House of Worship Streaming on Facebook

For many churches around the globe, streaming from Facebook has become the norm for their weekly gatherings.  With the onset of the pandemic many churches that may have used streaming as a viewing option, are now forced to use this as their only option.

In recognizing this shift, Facebook has stepped up to provide some excellent free tools that allow churches to better engage with their congregations.  Teaming these powerful tools with a simple camera and encoder can make for a simple yet professional looking and sounding live stream.

One of the great features that Facebook has provided is the Live Producer.  This tool allows users to schedule a live-streamed event by creating an event post that can be shared via social platforms.  Beyond this awesome way of sharing an upcoming event, Facebook has packed other great features into the Live Producer tool, such as Dial-In audio.  By allowing this as an option, the host can share this number and access code with attendees as an alternative way to listen in to a live stream.  This is especially great for folks who may not have a smartphone or easy internet access or social media accounts.  

Within the Live Producer tool, you can also engage with live stream attendees as the event is going on.  You can see real-time analytics and communicate and moderate with guests and their comments as they join the stream.  To make this an even more inviting experience, churches can add their staff members as moderators on the Facebook page allowing up to 10 of these members to be hosts of the live stream while it is in progress.  Hosts are tagged as such when commenting on the stream adding credibility to the engagements during the live event.

Facebook can also be paired with video conferencing software such as Zoom.  This can be beneficial as well as you can stream board meetings, Sunday school classes, or even kid ministry activities.  By introducing a product such as Zoom into a live stream, can allow for a more intimate worship experience bringing worship and teaching together from different locations.  Beyond this, Live Producer also has the ability to cross-post to numerous pages or even to simultaneously record to a camera roll on a device for use later.  
After your live stream has finished, you can also trim and clip previously live videos.  This is helpful if you are wanting to trim off a pre-service or countdown to live and just post teaching content and music. With this tool, you can also snip out clips from previous videos to use as standalone video clips in future Facebook posts.  

These features along with many new developer and broadcast partnerships, where most are free have quickly created an easy to use live environment where churches can truly engage their congregation during their planned gatherings.  Where streaming was not the first option before, it has become a prominent option for churches and other entities that rely on weekly gatherings.  As the world continues to recover, live streaming will continue to be a preferred way of attending church services and live events, bringing people closer together.  As Facebook continues to develop features that allow us to stay connected, we can only assume that other means of broadcast will follow in their footsteps, as engagement continues to become digital versus physical.