How to Get Your Faith-Based Message Out to the World During COVID-19
The pandemic has thrown a lot of businesses a curveball. Company owners have found themselves scrambling for alternative means of getting their products and services into the hands of their clients. Essential services have in large part remained available, but in some areas, churches have been forced to close, and while some may have reopened, there is still the looming threat of closing again.
And even for churches that haven’t been forced to close, they may be experiencing lower attendance, especially from those church members who may be considered higher risk. This is a problem, because for many Americans, their worship services are an essential piece of their life. To meet the needs of those congregation members, churches have the ability to get their Sunday faith-based message out safely.
The Right Equipment
A simple and affordable mobile setup can allow you to live stream or record worship services and sermons. With professional broadcast equipment, this type of setup is great for churches of any size. If you live stream, your socially distanced members can tune in from their living rooms in real time. If you record the service, they have the option to watch once the video has been uploaded and still stay current on church happenings and important faith-based messaging.
Live streaming has been around for a while. Once you get yours up and running, you’ll likely be wondering why you weren’t doing it sooner. After all, members get sick or travel, missing the Sunday message. Now, they’ll always have a way to stay in touch.
Find a Platform
There are numerous platforms out there from which to choose. Some are free, and some require a subscription. Free options include YouTube, Facebook and Zoom. However, like anything that is free, there will be limitations, including how many people can tune in at once and running time.
Research your pay and free options to determine what plan will work best to fit the needs of your congregation. There is no one-size-fits-all answer and your needs will be unique to the needs of a different congregation.
You’ll need to designate a church member or hire outside help to manage your live stream or recording as it is happening. Because anything can happen with technology, someone who can quickly troubleshoot and get it up and running again will be a good choice. After all, internet connections drop, and equipment malfunctions.
Be sure your internet connection is capable of handling a live stream. Most should be capable, but if not, you’ll want to contact your internet provider to get the right upload bandwidth.
You’ll also want to find a spot that doesn’t obscure the view of those members who are able to attend in person while allowing your outside viewers to also see what is happening in the area of the pulpit. Consider a placement that is higher, so a wider view can be positioned.
Take a look at how other church congregations have handled their live streams and recordings. There may be some tips and tricks you pick up that would enhance your viewing experience and engagement.
2020 has been an amazing year. Staying connected to people of faith is more important than ever. The world is changing in ways people might not have imagined just six months ago. For many people, these changes represent a difficult time in adjustment. They need the comfort of their church and a connection to God more than ever.
Once you have your live stream set up, you’ll be better equipped to handle future emergencies. Or, you may decide to make this a permanent part of your Sunday routine.