Churches and houses of worship bring people together through the combination of religion and community. It’s a place where people can find salvation and relief, especially during hard times.
Historically, tradition and word-of-mouth have been the way churches have expanded their reach. Today, modern technologies have created new options for getting church services out to those who wish to participate but are unable to attend a service in-person. Church live streaming services have brought the new potential for sharing masses, sermons, and other religious services.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, people cannot safely gather in large groups during this time of need, resulting in limited church services. Fortunately, it’s still possible to have sermons and gathering through live streaming software for churches.
Church live streaming platforms let pastors and other church leaders broadcast their sermons remotely to people both near and far without anyone leaving the safety of their own home.
In this article, we’ll discuss how churches can use church streaming services and how to live stream church service online. We will compare a few of the top church streaming services on the market based on price, features, and more.
Please keep in mind that streaming platforms for churches and their pricing change regularly. This post reflects the most accurate information as of April 2021.
Broadcasting a religious service offers many benefits for churches like yours. When you stream and broadcast a church service with a streaming platform, you can reach people who could otherwise not make it to worship with the community.
This could be people who are homebound due to an illness or injury, or people who are too old to drive themselves. People with disabilities also benefit from streaming church services. This is also particularly helpful during global crises, like COVID-19, which we’re currently experiencing.
Some other benefits of live streaming church services include:
It is also common to live stream church’s Christmas programs and other special events. This allows the congregation to attend from home.
We’ve created this step-by-step how-to guide on the live streaming of church services. While it may seem overwhelming to figure out how to get your Sunday service online quickly, we’re here to help you. Please follow this church services live streaming tutorial to set everything up correctly.
Start with a road map of where you are now and where you want to be. Take note if you already have video equipment available and what type of new equipment you’d like to invest in.
Consider where you want to stream your sermon. What sort of features do you need to make this happen? This will determine the platform you end up using to live stream the church service.
A reliable church streaming service is essential for hosting a professional-grade live stream. You will likely want a church streaming service that includes the following features:
In addition to checking all of these boxes, you’re going to want to choose a solution that fits your budget.
The success of a live stream starts with the setup. Choose a camera based on workflow requirements. Set up your camera with the view you want people tuning in to see.
Next, choose a video encoder. An encoder takes your video signal and converts it to a stream of data that can be sent over the internet. These are essential additions to live broadcast software for churches that you can use for encoding, but for the best quality, use dedicated encoding hardware.
Work on your lighting. When you work on your lighting within the church, your live stream will have a better quality picture for those watching. Use a separate mix for your audio live stream by using an Aux mix output. Then you can mix it remotely for a better audio feed.
Do a test run to make sure that your live streaming setup is ready to go. It is better to catch any snags in the system before you’re live in front of an audience.
Check your internet speed to make sure that it is fast enough to stream. It is recommended that your upload speed is double the speed that you plan to stream with.
At this stage, we also recommend ensuring that you have the licenses that allow you to stream the copyrighted music that you’re streaming.
Once everything is set up and working smoothly, it is time to get started. Create the stream, get the cameras rolling, and start streaming.
For more information, check out our series of videos dedicated to live streaming your church services.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular streaming services that ministers and pastors can utilize to stream religious or spiritual services. We’re basing our comparison of live streaming for churches on the features of each online streaming platform.
It’s important to note that these platforms are not platforms where you can view live streams of church services. These platforms are hosting platforms for those looking for ways to stream their church’s service to their congregation remotely. Churches are currently facing the problem of not being able to have an in-person sermon. These platforms are the solution to that problem. This guide to solutions and platforms available will allow congregations to live stream their church services around the world during this time of need and after too.
With that information, it’s time to compare the best qualified live streaming platforms churches should consider to stream sermons online. First up, we’ll take a look at our own online video platform.
Dacast specializes in live streaming for churches with plans starting from $39 a month.
Set at a competitive price point, the Dacast streaming platform offers a feature-rich and comprehensive solution for small to larger congregations.
Smaller churches with smaller bandwidth needs may prefer the Starter Plan ($39/month). It includes the same great features as larger churches on the Event or Scale Plans. Please, note that not all online video platforms (OVPs) offer such a starting plan at lower rates.
Additionally, Dacast makes it easy to learn the ropes of broadcasting as you test, set up, and start streaming, which is helpful for first-time church broadcasters.
All Dacast plans include content delivery with top-tier CDNs. With the reliability of a content delivery network, your viewers can watch your stream from all over the world by connecting a server closest to them.
All plans include:
For more details, please visit our pricing page.
Want to access all of our features and see how our live video solution can help you reach your Church’s streaming needs? Try Dacast risk-free for 30 days with our free trial.
StreamingChurch.TV is a church streaming service designed for church-related streaming alone.
This platform offers many “church-specific” features, including sermon notes, a map of church attendees simulating a live service, and more.
The map feature shows everyone in attendance and also groups them into a moderated chat, where individuals can discuss aspects of the live stream church service sermon. The Integrated Sermon Notes let you follow along as the sermon takes place, ensuring you don’t miss a moment.
StreamingChurch.TV does offer both live and VOD streaming, but only on Premium plans and above. In addition, this OVP offers embedding options to stream live video.
One significant drawback for some congregations is that StreamingChurch.tv does not stream content over a CDN. This can lead to poor video quality when there is a large congregation of viewers watching your broadcast.
Note that VOD, Ultra HD streaming, adaptive bitrate, and simulated live service features are available only on the Premium plan.
After accessing the one-month free trial, all plans include a one-time $79 activation fee and unlimited bandwidth (except for 24/7 broadcast ministries).
BoxCast is a live streaming solution that was built upon SundayStreams, which was devoted to churches and sermons. SundayStreams was acquired by Boxcast, which expanded its set of features to include a fully adaptive player and Google Analytics integration to access real-time analytics.
BoxCast has a good reputation for responding within 24 hours of a customer reaching out for support via email. However, if you want the guarantee of 24/7 customer support, you’ll want to consider other live streaming platforms for live streaming of church services.
This option does offer a 90-day money-back guarantee, which you can learn more about here.
The greatest strength of BoxCast is its simplicity and ability to reach novice broadcasters.
Please check out the BoxCast pricing page for an in-depth comparison of the plans.
ChristianWorldMedia offers affordable pricing and a lot of flexibility, making it a good option to consider for churches and congregations. With three different pricing options, even small religious communities can afford live streaming of church services with this platform. The online Bible integration feature can be very useful as well.
However, one setback of this platform is support for a limited number of viewers and abnormally low video quality. Before you commit to this platform, make sure that this won’t be an issue for your live stream church service.
Please check out the ChristianWorldMedia pricing page for additional information.
In terms of live streaming solutions for churches, TruthCasting offers many features for broadcasting all of your church-related events. The pricing stems from how many members you have on-site, rather than the features you need. No matter how many members, as long as you do not exceed your number limit, you have access to all of TruthCasting’s available features.
Unfortunately, TruthCasting only supports churches with less than 2000 members.
However, this OVP does offer good quality support. In addition, they host their services with Amazon’s Web Services. If you have questions about their CDN, check out our live streaming CDN comparison.
TruthCasting has a very simple all-inclusive pricing plan for $39.95 per month, which includes:
There is an option to add Facebook Live or YouTube Live for $10 per month.
In reality, MyChurchWebsite is a high-end website design company for churches. For example, one of their specialties is offering a full website design & setup based on whatever your needs may be. This is available for a one-time cost of $3,500.
This platform offers a separate live streaming solution for churches.
MyChurchWebsite does not offer any partnership with a top-tier CDN or 24/7 support. These are important factors to consider, as you’ll have no ability to reach out for support outside of business hours in the case of buffering or other issues.
Each of these plans includes the same features. The primary difference between them is the amount of storage and bandwidth they come with. Additional fees apply for bandwidth overages.
Vimeo is another solution available to churches and other houses of worship. Only Vimeo’s Premium plan comes with live streaming capabilities, so that would be the most suitable plan for live streaming church services. However, Vimeo also offers more advanced plans through their subsidiary, Livestream, which would also be suitable for faith-based streams.
That said, Livestream targets those with larger budgets, offering high-end features and customization options for churches that are willing and able to pay. The price point and limited plan options, however, don’t make it ideal for most churches.
Vimeo does offer streaming over a CDN, which is important for large-scale broadcasts streaming around the world. A global CDN can provide quality live streaming for churches to large audiences viewing the broadcast simultaneously.
Vimeo’s Premium plan includes the following professional features:
Vimeo offers basic video streaming pricing plans for broadcasters with different needs. These plans include:
Muvi is a live streaming service that has a religion streaming solution geared towards live streaming church services. This platform supports both live and on-demand video hosting.
This platform is fully loaded with professional features, but the price tag is equally as massive. After subscription costs and additional fees, the lowest priced plan is about $800/month. This is a huge investment for churches, so unless you’re running a megachurch with an equally “mega” budget, this platform may be slightly out of reach.
Muvi prices its plans at the following five levels:
Each of these pleas is subject to additional monthly fees starting at $299.
SermonCast has been serving the religious industry since 2006 as a live streaming solution. This platform offers support for both on-demand video hosting and live streaming. This is great for churches that create libraries of past sermons to share with their congregation.
SermonCast uses an HTML5 video player to reach members of the community on all different types of devices.
SermonCast requires broadcasters to set up a demo before accessing pricing plans. However, their site lists the following:
Not to be confused with StreamingChurch.TV that we reviewed earlier, ChurchStreaming.TV is another great live streaming solution for broadcasting liturgical services in real-time.
This platform is rich in features. It also comes with a complimentary setup without any heft activation fees.
There are a lot of great options for live streaming for churches, and the 10 platforms we’ve discussed are the best ones to consider using for live streaming of your church service. Consider membership costs, equipment needed, technical support available to determine which platform offers a solution to your problem.
In addition, pay close attention to the live streaming CDN when making your OVP decision. A top-tier CDN helps to ensure the best live stream church service. Additionally, we recommend treating 24/7 customer support as a non-negotiable. This is key for live events during the weekend like your Sunday service and after business hours.
We recommend taking advantage of the free trials offered by most live streaming solutions.
Not sure where to start? Why not give Dacast a try? Try our platform risk-free for 30 days to test out all of our high-end features. Whatever your goals, we’re here to help you find the right plan for your church’s needs and budget.
Sign up today to start your free trial. No credit card or binding contract required.
For regular tips on live streaming, you’re also invited to join our LinkedIn group.
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