not accomplish what you are intending to do.
4. Spec out your Equipment
When going to spec out your specific equipment needs, I would recommend taking a look at what church tech resources have to offer like Churchfront with Jake Gosselin. I have had the privilege to work with Jake in the past and have been following his website, YouTube, and Facebook. He has several blogs and videos that can walk you through what specific equipment you will need to get started livestreaming your worship services on various different levels.
5. Implement your Plan
This will most likely be the most difficult step since it will likely stretch over several weeks after you receive all of your equipment. If you are installing the equipment yourself, I’d recommend inviting 1-2 tech volunteers to help. If you are the worship leader, it is a bit difficult to lead worship and fix a broken livestream at the same time. Once you are up and running, create a private Facebook page to test your stream. This will allow you to test your stream throughout the week to make sure everything is working properly without broadcasting a video of your empty room and stage to the entire Facebook world. This process can take time so always keep the big picture in mind. Because of the time and effort you are putting into making this happen, more people will be able to hear the Gospel and worship alongside your church.
6. Additional Resources
If you’ve already started to livestream your services but would like some additional feedback, you can contact us at Froot Group! We are primarily a worship staffing company that serves the local church and we have a Livestreaming Evaluation service that gives you specific feedback on every area of the livestream process from a new perspective. If you are interested in learning more about this service, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and download this Livestream Guide for complete details!
Written by Alex Purtell, Founder and Search Coach of Froot Group Staffing
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