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Livestreaming
Treat your livestream just as you would your normal in-house services and plan ahead. Not knowing what you want to say could end in relaying too much information to your viewers and overwhelm them.

5 Ways to Improve Your Online Engagement

Before starting to livestream, maybe your church should first ask itself, “Should we livestream?” Just because your church has cameras and the ability, doesn’t mean you should.

Easter is coming this weekend, and as you prepare for Sunday, livestreaming may be a priority for you.

Before starting to livestream, maybe your church should first ask itself, “Should we livestream?” Just because your church has cameras and the ability, doesn’t mean you should.

This weekend, many of you may be streaming for the very first time, while others of you may be streaming weekly for your congregations. No matter if you stream church-wide or worldwide, here are five ways to improve your online engagement.

1. Plan Your Livestream Ahead of Time

Each week, as you prepare your stream, make sure that you give your congregation a heads up that you are going “live” this week. It is easier for your audience to find you, when you stream at the same time and place each and every week. For example, our church services start weekly at, 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m., and 11 a.m. each Sunday morning.

Our congregation knows that each Sunday, our livestreams begin at 9:14 a.m. and 10:59 a.m., so this way our congregation will have enough time to sign on and get settled into viewing the stream, before the service will begin.

2. Introduce Yourself

“Good morning, my name is Justin Crisp, and I will be your online host this morning. We are so glad you are joining us this morning. Please take a moment and introduce yourself as well.” This allows your viewers to be greeted and to know who they are chatting with.

Assigning a host to your stream can be very beneficial, as this gives people in your chatroom a direct person of contact. Once you have introduced yourself give your viewers the chance to introduce themselves to you and the others watching with you online as well.

3. Make Your Audience Feel A Part of the Service

There are many ways to include your audience in your stream on a Sunday morning.

  • During your announcements, have the pastor greet those joining you online.

While this may seem silly to some, I have found that most people will tend to be repeated viewers, just by being welcomed from someone in the live room. This welcome has made viewers feel as if they were not forgotten by those in the worship space.

  • Ask your pastor to make eye contact with the camera.

Who doesn’t want to be looked in the eye while being talked to? This will help keep your audience engaged by feeling they are just as important as those who are physically present as well.

  • Add ambient microphones to the audio mix.

Ambient microphones help the audience hear the energy inside the room. These microphones will allow the audience to hear cheers, claps, and other noises from within the room.

Hearing claps and “live” sounds will allow those online to feel as if they are in the room with you. Otherwise, the overall sound your audience will hear as they watch the livesteram can sound dry, lack energy, and be unappealing to listeners who may be searching for something a little livelier.

4. Plan What You Want to Say

Take time to think through what messages you want to get across to your viewers during streams. Having a script for yourself could be very helpful, and a generic script for volunteers to follow would allow everyone to relay the same messages to viewers.

Treat your livestream just as you would your normal in-house services and plan ahead. Not knowing what you want to say could end in relaying too much information to your viewers and overwhelm them. Provide links for your viewers in the chatroom, as this will allow them to visit your website to gather more information, if they desire.

5. Should We Livestream?

Before starting to livestream, maybe your church should first ask itself, “Should we livestream?” Just because your church has cameras and the ability, doesn’t mean you should.

You should ask yourself these questions before streaming.

  • Why are we streaming?
  • What is the win?
  • Who are we trying to reach?

The answers to those questions can really guide your streaming, as you move forward. Just because “everyone is doing it,” doesn’t mean it will be right for your church.

Remember, creating an online stream reflects your church for all to see. Would they see your church the same, hear your church the same, or view your church the same online, as they would, if they entered your church doors?

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