9 Easy Ways to Use Facebook Live Effectively for Churches

Facebook Live is making massive waves from celebrity videos to Chewbacca Mom. Facebook is also promoting and prioritizing Live Video over other content so it’s only going to get bigger. This is why I personally believe that Facebook Live is one of the most underused digital tools by churches.

So here is my question to you, “How is your ministry consistently using live video to encourage and engage your members?” There is really isn’t a reason not to use it. See Facebook has taken broadcast from something that used to cost millions of dollars in equipment and a team of people to run — to completely free with the cellphone in your pocket. It’s mind blowing. And your church should be maximizing on this amazing tool.

Are you ready to start doing consistent Facebook Live broadcast? Because I have put together a list of nine easy and effective ways you can start doing live videos, today! Let’s do this…

#1 Live Prayer

Probably one of the most authentic, transparent, and raw things you can do live online. We know making prayer a priority in ministries is essential, and using digital mediums like Facebook is a creative to connect your entire church in prayer.
Here are a couple quick thoughts before you start your first digital prayer meeting. First, ask people to share their prayer request in the comments. Also, have a short devotional thought on prayer ready. (This will give people time to submit their prayer request in the comments). Lastly, it might be good to have some prayer request pre-collected just in case there are none that come in through the comments. Sorry, I’m always trying to avoid those awkward situations of being live on Facebook and making up things to pray about.

#2 Short Devotional

This is a great way to connect spiritually with your church family during the week. Now, I know the schedule of the Pastor is hectic, and writing a devotional every week doesn’t necessarily fit into the todo list. So, here are a couple places you can get content for your devotional.

First, from last Sunday’s message. This isn’t a recap as much as it is getting some of the big points across again with some different words and illustrations. Secondly, your own personal devotions. And lastly, taking an excerpt of a book or message you’ve been reading or listening to.

It’s important that you stay consistent with your weekly devotional. Try to have it on the same day and time every week to build an engaged audience.

#3 Recap the Last Message

This video would recap the main points of your message from Sunday. During your live broadcast, you could ask people to leave comments about how the message has helped them. A big benefit of this live video is it should take very little prep time!

#4 Promote the Next Message

This is probably the most important one on this list. Yep I hid it in the middle. On Friday or Saturday take a few minutes and talk about what is going to be preached on Sunday and how you think it can benefit the people who come to listen.

Don’t forget to personally ask people to be part of that Sunday’s service. This is really important — please be creative. Shoot the videos in random places, include staff, and make them fun. The worst thing you can do, I mean the WORST thin you could do, is to shoot the video like a CEO from behind a desk with a bunch of books every week. For the love of all things good please don’t do this.

#5 Tell a Member’s Story

Stories are powerful. There are dozens to hundreds of people who serve in and through your church every week. Why not take a few minutes and tell their story? When did they start coming? How do they serve? How have they been a blessing? And, don’t forget to tag them in the post. It’s always fun to see the love poured out on these people by other members.

#6 Whiteboard Live Video

We do one of these every week here at Church Hacks. The trick is to have the white board filled out before you actually film. It becomes an outline for when you’re talking. These are great for unpacking more in-depth information and giving a visual illustration to content.

#7 Interview a Guest (BeLive.tv)

Churches will spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to host guest speakers. And it’s completely worth it. But why not also host them on a live broadcast? (Most of the time they will do this for free).

There is a service called BeLive.tv that makes this extremely easy to do. I recommend before jotting down a couple talking points and sending them to the guest speaker. This will help you both stay on track while on a live broadcast.

#8 Live Q&A

Questions and answers are a staple of FB Live videos. Members being able to have question and answer times with church leadership can be fun, beneficial and educational. Before beginning make sure you choose what the topic is going to be about. This way you don’t end up in an awkward conversation with a home-school mom about vaccines. I’ve never seen this end well… Also don’t feel bad about ignoring questions that are random and don’t follow the assigned topic.

#9 Recommend a Resource

I have yet to meet a Pastor who wasn’t a reader. Why not recommend some of the resources you are growing from and it doesn’t have to be limited to just books. It could be websites, articles, speakers, or podcasts. There are more resources than ever for spiritual growth. Why not guide your members to where they can find the best ones. Idea: If it is a book, you might want to use it as a giveaway in the comments.

#10 Bonus: Behind the Scenes

Movie goers love watching behind the scenes and your church members are no different. With FB Live show them behind the scenes at your church. How the staff interacts with each other over lunch. What has gone into preparation for the new sermon series. How simple things like bulletins and promotional material are made. Behind the scenes are your run and gun type videos that people will love to watch!

Above are nine insanely easy and effective ways you can use Facebook Live. I’ll be honest it can be a little bit intimidating and down-right-scary to go live. But the more you do it the more comfortable it will become. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing more Facebook Live videos from all of my ministry friends!

Facebook Live Church Hacks

Quick Tips:

  • Create an engaging title and a good description before going live.
  • Engage your audience in conversation while Live this is best done by using questions.
  • Post to a personal account and have the church share it.
  • Be brief – shorter is always better.
  • Make sure the camera is directly facing you. Don’t use a weird angle.
  • Have a weekly FB Live schedule and stay consistent with it.

Gear Advice

Tripod and Clip for Phone Buy on Amazon
My favorite stand for keeping my phone propped up and angled right

Facebook Live Gear - Stand

Rode Mic Buy from Amazon
Rode mics are the standard in the industry. The Rode VideoMicro is small and affordable!

Facebook Live Gear - Mic

Gimbal for Moving Shots Buy from Amazon
If you are trying to do a show and tell type shot you need a gimbal. The Feiyu G4 holds up my iPhone 7+ with no problems.

Facebook Live Gear - Gimbal

Outside Articles on Facebook Live:

Steve Fogg – Facebook Live: What Church Leaders Need to Know
Kenny Jahng – How to Broadcast Using Facebook Live 

[su_box title=”Have you seen some amazing FB live videos from churches?”]I need your help. We are trying to track down some high quality well done FB live videos from churches and ministry leaders. I would love to update this post with examples. If you know of some, could you post a link to them in the comments below? Thanks![/su_box]

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