With so many preachers now preaching to empty rooms while we are all maintaining distance during the COVID-19 pandemic I would like to share a few ideas to help you get up and running to record and stream your services to continue to get a weekly message from the Bible to your congregation.
Video – you really don’t need anything beyond an iphone 8. An iphone 10 or better is preferable but the quality of the cameras is sufficient for streaming. You really don’t need to spend money on a camera. Save your money for good audio. If you really want to get a good camera you are going to spend some money, again an unneccessary move, I would recommend a Canon 80D or any good DSLR that has a mic jack on it. Just like the iphone, internal mics on DSLR’s aren’t all that great.
You will want a smart phone tripod to keep your video steady. Here is one that will work great for under $15.
Audio – you will want a lapel mic. The best kind of cardoid but those are very hard to find for an iphone without spending a ton. So you are looking at an omnidirectional lapel/lav mic. I recommend the boya. It is around $20. If you want a mic mounted to your phone try this one. The only issue will be your distance from the mic.
If you want even better quality audio you don’t need to go big with something like an audio interface and crazy expensive mics. You can go this route for just under $300 with a Handy H4nPro with mics (use the cardoid – it picks up just the audio around the mic and not the room noise). These are fairly simple to use. Their mics are XLR and have higher quality sound. They record to an SD card. If you go this route and need help just comment below and I will walk you through any settings you may want to tweak.
For more info on this, check out this video I made on this a few weeks ago before I had any idea all of this would be needed! If you haven’t checked out the YouTube channel I hope you will try it out. And I am always open to ideas for videos so let me know what you think!
Once you have your equipment you will want to think through how to post it. Facebook livestream is easy to do. The only issue with it is, those not on facebook will have a hard time getting access to it. You can also upload your video to your church’s facebook page as native facebook content and have people share that on facebook. Again, that is all still within Facebook.
If you want to reach outside the Facebook crows, and many of your more elderly members won’t get to it on Facebook, consider starting a YouTube channel. I wish more churches did this anyway. Once you post to YouTube you can share that link on your church email lists.
For Bible class replacement you will want to consider using Zoom. There is a free version (that only goes 45 minutes per session) or you can pay around $14 a month to remove the restrictions. Very reasonable.