How can I do a church service online each week? What do I do with our church social media pages? What do I post? Well, let’s have a look and unpack this.
Recently I’ve been getting a lot of messages from you guys asking me for tips and tricks on how to do church online. How can we do online services? How can we post things on our social media pages on our Facebook or Twitter, Instagram? What do we do? I don’t know what I’m doing. I haven’t gotten the tools or the skills or resources. Please help!?!
Well, hopefully today I can give you a slight insight and a few tips on what you can do to be church online. So a lot of us are asking the question of how to do online services. Well, to give you an insight for my churches, I am the youth minister across three churches here in Peterborough. And what I’m doing is I’ve taken on the role, the task to produce these online services. I’ve got the equipment and the skills already, but you guys don’t need to have all the equipment like I do. I have got a camera. I’ve got professional microphones. I’ve got a lav mic connected into audio equipment, as well as over cameras and other equipment. You don’t need all of this stuff. You can do an online service with just your phone.
People are not looking for you to be the next Bethel or elevation worship or Hillsong Church. They’re looking for someone local, someone familiar. Af ace they know and can connect with. And they’re looking for something intimate. And you can do that with just your phone.
For our services that I’m doing, I might be recording using my microphones and my camera. But I’m getting people from our church to record songs, to record prayers, and all they have is their mobile phones. And that’s good enough. I’m not here to deliver a professional standard video. I’m here to reach people with the gospel, to pray over people to worship together as one church. And we don’t need all this professional equipment. We can just do it with what we’ve got. So I encourage you to just use your phone, prop it up on something or if you need to get a cheap tripod off Amazon and prop that up. And then if you still want to go a step further, the microphone I have is the rode smart lav plus, and it currently costs just under 50 pounds on Amazon. What you can do is actually plug this directly into a smartphone and record with that and it will just give you that slight more crisper audio and just make it much better. Butt you can just use your phone for video.
So we’ve touched on how to record and capture your service. But how do we put it online? Well, for me, I have an extensive range of editing suites, I’ve got the Adobe Suite, which is expensive, you do not need the Adobe Suite, you do not need thousand pound software to edit this. You can edit this if you’ve got a Mac, you can edit this on iMovie, which is free. If you’ve got a Windows computer, then you can use movie maker. You don’t need to do extravagant edits, you can just cut out your start and finish and maybe put a title card or something, just to keep it fresh.
Then uploading your service, you can do live streams. I personally am not live streaming because there can be so many problems with this, your equipment might fail, the internet might cut out and I’ve also noticed over the past couple of weeks online services who are live streaming, the audio sometimes becomes out of sync and so you can hear the audio before the video starts playing. So I personally like to pre record our services and then premiere them on Facebook and YouTube. These platforms allow you to premiere your videos so you can schedule them for a certain time. We schedule ours for 10am and then what happens it will play the video out like a live stream, so everyone tunes in and is watching the same thing at the same time, and can chat together in the live chat. Then afterwards, the video turns into a normal video so people can come back to the service and watch it again and again over the coming weeks and months. This reduces the stress of live stream setups, and allows you to know what you are capturing. You can pre record stuff you can do many takes, edit it quickly together, and then schedule it on a Friday or a Saturday to come out on Sunday morning, and then you are set and ready to go.
So that’s doing an online service, if you’d like more tips and tricks if you head over to the UK church online website, we’ve got loads of links to resources from the wider church. There’s an online streaming guide that someone has set up, which if you want to do live streaming that will really help you out. We’ve also got a link To the faith on Facebook toolkit, which will help you navigate the whole Facebook platform. Amongst many other things, we’ve got the Church of England, they’ve made a how to use zoom for church meetings. I know that Soul Survivor Watford has been doing their church services through zoom, and live streaming that. So there’s an ability and option there to do your chat service through zoom. I know a church here in Peterborough, Life Church has been doing zoom services where they’re gathering everyone, over 200 people all on zoom, they’re doing their service, recording it and then uploading it later on in the week. So there’s an option for you to do that as well.
So now social media, we’ve done our online church service. What do we post during the week on social media? How do we interact with people? You’re probably sitting there going, I’m not a graphic designer. I’m not very good at creating content. What can I do?
What would you normally be doing as a church? In the week? What events? What things would you be doing within your church building? How can you translate that online?
For example, maybe doing a prayer request evening, maybe gathering people on zoom to pray together? Maybe sharing what Bible verses or devotionals you are engaging with. I’ve created a free social media kit, which is on the UK church online website. And you can download that and there’s a load of images on there. For example, one is how can we pray for you today? You could share that image and it will allow people to comment and you can pray for them. There’s another one, which is what Bible verse brings you encouragement? I’m going to continually add images to this kit for you to use on a weekly basis. There’s no branding or anything on it. So you are free to use those.
There’s so many more things that you can do. But just be real, just be intimate, engage with people how you would normally engage with them. You don’t have to look professional. A lot of your posts can just be text and be like, how is everyone doing today? How can we pray for you today?
If you want to create images and graphics but don’t have the skills or ability to, there’s an amazing tool called Canva, which is an online platform. So you can enter onto a browser and head to Canva and be able to create graphics, create photo designs, and not have any knowledge of editing skills. Literally drag and drop things. Choose from templates, design things and it’s all free. And the great thing is there is a pro version which is normally paid. But churches can get this for free through the nonprofit program.
So that’s just a few insights, a few tips and tricks that I hope you’ve found beneficial. I’m going to be continually updating the website and continually sharing things within the UK church online Facebook group, feel free to get in touch, share your tips and tricks, post things in that group. That group is there for you to encourage one another. So get involved get stuck in.