Livestreaming exploded in popularity with churches during the pandemic. Social distancing required new tools and ways of thinking to maintain connection and community.
Fast-forward a few years, after the worst of COVID is behind us, and livestreaming still hasn’t dipped in popularity. Churches have recognized the benefits, seen how it’s created new avenues for engagement, and are actively seeking out ways to refine and maximize these platforms’ effectiveness for ministry.
Why Your Church Needs Livestreaming
If your leadership team and congregation haven’t yet experimented with livestreaming, or have tested the waters without fully committing, it’s worthwhile to acknowledge the benefits. After all, the 89% of churches currently livestreaming worship services must be doing so for a reason!
Expanding Your Reach and Impact
There’s a worry amongst a contingent of church leaders; they believe that embracing livestreaming will hurt in-person attendance. Especially on the heels of the pandemic, many ministries are wary about doing anything that might keep members and visitors away from their physical locations.
The truth is, livestreaming worship services can actually boost your in-person attendees. So many people these days explore the world through digital experiences—checking a restaurant menu before driving over for dinner, looking up hotel ratings before booking. Many feel the same about your church! Instead of first-time guests blindly heading over on a Sunday morning, they first want to “meet” your ministry online, and livestreaming your service is a great way to introduce them to everything that makes your church special.
Connecting with Remote Congregation Members
You’re not only catering to new faces. Your existing congregation will inevitably appreciate this additional option for engaging with your church.
Not every individual member or family can attend services in-person every Sunday. Sometimes they’re on vacation, or a family member’s sick and can’t be left home alone. So, instead of them feeling left out of the community and companionship, they’re able to remotely access service through your livestream and remain connected to the church.
Overcoming Challenges in a Digital Era
Of course, the truth of the matter—which you’re already aware of—is that people spend tremendous amounts of time looking at their screens. Between TV, work, games, and all the rest, our eyeballs are glued to digital media for several hours a day.
But instead of lamenting that fact, why not claim some of that attention for your church? Meet people where they’re at, and create content that will engage through modern mediums. Livestreaming is a powerful, proven tool for doing just that.
The Resi Difference: Advanced Streaming Technology
As you begin your livestreaming journey, you’ll probably discover a huge amount of options and an absolute flood of technical language. It’s virtually impossible not to be overwhelmed—but don’t sweat it. That’s what we’re here for!
At Pushpay, we’re proud to partner with Resi Media, a streaming solution that was founded to help churches know, grow, and reach their audience. The features and solutions they’ve developed in that spirit are truly industry leading.
Reliable and High-Quality Livestreams
Even if you’re not a tech whiz or a regular viewer of online video, you’ve definitely dealt with slow, glitching streaming in the past. Nothing’s more frustrating than the climax of a movie suddenly becoming fuzzy or cutting out completely.
Through their patented technology and years of expert development, Resi’s “ridiculously reliable” streaming solution delivers consistent livestreams that can even function through a full internet outage!
Suffice to say, if you’re hesitant about livestreaming for your church because of technical considerations, Resi’s solution will wipe away all those fears.
Engaging Features to Foster Connection
Many churches are moving to custom video players because they’ve realized the distractions associated with streaming on social media. Even if one of your remote congregants fully intended to watch your Sunday sermon live on Facebook, they’re going to be bombarded by advertisements and cat videos.
Custom video players remove those distractions—but Resi takes engagement features even further. Through Pushpay’s mobile app, livestream viewers are able to multitask by taking notes, looking up bible passages, filling out forms and more, all while the video’s still playing!
Seamless Integration with Church Platforms
Working with a custom streaming solution like Resi can seem overwhelming, especially if it needs to be integrated into so many systems you already lean on. Not to worry; Resi seamlessly integrates with all your favorite platforms, including Youtube, Facebook, and other social media sites, as well as Pushpay’s church app, and their team is always standing by to help you set up and optimize your tools.
Implementing Live Church Streaming in Your Ministry
So you’ve decided to take the plunge—congrats! You, your congregation, and your current and future community are about to start a worthwhile journey!
Let’s walk through some of the first steps for setting-up livestreaming for your church.
Choosing the Right Streaming Platform
A lot of considerations go into this part. Like we say at Pushpay, there is no one-size-fits-all technology solution for churches. Making decisions on the best match for your ministry requires research and diligence.
Figure out what factors are most important at this moment in time. Perhaps you’re just wanting an entry level platform, so you can test the waters? Or you might prefer an affordable, high-quality tool like Resi, to make sure your leadership and congregation understand just how engaging and fantastic this new era will be?
Ensuring Effective Communication and Promotion
When you start openly discussing your livestreaming initiative, you’ll need to highlight the benefits. Explain how much more flexibility livestreaming will provide for the existing congregation, and how it could act as a digital front door for future visitors.
Don’t be coy about this process! Make sure that you’re open and honest about the how, why, and when of livestreaming for your church, through all the communication channels you can. Consider sending personalized invitations to your congregation—who can in turn share the exciting news with community members who might be especially impressed and interested by your engagement channel.
Importantly, remember to stay open to follow-up and feedback. Your small groups or other leaders may have valuable insights; make sure you encourage suggestions about where the livestreaming experience could improve!
Embracing Accessibility and Inclusivity
As mentioned earlier, a major benefit of livestreaming worship services is its ability to include those who may not be able to enjoy your ministry otherwise. That’s a simple principle, once explained—but others in your congregation may not have considered that angle before. Be sure to share the value of livestreaming to those who may be temporarily long-distance (check out how Resi streaming facilitates connection for a remote, predominantly military community in Alaska!), those who sometimes struggle to leave home, and anyone else who’s unable to regularly attend worship service.
Measuring Success and Adjusting Your Approach
At this point, you’re well on your way. Livestreaming is up and running in your church, it has (hopefully!) been accepted by leadership and the congregation, and it seems like the heavy lifting is finally over.
But wait! You should be generating analytics data from all your livestreaming efforts. This information needs to be sifted through and understood, so that you can ensure you’re using your platform to its full potential.
Analyzing Engagement Metrics
Just as you reconsider and react to the health of your church, you’ll need to regularly evaluate the health of your livestreaming efforts. You’ll want to understand how many people are tuning in, how long they’re watching for, where they’re watching from, and more. That information is invaluable for adjusting your church’s approach.
Adapting to Feedback and Evolving Needs
Even if you’re comfortable with the analytic data you’re seeing from livestreaming, you’ll also need to be open and responsive to community feedback. Sometimes the hard data doesn’t paint a complete picture; the insights of the people actually engaging with your livestream are just as critical.
Keep in mind, your church’s dynamics and its goals might change over time. It’s important to regularly reassess if the livestreaming strategy that worked last year is still meeting your evolving needs.
Celebrating Success Stories and Lessons Learned
All great leaders know to embrace both the wins and the losses, because they both have value. Expect that to be the case as you dive into livestreaming. There will be times when you can excitedly share how a congregant with a health condition feels reconnected to the community. Other times, acknowledging that a stumbling block provided a needed lesson will increase transparency and inform your future with livestreaming.
The Future of Online Church Services
When the internet took off in the ‘90s, and even once online video first gained traction, livestreaming worship services seemed ridiculous. Few leaders seriously considered it would become a ubiquitous tool for the Church—but look where we are today!
Point being, there’s no telling where online church services may move in the future. You can, however, start preparing for what new-age shifts may come.
Embracing Hybrid Worship Experiences
The first step in getting ready for the future is actively engaging with the present model of hybrid church. In 2023, that means leaning into livestreaming, in whatever form and to whatever degree your church feels comfortable. By simply starting down that path, you’ll learn so much about technology and your congregation’s attitude toward digital discipleship—setting yourself up for success whenever the next church tech breakthrough arrives.
We’re here to help you build deeper connections in our increasingly digital world. With Resi’s livestreaming, it’s easier to connect your community, amplify engagement, and make an impact that resonates beyond the physical walls of your church. Book a demo today and see for yourself how easy it is to livestream with Resi.