Why I Kissed Facebook Live Goodbye

March 30, 2020

I Kissed Facebook Live Goodbye

I have been part of the recent influx of pastors cramming on doing worship online like a student at the end of the semester. All the early articles and resources I read were about how pastors should live stream their worship services. We decided to go in a different direction. I wanted to give you six reasons why we kissed Facebook live goodbye.

#1. It is easier to upload to Facebook and YouTube before hand. I have seen several pastors who have problems with their live stream freezing. One of the easier ways to avoid this is to record your service earlier in the week and have it already uploaded to Facebook or YouTube. This way once Sunday rolls around people can just click the link and see it already uploaded.

#2. Facebook and YouTube have great “premiere” features. Both streaming platforms let you create a time the video will be available. This allows you to tell your church to tune in at a certain time and watch together. The premiere will show the video straight through. Also YouTube has a cool two minute countdown before it begins. It is a great way to jump online and comment with the church family watching. It is really neat to see people interacting with your sermon especially if you are giving them something to type.

Tools of Grace

During the sermon we asked viewers to comment with #ToolsOfGrace. See the moment in the sermon here.

#3. Recording beforehand gives you better lighting. I’ve had two preachers contact me in a 24 hour span about what lights to purchase. My advice is “do not buy lights.” If you record before hand you can almost always lighten up the video. Here are two sermons I preached in a church with lighting that looked horrible on video. One video I did not lighten up before uploading and in one I did. Can you tell the difference?

I used the free Microsoft movie maker to edit the lighting.

#4. Recording beforehand gives you better audio. This is a little more of a technical tasks, but if you record your audio with a separate microphone you can get significantly better audio. I almost always use my iPhone as a recording device. I put it on the pulpit in airplane mode and record in the voice memo app.

iPhone Recording

See my iPhone on the hymnal beside me.

For my online worship services I am using a cheap lapel mic and plugging it into my iPhone. It is a little loud but I can turn it down when I edit the video.

Mic into iPhone

Microphone on my tie that goes into the headphone jack on my iPhone 5s.

Either way, if you want to record the audio separate or straight from the camera, recording beforehand can give you an idea of the adjustments that need to be made.

#5. It is easier to add other videos into the worship service. We have been asking people to record themselves saying prayers, creeds, scriptures, and singing onto their phones and send it to me. This would be possible to incorporate into a live stream but much more difficult. Recording and editing beforehand makes this much more possible.

Grapich for Cell Phone Worship

Here is the graphic we are using to invite people to participate.

#6. It’s what I could do the best. At the end of the day I am open to learning more about different ways to stream. If you do Facebook live great! We just feel like, for us, the best quality worship service is one that is recorded and uploaded before hand.

Just getting something out there the first few times is a huge achievement! Do not worry about comparing yourself to others but always ask, “what I can do the best?”

What do ya’ll think? Should I reconsider Facebook live or stick to the premiere feature for worship?

This is post number #11 in my 40 posts of Lent challenge.

2 Responses to “Why I Kissed Facebook Live Goodbye”

  1. The Rev Taylor W Burton Edwards said

    As long as the songs being prerecorded and then mixed in are in the public domain, you’re fine. However NO livestream license permits you to prerecord and later add copyrighted music to your video, no matter who performed it.

  2. Kevin said

    I agree Facebook live serves a purpose for certain occasions. But, the method of making your worship a presentation instead of live, can be more creative and make the audience feel involved makes a difference. Something I have noticed with live feeds is the video quality seems to drop and is “fuzzy” and it distracts from the message. I feel using a live stream for a Bible study or Sunday School lesson works because more of the focus is on listening to the speaker and participating with commentary.

    Great job David!

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