By now you have probably heard that Facebook has given users and pages the ability to record live video. Some of you have more than likely tried out Facebook Live on your personal or organizations page. There are many ways that Facebook Live can be utilized within the church. In a previous article I outlined 7 Ways to Use Facebook Live this Week, but a lot of changes have occurred to Facebook Live since that article was written. Because of this I thought I would reboot that article and offer a few additional ways that you and your church can utilize Facebook Live to increase engagement with your followers.
Before we get to the good stuff here are 7 tips when it comes to using Facebook Live:
- Tell people you are going to go live. Create some form of excitement or anticipation with those who follow you that you are going Live soon. Also encourage them to get notified when you are Live.
- Give your video a title and have it describe (creatively) what is happening.
- Practice or rehearse what you want to say, or do before going live.
- Be in an area with a good wifi or data signal. You don’t want your live video cutting out or stopping midway.
- If you are doing a stationary video either hold the phone yourself, or have it on a tripod or mount of some kind. This will reduce bouncing and other movements.
- Engage with those watching.
- When your video is completed before you upload to your page save the video to your camera/device so you have it for later use.
7 More Ways to Use Facebook Live and 1 Bonus
- Live Stream your worship service. Facebook extended the hours pages can stream live to 4 hours. If you intend to live stream your service make sure you have a mount for your device and the ability to charge so the batter doesn’t die. Streaming live on Facebook is a great option for churches that might not have the budget to live stream through other sites. Facebook Live Streaming is free and if you have a good wifi connection this is a good opportunity to share your church with others. You do not necessarily need a streaming license for Facebook Live, however your stream must comply with Facebook’s statement of rights and responsibilities. If you would rather play it safe you can always purchase a streaming license from CCLI, or Christian Copyright Solutions.
- Answer FAQ. People always have questions about church. Use Facebook Live to help answer some commonly asked questions about your church or maybe church in general. If you have a FAQ on your website use Facebook Live as an opportunity to address some of those questions. Some questions might be: What to expect on Sunday? Is there anything for children and teens? What is the attire? What time are the services? Where is the church located? What are the church core values? How does one start serving or volunteering? Does someone have to be baptized before coming to church? What programs or events happen at the church? Who are the pastors? Is this church part of a larger denomination or a stand alone non-denominational church?
- Introduce a staff member. Often people know the key staff personnel at the church, but sometimes don’t know who the other staff members are. Take some time and introduce those on staff to let others know who they are and what they do around the church. Tour their work area and give them an opportunity to share what they enjoy most about their job and why they love working at the church.
- Interview a ministry volunteer. Take some time and highlight a staff member or volunteer and allow others to step into their shoes for a moment. Spend a day or evening with them in their ministry area. Have them share why the started volunteering and what they love most about the church and the role they have.
- Promo an upcoming event, worship service, mission opportunity, or new series. Get creative and create hype and excitement for something that is coming soon.
- Facebook Live Take-Over. Give the live stream to someone else and let them take it over for the day. This could be during a youth event, a small group retreat, worship service, outreach event, mission trip, etc. Make sure this person is a trustworthy individual that knows the guidelines of your church’s social media policy.
- Helpful tips. I can’t scroll through social media without seeing some kind of post that has helpful tips. You have probably seen them too. Those posts that share short tips on things that we deal with everyday. Well we can offer helpful tips as a church too. These live tips don’t have to be long, 5-10 minutes and can be such things as helpful tips on finances or budgeting, parenting, relationships, tips on studying the Bible, some tips and tricks to social media, etc. Be creative and helpful at the same time.
Bonus: Read the Bible Live
I rarely use Facebook Live as an individual. I use it for the church I work for, but was inspired by Katie Allred who took the month of July and read the book of Proverbs daily, and she did so live on Facebook. You can check out her post on the experience here. I thought was such a cool idea that I decided I would do the same for the month of September.
I decided to walk through the book of Philippians and read it live each day on Facebook. I wasn’t too sure how this would go, as I had not done Facebook Live, just me, myself and I. I’m not too fond of being in front of the camera, so the first few days it was a little awkward. However, what I noticed was people started to get excited about me going live. They shared the videos, they commented, they faithfully joined me or watched later. I would read a brief bit of scripture and then offered a 2-3 minute explanation and a few thoughts. That was about it.
Not only did it begin to encourage those listening, it began to deepen my relationship with Jesus, which was the coolest part. Daily I studied the scriptures, daily I read the scriptures, daily I gathered with two or more friends online and we walked through the scriptures. When his happened, God began to work and move in ways I did not intend.
So I challenge you to pick a book of the Bible and read the scripture live on Facebook. See what happens. You don’t have to go for a month, try a week or so and then see what God does through the process.
As social media continues to evolve, I am sure there will be more and more ways to share what happens inside the church with those on the outside.
What are some of the ways you have used Facebook Live?
Share them in the comments below.