Live streaming your church’s services, events, or teaching can feel daunting.
- What if you don’t know anything about video cameras?
- What you aren’t a social media guru?
- What if you’d rather leave the tech stuff to someone else—but there is no one else?!
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. [truncate]
s long as you have a phone and an internet connection, you can go live this Sunday with just a couple of taps.
Regardless of your tech savviness, this is the plain-English guide for how to live stream your church service for free. In fact, once you follow the easy steps below, you can be up and running in 60 seconds (or less)!
In this post, you’ll learn:
- A simple definition of live streaming to help everyone on your team, and in your congregation, understand how to gather for worship online.
- How to live stream for free, with step-by-step instructions for using Facebook and YouTube.
- How to prepare yourself (and your team) for going live this Sunday!
- How to use the amazing ChurchSpring live streaming features to take the guesswork out of tech.
- And a few pro tips to look good on camera and serve your people without missing a beat.
Now, let’s get started.
What is Live Streaming and Why Does it Matter?
First, some good news, you’re already used to live streaming. Think of it like live news reporting on TV.
Live streaming is simply broadcasting a live video over the internet where anything can happen—good, bad, or funny!
Live streaming matters because it uses technology to make real-time moments shareable with one another. For your church service, this means your people can “be with you” as your message or worship is happening.
Live streaming also opens your service up to anyone in the world with an internet connection. In fact, over 7 million people now stream services each weekend through the YouVersion Bible app alone. Additionally, this technology matters because your message can be shared, watched, and re-watched throughout the week. Even when church doors are closed, browser tabs are open!
In a word, live streaming your church service is a free way to increase attendance—and therefore the Gospel’s reach into homes, offices, and hearts worldwide.
PRO TIP: To look great, sit by a window during daylight. God is the best at lighting.
How to Live Stream Your Church Service for Free
Now, let’s walk through the simple steps to live stream your service using a smartphone or webcam on your laptop. These are ideal for up-close video streaming. Now, if you have an external camera and need guidance on setting it up to live stream, read this in-depth article here. This setup is more complex and costs a bit of money, but it can certainly be done. For this post, though, we’ll keep it basic and focus on smartphones, laptops with built-in cameras, or desktops with a webcam.
So let’s get started with step-by-step guidance for Facebook and YouTube, as these are two platforms most of your congregation will be used to using.
#1. Set Up a Free Facebook Page or YouTube Channel
If you already have a church Facebook page or YouTube channel set up, you can skip this step and move on to step two.
If not, here is a wonderful post to walk you through setting up a church Facebook page. And here is another to help you easily create a YouTube channel.
Once you have both accounts set up, it’s time to prepare to live stream!
#2. Jumpstart Your Live Stream
Alrighty, time for the good stuff. Let’s jumpstart your live stream with a practice run on both platforms.
We’ll tackle Big Blue first.
PRO TIP: If you’re on your phone, make sure to download and use the app for this rather than your internet browser.
How to Live Stream on Facebook
As said above, all you need is a camera (phone or laptop cameras are perfect) and an internet connection. Also, the steps will be exactly the same, whether you’re on a phone or laptop.
To begin, navigate to your church’s Facebook page using the search icon at the top right of the app.
(Note: you want to first go to your church’s page before going live, so you don’t accidentally stream live from your personal profile, making it tough for people to find.)
PRO TIP: Make sure you are an “Admin” on your church’s Facebook page. Ask whoever manages your current page to double check, and if you’re unsure, follow these directions from Facebook to do it with just a few clicks.
You’ll see a search bar appear at the top of your screen. Simply type your church Facebook page name into the bar, then select it from the drop-down menu.
From your page, you have two options to live stream. Option 1 is choosing the “Live” icon, as highlighted below.
Option 2 is choosing “Create a post” and then “Live Video” from the drop down menu below the post text field.
Last, write a short description of your church service or message in the text field, highlighted in green below.
Think of this like your welcome slide at the beginning of your normal, on-site service.
PRO TIP: If you’re using a phone, make sure you decide which way you want the video to display, landscape or portrait. If you want a landscape video, hold or prop up the phone horizontally and make sure your orientation lock isn’t on!
How to Live Stream on YouTube
Next, you can go live on YouTube via phone or computer as well! But there are two things to note.
- First, unless your YouTube channel has 1,000 or more subscribers, you can’t live stream from your phone. You can still use your computer. So make a plan for this.
- Second, there is one extra step before streaming if your channel is new. You need to verify your channel by following the steps here. It’s simple.
However, it’s vital you do this at least 48 hours in advance of live streaming time—the last thing you want is to try to stream at 10 am service only to find out you have to verify your account. It takes at least 24 hours for your account to be approved for live streaming.
Once complete, it only takes a couple of easy steps to start.
- From the app on your phone or the site on your computer browser, you’ll choose the video icon at the top right.
- After clicking or tapping, you will choose “ Go live.”
On a laptop, it looks like this.
On your phone, it looks like this.
And voila… You’re live!
#3. Spread the Word
Once you have the mechanics down, you can live stream in seconds on either platform.
The next step is to simply let your congregation know:
- Your service will be live streamed.
- Where to watch the live stream.
- Share the recording once it’s over.
Now you know exactly how to live stream your church service for free on both Facebook and YouTube.
But wait… We can’t leave you without a bonus tip and short preview of how to press the easy button on live streaming through your church website.
PRO TIP: If you’re going to live stream worship music with a phone or laptop, strip it down to one acoustic guitar or piano with a vocalist. A full band won’t translate well without professional recording equipment.
#4. BONUS: Use Live Interaction
Remember, this technology is different than simply sharing a video. Because you are live, you can interact with anyone watching in real-time.
Take this as an opportunity for a live Q+A, prayer requests, or even bringing guests on with you live.
Leverage the technology to engage with people in unique ways, treating your service as an opportunity to interact in two directions, rather than one.
PRO TIP: Remember your video is live, publicly available, and recorded. So make sure not to share sensitive information over broadcast.
How to Live Stream with ChurchSpring
Now, we really did save the best for last. How would you like to quick-start live streaming straight from your church website?
Here’s the hassle-free, foolproof way to live stream your church services using the ChurchSpring platform.
Watch this short video to see it in action!
You’re Now Ready to Go Live!
Live streaming your church service for free is as simple as 1, 2, 3.
- Prepare your social media accounts.
- Do a practice run beforehand.
- Spread the word that you’re going live.
Most importantly, have grace with yourself—because your people will have grace with you.
Gathering as God’s people has never been about creating the perfect show. Instead, it’s about creating a place to grow spiritually and spur one another on to love and good works (Hebrews 10:25).
Remember, if you want to spin up a new church website set up to live stream out-of-the-box, signup for a ChurchSpring demo today. You can launch your hassle-free website in 90 seconds.
Learn how today by clicking here or try out ChurchSpring for free to effortlessly take your church online.