Live streaming your church services to YouTube

A Guide To Church Live Streaming On YouTube

Streaming your church Sunday services live on Youtube can prove to be extremely rewarding. Social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube enable churches to reach members of their community. Many times live streams can accommodate people who may not be able to attend service in person. Through live streaming, your organization has the opportunity to empower community members to share live mass and services with family and friends online. As a result, the process helps with church communications. Live streaming can help tighten your communities connection with your congregation. This blog post shares key tips that can guide you in the creation of a live streaming system. You can use a system like this to live stream to YouTube, Facebook or your church’s website.

Setting up your churches accounts

Your church obviously needs a Youtube channel and/or a Facebook page to live stream to. If you are just getting your accounts set up ask your church leadership for your non-profit status information. You are not required to set up the accounts using a non-profit status. But if you do, Facebook and YouTube will give you tools for fundraising. Adding a non-profit status essentially means that Facebook and YouTube will allow viewers and creators to send donations on your behalf. Creators can actually select your non-profit organization as the recipient of donations on their channels as well.

Building a live streaming system

After setting up the accounts, you will need to ensure that you have a user-friendly system for your volunteers to operate. We highly recommend PTZOptics Producer Kits, as these are designed to suit small or large church spaces. These systems come with PTZ cameras that can be easily be controlled remotely. This means volunteers can use a smartphone or an iPad to zoom into the pastor. PTZOptics camera are installed in churches frequently because they are small and discreet. The camera size is ideal for keeping with the aesthetic of a church environment.  Many churches choose to install white cameras with white mounting hardware. These cameras allow volunteer live stream producers and camera operators the ability to control optical zoom using a joystick controller. 

Streaming Systems for Churches
Streaming Systems for Churches

The PTZ Producer Kits are complete live streaming camera systems built around the Intel NUC. These computers feature a Windows 10 professional license. Instead of using a dedicated hardware system like many other streaming systems, this is a open Windows platform. The computer includes a suitable processor for handling live streams and has the ability to use almost any software your church may want. The system allows for easy integration with software that you may be using to display lyric on projectors or record content for social media. In this way, you can use the system in combination with software such as EasyWorship, Powerpoint, or ProPresentor to manage content on a projector as well as any live-streaming software concurrently. This makes the system an ideal choice for any church having the desire to start using a free live stream software (such as OBS – Open Broadcaster Software). With an open Windows system, churches can then later upgrade to paid software such as LiveStream Studio, Wirecast, or vMix if they choose.

Monitor Setup Church Streaming System
Monitor Setup Church Streaming System

A church case study

The Olivet United Methodist Church of Coatesville, PA has mastered the use of PTZOptics Producer Kit that incorporates three screens:

  1. Screen one – Used for handling PowerPoint presentation controls, which the volunteer uses to determine the slide that will show next.
  2. Screen two – For sending video link to the church system, which then distributes video content to four LCD displays and two projectors.
  3.  Screen three – Dedicated for use with vMix, which provides live streaming as well as the controls for video production.

After live streaming for only two months, the Olivet United Methodist Church of Coatesville, PA has connected with their church members watching from different parts of the world, including those on vacation or temporarily home-bound. This system enables live streaming of content to YouTube and Facebook simultaneously while recording a copy of the video. The Olivet United Methodist Church of Coatesville, PA relies on PTZOptics cameras linked to the system via Magewell SDI USB capture cards. A PTZ joystick supplied with the Producer Kit is used to control the cameras.

You can get more insights into the churches live streaming their sermons in this Facebook Group:

If you would like to know more, you can simply download the book titled ‘Helping Your Church Live Stream’ written by Paul Richards (PTZOptics Chief Streaming Officer) here.