Like podcasting, the process of broadcasting sermons online is really just a matter of choosing a streaming service and plugging the code snippet into your website. We’ve talked before on this blog about embedding audio and video on your site. Doing so is very simple, and a good way to get your message out, especially those that can’t attend your services every week. However, it is also possible to stream your sermons live (both audio and video) for church members who may not be able to attend due to lack of mobility, health, or other concerns. A live sermon is a great way to replicate the Church experience for those unable to attend.
It is possible to attend church “virtually” by providing a stream on your website. This can even replace recording your services and distributing them on DVD as many churches still do. If you have a camera and audio recording software, you can convert any digital video feed into an internet streaming feed with any number of tools/utilities. Many streaming services offer plug-and-play options, such as Ustream.tv, Livestream, or Google Hangouts On Air. Usually, these are paid services, but after creating an account, they make the process of embedding the stream into your website very simple.
Once a camera and microphone is in place, usually all it takes to stream your sermon to your church members is to use a video plugin. CMS packages such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal all have many plugins that are designed to interface with the video input. Many users also use the LiveStream website to embed their video onto a webpage. Embedding usually just involves pasting in a piece of code. Many users also recommend saving these videos locally so they can be hosted and downloaded later (beneficial if someone were to miss the live stream). In addition, it’s also possible to save the audio from a live stream as an MP3 audio file and then provide a podcast feed at a later time.
With the new tools available to churches at lower price points than ever before, online streaming has become a much more accessible option to reach out to your community. In the past, churches would have to pay production companies to even have the option of streaming online, but in recent years, everything has become simpler and more accessible when it comes to do-it-yourself technology. With a little research, it’s possible for a church with a limited budget/manpower to broadcast their message online without having to hire a company or dedicated employee for the task.