Streaming Your Church Services on a Budget.

internet, online, streaming

Live Streaming on a Budget

There are both pros and cons for streaming your church services to an online audience.  Viewing or hearing a church service remotely isn’t a substitute for the fellowship you can only find when you’re at the live services on site.  Being on site also opens opportunities to take communion and attend other activities such as Sunday School.

On the other hand, a live or recorded service allows those not yet affiliated with a church to experience it in a safe setting.  It also helps those who are ill or injured and can’t easily attend services in-person.  Even more, those who travel can now hear the word no matter where they are ensuring all can experience the continuity of planned church services.  While a live streamed service isn’t a perfect substitute for an in-person service, it can strengthen faith and act as a conduit to in-person attendance.

For small churches looking to stream their services, there are several things to consider, balancing ease of use, cost, and quality. Even before choosing a streaming method, you need to ensure you have strong internet access and matching wireless internet (WiFi) connectivity (if Ethernet or wired connectivity isn’t possible).  For the methods listed below, you need at least 10 Mbps of upload speed to accommodate 1080p streaming.  Further, if using WiFi, your connection must be strong where your camera is.

Equipment You Will Need

  • A camera (and perhaps microphone)
  • A tripod to hold your camera
  • An audio interface (microphone or the existing audio feed at your church)
  • Another tripod to possibly hold your microphone if not using an existing audio feed
  • A computer/laptop (to capture from your camera and microphone/audio feed and send to your live streaming platform)

You will also need a streaming platform to capture your audio and video and present it online and then record it for later viewing.

Here are some of the best ways to stream your church service:

Social Media Platforms

  • Facebook Live.  Facebook is easy to use, integrates with existing Facebook pages, and allows for interaction through comments.  And it’s free!
  • YouTube Live:  YouTube is ubiquitous and global.  It also supports high resolution streams.  And just like Facebook Live, it is also free to use.

NOTE:  If you’re going direct to a social media platform, you may have limited cross publishing to other platforms.

Dedicated Streaming Services

  • is made specifically for churches, offering features like automated captioning, sermon archiving, multi-streaming to Facebook and YouTube and integration with church websites.  ChurchStreaming runs between $79 and $139 per month.
  • A focused platform that specializes in sermon broadcasting.  The platform supports both live and on-demand streaming and podcasting. allows multi-streaming to Facebook, YouTube and your church’s website. ranges in price between $22 and $154 per month.
  • Streamyard is one of the most popular streaming platforms and offers a free edition.  And it allows multi-streaming to Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and to your own website (with additional software added to your site).  Streamyard pricing ranges between $0 (free edition) up to $299 per month.  The $49 edition provide 1080P resolution, a must for live video.  Click here for Streamyard’s guide to live streaming for small churches.
  • Restream is also a popular stream platform for all industries.  Restream offers multi-streaming on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and X.  They also allow for streaming to your website.  Restream also has a free version.  Prices range between $0 and $199 per month.  The $39 version provides 1080P resolution, where most would want to be.  Here’s a link to Restream’s guide to live streaming church services.

Video Conferencing Tools

  • Zoom:  Zoom works well for interaction types of services and would be geared for smaller churches.  The free version only allows 40 minutes and a limited number of attendees.  Zoom can stream to YouTube to reach a larger audience.
  • Google Meet: Meet also works well for smaller churches.  Support for larger audiences though requires a Google Workspace subscription.  Meet can also stream simultaneously to YouTube.

Start Small

A computer, a camera, a tripod, a microphone or audio feed, a streaming platform, planning and setup are just the beginning.  Each church has its own needs based on its audiences, service plans and staff.  Find that one person who help your church get started with a basic setup, test what works best for your church, gradually get better and then train others on how to help.  All along get recommendations from your viewers, real time in chat or perhaps through surveys.  Live streaming your services can help those who can’t be there in person and can also be the perfect way to introduce your church to those who are looking for a home.

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