As a church leader in these difficult times, you may be concerned about keeping churchgoers connected in quarantine. While Coronavirus continues to spread, more and more people will be forced to stay home and away from regular church events. But faith and hope are more important than ever, so how do you continue to help your members worship? The answer: Bring church services directly to people’s homes with Connected TV apps.
Online church platforms, livestreaming services and Connected TV apps for church have been growing in popularity for years. For followers who live abroad, are too busy or cannot come in person for any reason, video is the perfect way to keep up their worship from home. And for church leaders, creating an advanced, immersive church app has never been easier.
Our team at MAZ has worked with numerous church leaders to transform how they share their faith online. In these trying times, we want to share our video expertise and help more churches thrive, despite the outbreak COVID-19.
If you are a church leader looking to bring your church into people’s homes, read our in-depth step-by-step guide below. And when you’re ready, get in touch with us at MAZ to move forward.
1. Find the right video equipment (camera, tripod, etc.)
Before your church can move online, you need some filming equipment to make it work.
First, you’ll need a video camera. If you have a personal laptop or smartphone with a camera, you may already be in business! You don’t need a complex setup to get the job done. But if you are looking to invest in high quality video, a decent camera for church streaming can cost anywhere from $100 to nearly $2000. Simple, less expensive options like the Canon R20 are a great choice. Or for more advanced churches or anyone with a video expert on hand, cameras like the Sony FDR-AX100 will really take your video to the next level.
Next, if you opt for a camera, you’ll need a tripod to keep your videos still. These can range in price from $20 to $200, with more expensive options having better sturdiness, ability to create moving shots and other features. If you just need a basic tripod to hold your camera still, AmazonBasics has a decent option. Or if you plan on moving the camera and creating more dynamic shots, try upgrading to a professional-grade tripod.
2. Get a computer for your church
Once you have your video equipment, you’ll need a computer to bring your church videos online.
Once again if you’re using a simple filming setup, your personal laptop can definitely do the trick. But if you’re opting for a more complex camera setup, make sure the computer you choose has enough power to handle the workload.
As a baseline, we recommend using a computer with at least these components: i5 or i7 processor, 4 to 8gb of RAM, GTX 950 – 1080 and a video capture card. If this is confusing, check out this list for a more detailed rundown of computers for church streaming and video production.
3. Pick the right streaming software
Streaming software is what your computer will use to mix your video and audio inputs in real-time and bring them live.
The simplest and easiest options are platforms like YouTube Live and Facebook Live. These social networks are free to use and let you immediately livestream your webcam to anyone you like on the web. For smaller churches, this is a great option.
But if you want to increase your production quality or record services for the future, there are dozens of popular options with a long list of features. We recommend a service like JW Player, which has an easy-to-use dashboard and can easily plug into any app services like MAZ. However, other solid options include vMix, BoxCast, ChurchStreaming.TV and beyond.
4. Bring your church to Connected TV and Mobile Apps
After step three, you have everything you need to start live streaming. But what’s the best way to make sure your church members really tune in every week? The answer is to make a custom Connected TV app for your church!
There’s no better online experience for people stuck at home than a beautiful streaming app right on their TV. And best of all, building this app is easy with a system like MAZ. On our platform, you don’t need any coding or design experience. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to build a fully polished streaming solution that fits your whole congregation.
Check out Catholic Faith Network’s Connected TV app for inspiration. They built their apps on MAZ to share their vast library of church services and shows, which their members love to watch at home.
5. Let your church members know it’s here
When your church has taken form online, it’s finally time to get the word out.
If you have an email newsletter, be sure to announce the big news ASAP. Share on your social media accounts, post on your website, and make sure everyone who is quarantined at home knows. As more people learn to live at home, they’ll be excited to see churches making your services available in a safe, healthy way.
Coronavirus and COVID-19 have made it very difficult to run church services as usual. But luckily for you, Connected TV apps and livestreaming can still help your church community thrive in 2020 and beyond. If you’ve been looking for a smart way to get online with video, we hope this article was helpful!
If you’re interested in seeing how MAZ can help you take your church to the next level, be sure to get in touch with us here or email us at Hello@MAZSystems.com. Thank you for reading and best of luck!