Does your place of worship have a plan for congregation members who want to attend your services but are unable to? Whether it’s from travel, sickness or the inability to leave the home, members or potential members want to hear your message, but may not be able to due to unforeseen or unchangeable circumstances.
Fortunately, churches have new opportunities to spread their word and increase their reach in the community. More and more churches are adapting to technology to record and live stream their services to reach members where they spend a large portion of their time – on social media.
When it comes to live streaming video capabilities, the sky is really the limit. It just depends on the amount of time and investment you’d like to commit to it. There are a number of platforms to choose from that can make the process fairly simple. Facebook and YouTube are both free streaming platforms; all you need is an account. Other paid streaming services include Vimeo, DaCast, Stream Monkey and Boxcast and come with added features.
You’ll also want to consider what type of video streaming system is right for your organization’s needs. We recommend avoiding the DIY route. Creating a custom video streaming system can be complex; partnering with an expert in the field who has experience installing and programming these systems specifically for church-like settings is best. In addition, your streaming services should have the potential to grow with your church so finding a scalable solution is key.
Benefit #1: New Communities Can Be Reached
The power of social media sharing is immensely beneficial for expanding into new audiences. Each time your sermon ‘goes live’ on Facebook, anyone connected to your page will receive a notification to their smartphone. They can choose to view it live or even watch it later when it’s more convenient for them. Users also have the ability to share the recorded sermons to their newsfeed, reaching new audience members organically. Given the power of word of mouth marketing, having your service shared from your member’s friends and families (free of charge) is really like receiving a testimonial to your religious organization.
Watching your sermons online can also help you connect to the potential members who are unsure or not ready to commit to your organization. It takes the pressure off attending if they’re not ready while keeping your church top of mind.
And not to worry: live streaming church services do not discourage actual attendance. A study by Digitell found that 30% of people attending a live-streamed event actually attend the live physical event the following year.
Benefit #2: Increases Accessibility
Stay engaged with your current members even while they’re away. By live streaming church services via Facebook Live or other platforms, members who are traveling for work, on vacation or have even moved will be able to virtually attend your services.
Furthermore, members with disabilities, the elderly, sick, or those who are homebound can also participate. Often, these are the groups of people that want to connect and receive support from your organization the most. With a high-performance video streaming service, picture-perfect video can be viewed live or on-demand video via your website. This creates an inclusive organization where your congregation can show its dedication to everyone in the community, whether they can be physically present or not.
Benefit #3: Engage with a Young Audience
For a religious organization, connecting with youth is important as they are the next generation of congregation members. Social media giants like Facebook and YouTube not only boast the largest number of users, they also serve young demographics. For instance, 51% of all ages 13-17 and 79% of all ages 18-29 are on Facebook. Moreover, younger audience members, including millennials, are large consumers of live streaming content. Sixty-three percent of Facebook users age 18-34 state that they watch live-streaming content on a regular basis.
Benefit #4: Creates a Video Library of Sermons
Your live stream video can be used in more ways than one. After it’s broadcasted, your video can be recorded and made available on your website. This is a great feature for those who couldn’t attend but wanted to be there.
Recorded online sermons can also be used to help attract new congregation members. This allows potential members to be inspired by your message before even stepping foot into your place of worship and learn more about who you are. You can even set up different video channels to help organize your content. For example, a dedicated channel can be created for Sunday mass services, choir performances, bible studies, announcements, etc. It’s an effective way to stay engaged to your members, as you can produce content that reaches them more frequently.
Benefit #5: Online Tithing is More Popular Than You Think
Digital charitable giving is becoming more popular among church-goers. In fact, a study from Nonprofit Source found that churches that accept online tithing increase overall donations by approximately 32% and 60% of church attendees stated that they are willing to donate online. As these facts support, online tithing makes it easier for more church donators to give back.
Churches rely on this funding to maintain their organization, making it critical to bring your church to the digital age. Online video streaming has the capability to reach a larger audience and grow your church which impacts the funds you’re able to raise.
Benefit #6: Affordability
A common misconception about video streaming systems is that they cost an arm and a leg to produce. This is simply not the case. After the initial investment of purchasing the audio and video equipment and having it professionally installed, it’s relatively inexpensive to maintain. As we mentioned, some streaming services such as Facebook and YouTube are free of cost, while others come with a monthly fee of anywhere from $19-$150 depending on the desired features.
High-quality video production may appear costly thanks to state-of-the-art technology and installation, but it can be done at an affordable cost that will pay off for years to come.
Is Your Church Ready for Video Streaming Services?
Lifetronic Systems specializes in creating custom video streaming systems specifically for places of worship and serves all types of religious institutions including churches, synagogues, temples, worship halls and more. If you’re ready to learn more, contact us today.