Getting Started With Online Worship
If you're looking to start livestreaming your Sunday worship, or offer additional times of online prayer and worship, it can be hard to know where to start. Below are some best practices and recommendations to help get you online.
What you’ll need:
- Facebook Page
- Cell phone (with an activated cellular plan—make sure your data plan supports the increased data use for live streaming.)
- Tripod with cellphone holder (required, such as https://amzn.to/2TCnIWf
- Microphone (suggested but optional, such as https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018KIJGU8
Where do we stream?
Why use Facebook?
Currently, Facebook is the most reliable tool for our congregations to live stream. “But Aunt Ellen doesn’t use Facebook. How is she going to see the service?” Facebook Pages work similarly to websites—completely public. A Facebook account is not required to view content on a Facebook Organization Page.
Checking/Setting up your Congregation’s Facebook Organization Page
Things to check:
- Does your church have a Facebook Page?
- Are you an editor or administrator on that page?
- How can you quickly check? Can you post as the organization page? If so, then you are an editor or an administrator on the page.
Setting up a Facebook Organization Page:
Title and Description
Draft a catchy title and description. Begin the post from the congregation's Facebook page by pressing “Create Post” and selecting “Go Live” from the post options. Now, input your title and description for the post. After this step, you are ready to go live.
Where do I put the tripod and camera?
When streaming an entire service, the best place for a camera and tripod is in the front pew, the first seat off the aisle, at head height. This will give the perspective of sitting in church. A volunteer is required to start and stop the live steam. Start and stop the live stream after the camera is in place. Do not start the stream and then attempt to place the camera in the tripod.
Audio: Can you hear me?
Audio in churches can be tricky. To record quality audio, it depends on what type of building you are in—is your church space a traditional, stone building with large arches and domed ceilings, or is your church space a more modern building with carpet and clean, painted walls?
Traditional Building: A microphone is strongly suggested but not required. Running a microphone and cable to a nearby, in-house speaker will significantly increase the quality of spoken voice. If you need to change the location of the camera for audio, do it! Sound is more important than a close video. Audio extension cables are available for purchase to extend the range of your microphone’s built-in cable.
Modern Building: A microphone is suggested but not required. If your camera is placed in the front pew or seat and there are in-house speakers, the phone’s mic should be sufficient. Nevertheless, strive to have a plug-n-play microphone near an in-house speaker for the best quality.
- Let people know your service will be Live Streamed before the event—provide the Facebook URL to your congregations page.
- For example, the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina's Facebook Page can be found here.
- Viewers do not need to be a member of Facebook to view organizational pages.
- Encourage engagement. Ask questions specifically to those joining on the stream. Have a volunteer, with posting privileges curate the stream—responding to comments, posing questions in chat, and thanking people for their attendance.
- Ask the people in attendance to share the post. Sharing dramatically increases reach.
- Have fun and try new things!
Using a DSLR camera with HDMI or USB output:
Purchase a Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder. Use Mini HDMI to HDMI cable from Amazon and a Thunderbolt cable also and after you install the drivers it will work. Use wirecast or OBS. Video tutorial 1. Video tutorial 2. Written tutorial 3.
Articles about using Facebook Live:
How to begin streaming live church services
Livestreaming Sunday services:
Copyright issues and livestreaming:
Live streaming (or webcasting) church services or events are a great way to connect with people looking to make a virtual connection before they make a physical connection by visiting your church. It is also a great way for homebound parishioners to be connected to your services or events.
Live streams are broadcast live using a streaming service such as Livestream or Facebook Live; these streams are also archived to be viewed later on these platforms.
US Copyright Law provides a Religious Service Exemption (Section 110 }. This exemption allows performance of certain copyrighted works in a religious service without permission or royalty payments; but, the exemption does not extend to live streams/webcasting. You must obtain an extended license to your CCLI license for streaming your services or events online that include copyrighted songs. Stanford University is one excellent resource for additional info on copyright.
ONE LICENSE OFFERS FREE LICENSES DURING COVID-19 CHALLENGES
As the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak continues to unfold, ONE LICENSE—together with hundreds of our Member Publishers—is honored to assist worshipping communities worldwide during this extraordinary time. We are able to provide two different gratis license options valid through April 15, 2020.
You can obtain a streaming license add-on with CCLI.com here: https://us.ccli.com/copyright-license/. Prices range from $60 annually for a congregation size of less than 200, to $85 annually for a congregation size between 200 and 500.
A WorshipCast license from Christian Copyright Solutions covers internet performance rights for more than 20 million songs from ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. Annual fees start at $225. More information about this license can be found here: https://www.christiancopyrightsolutions.com/servic...
One License is also a way to acquire reprint permissions from multiple publishers at the same time. Their add on streaming license ranges from $50 on up depending on congregation size: https://www.onelicense.net/how-it-works
Liturgical resources to assist you in leading or participating in worship:
- The Book of Common Prayer
- Sunday lectionary readings
- Daily Office lectionary readings
- Diocesan Cycle of Prayer Calendar
- Anglican Cycle of Prayer
Additional liturgical resources
- Enriching Our Worship 1: Morning and Evening Prayer, the Great Litany, and the Holy Eucharist
- Enriching Our Worship 2: Ministry with the Sick or Dying; Burial of a Child
- Enriching Our Worship 3: Burial Rites for Adults, together with a Rite for the Burial of a Child
- Enriching Our Worship 4: The Renewal of Ministry and the Welcoming of a New Rector or Other Pastor
- Enriching Our Worship 5: Liturgies and Prayers Related to Childbearing, Childbirth, and Loss
- Book of Occasional Services (Spanish version available here)
- Lesser Feasts and Fasts
- Great Cloud of Witnesses