How Resi On Demand Can Transform Your Church’s Approach to Streaming and Video
Church livestreaming has long been considered the new frontier in online ministry — but is it more important to refocus on getting people back into the building on Sunday morning?
Initially adopted out of necessity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some churches now perceive livestreaming as a passing trend, dismissing it as burdensome and resource-intensive.
However, what if your church were to recognize livestreaming as a crucial extension of your in-person and online ministry, rather than a hastily implemented afterthought?
In fact, with the proper tools and mindset, your church’s livestream could become the primary gateway to enhancing engagement, fostering generosity, and increasing attendance.
The Biggest Misconception About Livestreaming Church Services
There’s a prevalent misunderstanding regarding livestreaming church services — the belief that it diminishes physical attendance and engagement.
According to this train of thought, if someone has the option to watch a church service online, there is less motivation to attend in person. Consequently, as lockdown restrictions eased, certain churches abandoned or minimized their livestreaming efforts, hoping that it would prompt a return to physical attendance.
However, upon closer examination, this logic (and strategy) fails to withstand scrutiny. Consider, for instance, whether or not Taylor Swift removes her music from streaming platforms to boost in-person concert attendance. Or whether automotive dealerships shut down their online presence to encourage people to visit their lots.
Clearly, in every other sector, the advantages of the online sphere are embraced and leveraged — and the church should be no exception.
Why You May Need a Livestream Mindset Shift
Your church’s online services transcend being mere recordings of Sunday mornings. They have the potential to be so much more, provided you approach them with the right mindset.
Consider this: When was the last time you made a significant purchase or dined at a fancy restaurant without first researching reviews and gathering information online? Or bought movie tickets without watching a trailer?
According to research conducted by Visual Objects, 76% of people will review a company’s website before visiting a physical location — and the same logic holds true for churches.
This means, for many individuals, their initial encounter with your church will occur through its online presence: your website, social media platforms, and yes, your livestreamed services.
Essentially, it’s highly likely that newcomers have already heard your sermons and experienced a complete church service online. Hence, your online “first impression” holds tremendous value.
Moreover, your livestreaming efforts should extend beyond attracting new viewers and in-person visitors. They can also serve as a means to support existing members, allowing them to stay engaged in the church community even if they’re unwell, traveling, or unable to attend in-person services for any other reason.
For leaders who are reluctant to adopt a livestream-centric online strategy, there is no need to fret. According to a recent report by Pew Research, 76% of individuals who both attend in-person church services and watch online prefer the experience of attending in person. In other words, livestreaming isn’t a threat to in-person attendance — it’s an invitation.
The Quality of Your Livestream Experience Matters
If you’re ready to initiate (or upgrade) your church’s online ministry and reach, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the different livestreaming options. Additionally, it’s not enough to merely point a camera at the stage and hit the record button. If a livestreamed service is many visitors’ introduction to your church, then the quality of your livestream experience matters.
For example, let’s address a streaming headache that stems from issues many of us are familiar with — pixelated image quality, sluggish framerates, and the infamous “buffering wheel” that interrupts your viewing experience.
Several studies confirm that people have little to no patience for these inconveniences, and will often “drop out” after the second interruption. Luckily, you don’t have to let these common streaming problems get in the way of people discovering and engaging with your church.
Resi, a Pushpay company, offers end-to-end streaming solutions for churches, which includes their patented Resilient Streaming Protocol (RSP), a technological innovation that guarantees complete and error-free audio and video delivery.
This means you never have to worry whether the people on the other end of your livestream are receiving you “loud and clear” — your church is already putting its best foot forward.
An On-Demand Platform for Churches
An additional streaming headache is the nature of the internet itself. Essentially an “attention-diffusing machine,” the internet is literally engineered to steal your focus.
Every time someone attempts to interact with your church’s livestream or uploaded videos, they’re at the mercy of a barrage of distracting ads, vindictive anonymous trolls, and algorithm-driven “suggested videos.” And that’s not to mention the ever-present threat of constantly shifting “community guidelines,” Big Tech censorship, and time-consuming copyright infringement flags.
In October 2023, Resi announced the release of Resi On Demand, a full-service on-demand platform that allows churches to store, organize, and share their video content.
Media Sites, an enhanced feature of Resi On Demand, even gives your church a personalized site from which streamed and uploaded videos are automatically arranged into pre-selected playlists that are displayed in a dynamic and easy-to-use interface.
Think of it like your church’s own digital TV channel available to your congregants 24/7. Regardless if you’re a streaming veteran or considering whether livestreaming is the next best step for your church, Resi is here to help your church deliver the best possible streaming experience for your current and future congregants.