Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Brian Harris

    I’m hoping that brands and church pages will have this function available too and expand the potential audience that we can reach. I used Periscope a lot when it first came out and it still has its merits to reach a particular audience demographic, but I look forward to using Facebook live as our audience is nearly 4x as big there as it is on Twitter.

    I was eating lunch with a pastor friend on Monday and was telling him about you using Facebook Live on Sunday due to the weather. I was telling him that it might be something we need to think about to have in place in case we ever had a weather situation that required us to cancel services.

    Great post Nathan!

    • nathancreitz

      I agree with you, I’d much rather host the live feed on our church’s page rather than on my personal profile. Maybe this post will put a little pressure on Facebook to open that possibility? I also hope they will add a feature where you can share the link to your video before you go live. Currently, you can only send people to your profile.

  • Colin Rowley

    As of a month ago (April 2016), Facebook opened LIVE up to 3rd party developers (Wirecast, LiveStream, etc). I’m curious if any churches have gone live with it since the announcement and the reaction to such a new medium.

    We (Bethel Church of Houston | http://facebook.com/bethelofhouston) plan to try it out this Sunday for the first time in addition to our normal streaming mediums.

    My biggest concern is monitoring the conversation in the event someone shows up in the feed to cause trouble. Any ideas on how to tackle this before it happens?

  • This is great….we have a few churches that are streaming with us and now I can let them know to jump on the Facebook streaming bandwagon…This is a great thing!!
    Thanks for the info…

  • apostlejan

    What happens to the video after your session is completed? Will it save the session?

  • Sunny Fridge

    Thanks for the great guide!

  • Ryan

    Don’t forget that churches will have to purchase the CCLI Stream license for anything other than just preaching. If there is any music other than originals they are NOT covered under standard CCLI license.

  • Gene Montgomery

    Now that we have changed to a better ISP, we now live stream our services on Facebook. In addition to the CCLI, we also have a CSPL to cover any music during the service.

    We use OBS Studio as the software for the live stream. Our mixing console (a Behringer X32 Compact) is connected directly to the streaming computer via USB, so OBS Studio uses that as the audio device (the live stream has its own mix bus with separate levels from the house mix and the on-stage monitors). For cameras, I have a Logitech C930e (it has a very wide viewing angle) set up for the main sanctuary view and a video camera (connected to a Magewell HDMI to USB 3.0 adapter) for close-up shots. For the slides we use during the service, I use a Hauppauge 610 connected to an S-video distribution box that feeds our projectors (the slides are usually picture-in-picture with a camera view).

    Go here for more info on using OBS Studio with Facebook Live: http://iag.me/socialmedia/broadcast-computer-facebook-live/ .

    Occasionally, our pastor likes to use YouTube videos during her sermon. The CSPL does NOT cover that, so I simply insert a slide into the stream with “To view this video, go here: [insert URL].”

    • nathancreitz

      Very helpful, Gene. Thanks!

    • Gus Ferreira

      Hey Gene – we have the same license that you are talking about in regards to music, but on Facebook we always, always get shut down when we include any part of worship in our stream. How do you avoid that?

      • Gene Montgomery

        I moved our streaming to YouTube long ago. With YouTube, you can use the same streaming key EVERY TIME, the quality is better, and we have no issues with licensing. I just copy the link to the current stream from YouTube and paste it onto our Facebook page.

        • Gus Ferreira

          Thanks fore replying back – with the YouTube being the primary streaming – am I to assume you are NOT using Facebook live with this method, but are just posting the YouTube stream onto live? Curious mainly because of the music licensing – when we use Facebook live and have any part of worship we run the risk of be blocked for 48 hours…

          • Gene Montgomery

            Facebook Live is not being used; just a link to the YouTube stream.

  • Patrick Nicholls

    We had great success with Facebook Live initially. After a few weeks, Facebook started flagging potential copyright violations, and then they started shutting down the stream as soon as something was flagged as a potential copyright violation. Even though we have the appropriate webcasting licence from CCLI, I could never discover how we could prove to Facebook that we were “legal.” Has anyone else overcome this?

    • Haseo Yamazaki

      This just started happening to us. It seems facebook is slipping on their of things have setup an automated detection system than is slowly going to end up as bad as Youtube’s or worse.

    • nathancreitz

      We get around this by not broadcasting the music. Facebook probably isn’t interested in discovering if you have proper licensing. Your church might have it and you may even have a web license, but Facebook is the platform so, unless THEY want to obtain a CCLI license for your content, they probably aren’t going to let you do it.

  • This is a great discussion. We’re a new church plant in the Pittsburgh area (www.sourcechurch.com). We’re not doing anything with streaming right now, but it seems that Facebook’s combination of cost (free), simplicity (a smartphone gets you online) and viewership makes it a game changer in the area of live worship broadcasting. Does anybody think Facebook will replace dedicated services for live worship streaming?

    • nathancreitz

      I think the benefit of full live streaming is more of a global access. Personally, I’m not really interested in that. There are huge churches with massive online audiences. But my approach is more to allow in-person attendees to share the feed with their local friends. It provides a window into our worship gathering. God bless you as you plant in Pittsburgh!

  • Seth Winn

    Not a bad idea! We have been using YouTube to stream our services (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuy4b4DsYl_HuRaNpHlJUug) and just pointing people to YouTube from Facebook….it would be nice to be able to use the added tools of OBS with Facebook somehow.

    • Gene Montgomery

      https://iag.me/socialmedia/broadcast-computer-facebook-live/

      Since my reply here five months ago, I’ve switched our streaming from Facebook to YouTube. With YouTube, you can use the same stream key for every service, unlike Facebook, and the quality is better. People who subscribe to your YouTube channel will receive instant notification if you’re “live.” For the Facebook visitors, I just post a link to the current YouTube stream.

  • Nathan I have a quick question, what do you use for audio? do you just plug in a external microphone into your cell phone? I am trying to figure out how to get decent audio because we are looking to do this in the near future.

    • nathancreitz

      Great question, Adrian. We simply keep the camera close enough to record both audio and video, but I know there are more complicated ways of doing it out there. One way to do it would be to record the audio separately from a wireless lapel mic and then splice them together on a video editing program. If you have good software it shouldn’t be too hard to match the sound waves from the iPhone audio to the better quality sound waves from your audio recording. Hope that helps.

    • Jeremiah Johnson

      We recently started using Facebook Live for one of our Sunday services. The Pastor’s wife sets her iPhone at the back of the sanctuary in the control booth. At that distance, the video is so-so and the audio through the phone mic is horrible. I’ve fixed the audio issue with a $15 XLR to TRRS adapter and output a mix from the soundboard directly to her phone. This has been a cheap/simple fix for the live audio. Here’s an Amazon link to the adapter we are using: https://www.amazon.com/Movo-TCB2-Microphone-Smartphone-Headphone/dp/B01DTM8SJA

      • Simeon Job

        is the video quality cool?

        • Jeremiah Johnson

          At that distance (100ish feet) the tiny lens of a smartphone just isn’t very awesome. We have since purchased a moderately priced camcorder with a decent optical zoom lens and get a much better picture quality. We looked for a camcorder with live HDMI out and an external mic in port. The camcorder outputs the live video and sound via HDMI that we run through an HDMI to USB converter (around a hundred bucks for a generic brand) the stream via a desktop PC. This has vastly improved our quality.

  • chad miller

    Hi Nathan – One quick question — with face book do you have to have the comments turned on? What about the potential for people to toll though the sermon —

  • David Bertolini

    Nathan,
    Are there any copywrite issues with FBLiving music from within your worship service? Do you just do the sermons? Or is this not an issue?

    • Jacob Huerte

      Many church leaders are actually morally okay with criminal activity.

  • Simeon Job

    Whats the best camera to use for livestreaming

  • Facebook removed our broadcast because we played a song during the offering time. We use CCLI for worship music but have you had any trouble with copy-write issues?

  • Kevin

    We used a cheap tripod ($11) from Amazon.com to broadcast our first service. It was very well received and we will continue to make upgrades. https://productdaddy.wordpress.com/2017/10/11/ubeesize-portable-and-adjustable-camera-stand/

  • Aedra L. Jones

    Have you been able to stream praise and worship segments of the service? We’ve tried once and we got flagged for copyright issues.