Live Streaming / Virtual Service Examples

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As many of you, at Living Water CRC, we've been doing a live streaming for the past few months. Here's an example of how we're doing live streaming. I'd love to share and learn from other church leaders and tech/production ministry folks on how we're each doing online/live streaming.

We're currently doing 100% remote but a hybrid model where our pastor is leading live and preaching live. We are pre-recording announcements, prayers and praise songs. In addition, we're including visual elements like borders/frames and lower-thirds to enhance the worship. We also including interactive elements where we are texting and commenting on the stream during our "greeting/fellowship" time. Lastly, we encourage our members to join the Zoom room to worship together and as we all watch the live stream.

In addition to the live presentation of the pastor, Zoom and the interactive greeting/texting has been an important element to make the worship feel in the moment and includes a level of urgency and participation. 

How is your church doing live streaming? What do you like or don't like about how we're doing live streaming? Do you have any questions on how to do live streaming for your church? Wed love to share and learn from you.

Living Water CRC Sunday Worship 5/10/20

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Community Builder

What a beautiful service you are doing! Our virtual service is much simpler. We have many members for whom logging in to a live service would be difficult so we stick with a pre-recorded service. Our pastor, Trent Elders, makes a video of his sermon. Trent is good at making a seamless video. He includes a short clip from one of our members with their greeting, and also a song or two, usually one at the beginning and one at the end. Our council is calling each member once a week (trying to) and Trent includes their prayer requests in his prayer. Here is one example of a service. Thank you for sharing!

San Jose CRC service

Community Builder

Thank you for sharing! I love the simplicity of the format and Pastor Trent seems to be doing a great job with putting together the service. One of the drawbacks of live streaming/presentation is that we sometime have audio syncing issues (lips & sound out of sync) and we sometime have buffering & delays that interrupt the streaming. However, that's that fun of doing it live right? :)

Admin

Thanks, John. Great idea to share examples and compare notes.

In my own church, all the service participants video record their segments on their phone/laptop (worship leader, prayer, scripture reading, sermon, music) and get them to one person who strings them all together into one video. Similar to Mavis' example of San Jose CRC.

Nothing live, which makes it a bit less pressure :-)  But it still feels somewhat live, because we're using YouTube's 'premiere' feature so the video launches at 10:30 every Sunday and everyone can watch it together.

For the singing, where possible they are grabbing from the audio recordings of prior services. That's a bit of extra work, I'm sure, but it's kinda cool because we get to hear the voices of our own congregation singing.

After the service, people are invited to join a massive Zoom 'coffee time' that is just as chaotic as the real thing. We randomly split everyone into 5-minute breakout rooms of 3-5 participants so we can chat with people and reconnect. Every 5 minutes, we're brought back into the main Zoom meeting and randomly divided into new breakouts with different people. I wasn't sure about that idea at first but it's actually turned out to be a lot of fun.

Here's a link to an example service. For churches who don't want to do live streaming, but do have someone who can put the video clips together into one video, this option has worked well for us. 

Community Builder

I love the virtual "Coffee time" with breakout rooms. We do a similar fellowship time afterwards in Zoom but it's a large group. Coffee and donuts w/random breakout rooms sounds more intimate and fun.

Community Builder

Nice, Tim. I experienced the Zoom small group feature in an online class I took this weekend. I had not known of it before. I was surprised how well it worked. Great way to use it - for "coffee time." I don't think I'd ever have thought of that!

When this first started, we livestreamed our services. Now we prerecord it.

 

When we were livestreaming, our pastor would do the prayers, announcements, and sermon from his couch at home. The service would stream live on Facebook and would be uploaded to YouTube afterwards. Our worship coordinator and her husband would record a separate video of them singing songs and hymns that people could watch or sing along with before or after the service.

We switched to prerecording so that we could have all of the elements of the service in one video and so that we could upload them to Facebook and YouTube at the same time. Prerecording also lets us add in videos so members of the congregation can do readings and the audience gets to see more familiar faces. This process means almost everything has to be ready by Thursday, but it also helps prevent buffering issues on Sundays.

 

We've been doing Zoom Social and Prayer Hours on Fridays, but not many people have been participating. I'm not sure if we have to change the times/days to get more people on, but we'll figure something out.

We are doing a hybrid as well where songs, children's message, and other elements are pre-recorded. I use an app called ManyCam that feeds directly to Facebook live. After the service, I capture the video from Facebook and put it on our church's website. Go to facebook.com/firstcrcfremont or firstcrcfremont.org/worship-videos for some examples. It's been great to get so many people involved and to have that "live" feel on Sunday morning.