Christmas time is rolling in quickly, and things are going to look a little different this year.
Festive gatherings and large events were a sign of the times in Christmases past, but this year, we will be celebrating with a little bit of physical distance.
In order to keep the holiday cheer alive, many churches are carrying on with their Christmas programs and events but are giving the congregation the opportunity to attend from home. They are live streaming their traditional programs to make them available to anyone with the internet.
In this post, we’re going to discuss some ideas for virtual Christmas programs with some tips on how to make your church’s live streaming program a success.
Table of Contents
- Why Live Stream Church Christmas Programs?
- Types of Virtual Christmas Programs
- Christmas Plays
- Choir & Music Performances
- Youth Programs
- Christmas Films
- Tips for a Successful Virtual Christmas Program
Why Live Stream Church Christmas Programs?
Live streaming your church services and programs opens up attendance to people who are safer at home or cannot physically attend for any other reason.
For youth programs, in particular, live streaming makes it possible for friends and families of the children to tune in, even if they aren’t local.
The ability to host virtual events is particularly useful this year when there are limitations on the sizes of gatherings. It will give you, as a Christmas event organizer, the ability to spread the cheer without packing your venue with people.
Types of Virtual Christmas Programs
There are a few different types of virtual Christmas programs that your church can live stream to find the perfect balance between secular festivities and the real “Reason for the Season.”
Here are a few of the top virtual Christmas program ideas for 2020.
1. Christmas Plays
First up on our list of Christmas programs for streaming live church services are plays.
Putting on a play or pageant is an engaging way to involve the whole congregation in a Christmas-themed activity. Christmas plays are popular for many reasons.
First, they’re fun to watch and participate in, and they can set the scene for lifelong memories. Additionally, they can teach powerful lessons that are hard to digest in other mediums.
There are dozens of great plays available online based on both new stories and the Bible. For example, one good source for play ideas is The Skit Guys, which includes a list of plays and links to purchase the scripts.
In terms of streaming live church services, Christmas plays are ideal not only because of the “fun” component. They can easily be recorded and added to the archives for playback for years to come. For more ideas on this, in particular, you can check out Ministry to Children’s online archive of Christmas play for youth.
2. Choir & Other Music Performances
The power of voices raised together in song is impossible to ignore. That’s why choir performances can be another great content idea for streaming live church services. During the Christmas season, it’s the perfect time for beautiful choirs to sing together in harmony.
While experiencing live music in person is best, catching a performance via streaming video isn’t far behind. With good quality recording equipment, your favorite choir performances can live on for years to come.
Relatedly, another suitable content type for streaming live church services is Christian music in general. It’s a good idea to provide a nice source of background music for those watching your stream.
A good source for finding Christian music videos is the music section of www.GodTube.com. Please keep in mind that you’ll need to secure rights to these videos before you play them to your congregation. The only exception to this rule is for music marked for “fair use.”
3. Youth Programs
Today, many parents aren’t comfortable letting their children simply watch mainstream television or browse the internet without supervision. This is why youth-oriented content is a great application for streaming live church services.
Some churches, for example, choose to record important Sunday School lessons and activities. Then, they can play these back via video stream during a designated time for children’s programs.
You can create Christ-centered Christmas content that shares the true meaning behind the holiday. Of course, the secular elements like Santa and related traditions are fun but tie in your faith to give the children an enriching experience.
In terms of content options, these programs can be interactive and involve singing, repeat-after-me, or other techniques to help educate and engage youth in a fun and accessible way.
4. Christmas Films
People have been celebrating Christmas for centuries upon centuries, so naturally, there is a plethora of Christmas-related content that already exists. Your church can live stream Christmas films and videos with the quick adding of a source. This way, your congregation can watch a movie together even if they are not physically together.
We recommend checking out That Happy Certainty’s list of 15 excellent Christmas videos to start. These musical and uplifting productions are sure to be crowd-pleasers.
Another 45 great Christmas videos can be found at Communicate Jesus, a website dedicated to digital inspiration for ministry. This list contains some content that churches must purchase before you can play it at your church or on a live stream. Nonetheless, the prices are reasonable and likely affordable for many churches.
Additionally, there are other forms of shared video material your church can use. For example, let’s say you saw a sermon, play or choir performance at another church that was particularly moving and powerful. You may be able to contact the church that produced the material and request a recording.
Most churches will provide this sort of content without charge as another way to spread the word. Others may ask for nominal fees to help them cover the costs of production.
The sermon is part of the core of every church, and for good reason. It’s rare in modern culture that people sit in quiet contemplation while spiritual leaders offer guidance in navigating the troubles of the world.
Video recording equipment is too accessible to make excuses anymore. Plus, you never know when your pastor is going to touch inspiration and deliver the homily of a lifetime.
Live sermons allow you to reach members of your church who are traveling or even reach new audiences around the world.
Tips for a Successful Virtual Christmas Program
New to live streaming? No worries. Here are a few tips for making your church’s Christmas live stream a success:
- Do several trials runs to get familiar with your setup
- Promote your virtual Christmas program on social media and email newsletters
- Simulcast to Facebook to reach your existing audience
- Invest in lapel mics for enhanced audio quality
- Download OBS Studio encoding software to get started
- Follow your online video platform’s suggested encoder settings
With a little bit of practice, we’re sure that your Christmas live streams will be a success.
Christmas is a special time of year. Aside from the festivities that you know and love, this season offers an ideal opportunity to expand your reach with streaming live church services. Live streaming will help you bring your events to the members of your community who are unable to join the celebrations in person.
Your church may have a tech team, but you may not have anybody with live streaming experience. With the help of professional live streaming software for churches, this should be no issue at all.
With Dacast, for example, starting a live stream is as easy as creating an account, configuring your encoder settings and other preferences, and clicking “Start Streaming.
You can try Dacast risk-free for 30-days to see how it could work for you this holiday season. Sign up today to start streaming.
If we’ve missed anything, let us know in the comments. For regular tips and exclusive live streaming offers, you’re also invited to join our LinkedIn group. And as always, feel free to contact us to learn more about Dacast, and thank you for reading!