Using Live Streaming Systems For Churches

Using Live Streaming Systems For Churches

Today I am continuing my write up of the church technology workshop presented by Worship Summit Live and PTZ Optics. Their third speaker was Alan Bunt. He is the live streaming coordinator for Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids Wisconsin.

They have been live streaming for over 10 years and he brings his years of experience to the table in this informative seminar on live streaming systems for churches. He talks about how they have turned their small church’s live stream into a viable ministry that reaches as far as Ecuador.

I personally think you will find how they have incorporated the concept of “online members” of their church into their total church live.

Live Streaming Systems For Churches – Alan Bunt

Key Takeaways From This Live Streaming Systems Seminar

Their history of doing online broadcasting of church services

Alan and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church began to reach out to their community with video in 2007 when they partnered with a local cable access station. The station provided air time to broadcast their church services.

Alan talks about their beginning and how it would take 8 hours to produce 1 church service. After a couple of years, he began to look for other alternatives. In 2009 they began to live stream with a single camera live streaming system in their church and an antiquated live streaming software solution.

Eventually, Alan presented his vision to his church for the live streaming ministry and they stepped up and purchased $10,000 dollars worth of equipment.

Their results in live streaming since 2009

When Good Shepherd Lutheran Church began live streaming, they had an average Sunday attendance of 150 people and 30 or so people per week that viewed their live stream.

Today the church has 300 people on any given Sunday and another 300 “online members” that view the live stream faithfully.

Their live streaming camera system

Alan then goes into their current live streaming system that they use. Here are some key components of their live streaming system.

2 computers

They have 1 computer that is running Vmix. Vmix is a live streaming software solution that in my opinion the best on the market today. The second computer they use is a laptop. This is used to run the chat software for the live stream and for any other needs that they may have.

5 high definition PTZ Optics cameras

Recently Good Shepherd upgraded their entire live streaming system to give them the ability to stream in high definition video. They upgraded their cameras to the PTZ Optics HD cameras.

They have a total of 5 cameras in their system. 3 are hard mounted in the church sanctuary meaning that they are not mobile but attached to the structure. They have one camera on a tripod that allows them to use the camera anywhere inside or outside the building, and they have a final camera hard mounted in their multi-purpose room.

2 internet connections

Good Shepherd pays for 2 internet connections. 1 is dedicated to the live streaming system giving them 10mb of upload bandwidth. The other is dedicated to the church LAN and Wi-Fi connection.

Camera Controller

They also have a camera controller that remotely operates each camera in the system. They are currently using a Sony remote that will work with PTZ Optics cameras, but if you are starting fresh, I recommend the PTZ Optics remote that we are starting to use.

10 years of live streaming

Next, Alan talks about some of the things he has learned over the 10 years that Good Shepherd has been live streaming. He talks about…

  • He talks about their “online members” and the process they went through to ensure their church membership standards were met by online members and how online members are viewed.
  • He talks about the struggle of incorporating a chat room as a viable part of their live streaming system and how important it is to their online members.
  • He talks about the benefits of using Vmix software in automating all your processes.
  • He shows how he uses text and slides in the live stream and how to put the graphics of the songs they are singing in the live stream.
  • He talks about how they take up online offerings using PayPal and the church website rather than using donate buttons on YouTube and Facebook Live.

Next steps

Finally, Alan talks about the next steps they are planning to take. This will include him being less hands-on and more as a producer. They will be training volunteers in the process and start training other Elders in the church in how the whole live streaming system works.

All in all, this was a very interesting live streaming seminar and gave me personally, something to shoot for in the future. I hope it is helpful to you in your search for information on live streaming systems for churches.

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Duke Taber

Duke Taber has been a Senior Pastor of various churches since 1988. Prior to that, he was involved in the Christian rock scene opening for such notables as Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Rez Band, and once played briefly with Darrel Mansfield. Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world. He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center.