As live video streaming has exploded, all sorts of people, industries, and organizations have used it in one way or another. Whether it’s a politician streaming a stump speech in an arena or a teenager raking in Twitch Bits playing Fortnite in his basement, with the right setup, live video streaming is the best way for people to join an event without having to be in the same building.
Religious organizations typically hold events weekly at a minimum at their houses of worship. For the needs of those houses of worship, live video streaming makes a ton of sense.
Using technology to deliver religious services to people who can’t attend in person isn’t new to religious organizations. Decades ago they would record services; sometimes just the audio was recorded, other times the events were videotaped. The keyword here is “taped.” The audio or video was recorded onto a cassette tape from which it had to be duplicated onto other tapes to make copies. Then volunteers would have to physically distribute or mail the tapes to people so they could watch or listen to the service. It was a lot of work. It was costly and time intensive. But it worked.
As technology advanced, recording practices continued but with slightly more modern media, like CDs and DVDs. It became quicker and a little cheaper to make the copies, but it was still quite a process.
Then came live video streaming. This is a technology that can deliver religious services to an unlimited number of people in almost real-time. For these organizations, nothing could be better, and they’ve jumped on the possibilities live-stream offers, in many cases long before many businesses or industries got on board.
To date, tens of thousands of religious organizations have live streamed millions of services. Though some worry that giving people the ability to watch a service live without ever leaving their home will push more people to stay home and lower in-person attendance, the reality is that live streaming services is a great way to do the opposite and instead increase such in-person attendance.
Let’s face it, watching a service on a screen is not the same as being right there. With live video streaming going out on social media, these virtual service experiences become not just about delivering the service, but also about marketing. When people see live videos of services in their social feed, they are reminded of everything they love about those services, want to go, and in many cases, do end up attending in person.
This is why so many religious organizations use the multi-streaming services from Switchboard Live. It allows these organizations to live stream their services to all the big video and social media platforms, as well as their own website, simultaneously, to include those that couldn’t attend and motivate them to attend next time. With this technology, a one-room house of worship that holds 20 people can be broadcast to the world to be seen by an audience of thousands.
There are many big churches, mosques, and synagogues that live-stream all their services. There are also tiny churches, mosques, and synagogues that live-stream. What makes for good live video streams is the same for all of them.
High-quality live video streams have a few basic requirements. First and most importantly, it needs to have good audio. Everyone who is speaking should be properly miked so the audio is clear and professional. Next, it needs good quality video. Video should be clear, properly lit, and stable. Thanks to the exploding live streaming market, the equipment to make high-quality streams is within almost any budget.
Once the basics are set, an organization can put out a high-quality stream. From that point what separates the great live services from the good live services is the service itself. Organizations that have an engaging service will hold the attention of live stream viewers just like they do with people there in person. A passionate preacher, a talented choir or musician; these are the types of things that some of the biggest and most viewed live streams have.
While we’ve talked about live video streaming religious services extensively, there are other things that make for great live videos for a religious organization. Going live from activities in the community is another way to allow people to participate in everything an organization is doing. It’s also very easy for a member of the clergy to go live anytime in between services and interact with their congregation, or share some inspiring words with anyone who wants to hear.