Many churches I visit these days are doing some sort of streaming of their services. While this is common today it was not at all common when I first streamed a live service at Hope Church in Mason somewhere around 20 years ago. There was no possibility of video and the audio only stream was glitchy and poor quality. But, we wanted to make the message available to more people and we foresaw the trend that how content was consumed was about to change significantly.
Fast forward to today and I have been assisting Anderson Hills UMC in setting up streaming for both their Traditional and Contemporary worship services. Along with an associate we have configured the systems to stream a full 1080P video image with almost no glitches providing the viewer a great, high quality experience.
So how about the value to the church? When we started streaming way back then it was difficult to know how many viewers we actually had. After we upgraded at Hope Church about 15 years ago and included video and converted from Real Media to Windows Media, we were able to have an online monitor of the streams and, in real time, view the ip address of those logged in and where they were coming from. I was very surprised to see that we were getting viewers from all around the US and, if I remember correctly, we had around 100 simultaneous viewers pretty much on a weekly basis. And this was without the benefit of any marketing or social media, just word of mouth and the church website. Today churches like Crossroads have tens of thousands of online viewers each week.
So I would ask, why would a church not have a livestream setup for their services? It allows a way for shut-ins to see the service live, those on vacation or away on business to feel connected. And family members who have moved away to stay in contact. And with the on-demand feature, archived services can be viewed at any time, anywhere in the world. For me this is an essential feature for every church that is serious about personal ministry and instruction to anyone and everyone.
Sound Concepts is partnering with a local hosting company to make streaming affordable even for the smallest of churches. We are offering a service whereby the church no longer requires an internet savvy person to be available at the beginning and end of each event. We will arrange for the stream to begin and end automatically each week. Nothing to do but start the service and thereby reach people that otherwise would not be reached. If this is of interest to you please give me a call and I will be glad to discuss the requirements and program details. Or you can click this link to read more about what we are offering.