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Church Online -Live Steaming

Many churches have experimented with doing 'church' differently; with the right engagement, churches can worship together, preach, pray for each other, give financially and build community online.

Live streaming is only a first step it is not the full solution. Rather, we need to shift the entire model of church to an online community with multiple ministry expressions.  Church is a people community, and this situation is best viewed through a people-centric lens.

Now the local church cannot meet on a Sunday, substituting the meeting with a live stream is not going to be a comprehensive-enough solution for a month or longer.

If people are used to a physical Sunday service, it will take more than one video to compensate for what that experience used to bring.

Put simply, a live stream is not the full answer: it is part of the answer. But, if churches are in sustained lockdown, we need to think beyond a live-stream of a Sunday service, and we have to think about how to function as a church digitally.

For information on what is best for Live Streaming including equipment recommendations watch this Webinar from Baptist Together:

The best solution – a new model for a new world:

So, how do we help people transition emotionally from normal weekend services, to an online community?

1. Live stream the Sunday service on multiple platforms:  Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are free. 

2. Nominate an Online Co-ordinator: they can be a volunteer or a staff member. They will host the online chat and engagement.

3. Create a simple webpage or a page on your website that lists all of your online expressions (live streaming, giving, etc.).

4. Start a ‘Weekday at Home’ live devotional from someones house, it’s a different message and concept to a Sunday service, and adds new value to the online model.

5. Emphasise small groups and live ‘watch parties’, this is a way in which small groups of people can share online and be together.  This can be hosted by Zoom, Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp

6. Have a daily, live online ministry time on social media that includes things like prayer, communion, and scripture reading.

7. Move as much financial giving to automated online options by speaking openly and candidly to the church.

Not being able to host large gatherings may force us to relook at the Acts church and rediscover the importance and joy of grassroots ministry, caring for our local community, and relying on the Holy Spirit each day.


We have become used to crowds – it is time to rediscover the infinite value of the individual.

We need to find innovative new ways to add extra value that didn’t exist previously. My suggestions are really just conversation starters. 

We need to adjust our Sunday service to keep in mind how it will be experienced online.

Consider the following practical suggestions for online ministry:

  • Shorten services. Attention spans are lower when it comes to videos (1-hour total).

  • Camera engagement – emcees, worship leaders, and preachers should regularly make eye contact with the camera and specifically address their online viewers.

  • Videos: you can use a smart phone. The latest generation smart phones tend to have outstanding cameras. 

  • For Pre-recorded videos then keep your camera, phone, iPad in the landscape position.

  • For LiveStreaming videos need to be portrait for some platforms.

Please bear in mind copyright rules:

Concerning permissions for live-streaming your services, here are some guidelines:


  • If you’re using Facebook Live or YouTube for live streaming then the use of music is covered by existing agreements that these services have with the Performing Rights Society (PRS) and the copyright owners



  • Integrity Music are happy to allow the embedding/display of lyrics as part of the live stream for all the songs it controls on a gratis basis initially until the end of April at which time they will review the situation.  If you have a CCLI license please ensure that you continue to report all songs in your CCLI report


We would also suggest that you contact CCLI to enquire about their Church Streaming License


Furthermore, use of copyrighted songs does not extend to using copyrighted performances and there is a key difference. You are not allowed to pre-record Sunday services and insert worship performances from Rend Collective etc. That’s definitely a no, even on YouTube and Facebook.


Copyrighted music can be used in an original performance on YouTube and Facebook. Of course that leads to a further difficulty with a music group coming together and performing in close proximity which is against current measures. 

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