Our conference communications team shares information on this page meant to help you stay in touch with and reach out to your congregation, your mission field and beyond.
Outreach and Worship Tips
The conference communications team provided regional workshops in the fall of 2019. Below are videos of each of the training opportunities.
Communications Workshop —
Social Media Best Practices
This workshop — conducted in September 2019 at Lawrence Central United Methodist Church — by Jayna McFarland, conference social media and website specialist, provides some best practices for social ...
Communications Workshop — Website Do's and Don'ts
This workshop — conducted in September 2019 at Lawrence Central United Methodist Church — by Jayna McFarland, conference social media and website specialist, provides some best practices for websites ...
Communications Workshop —
This workshop — conducted in November 2019 by Todd Seifert, Great Plains Conference communications director — explores how churches can craft signage, bulletins, newsletters and other forms of ...
Communications Workshop — Multimedia Worship Tools
This workshop — conducted in October 2019 at Salina Trinity United Methodist Church by Todd Seifert, Great Plains Conference communications director — explores how changing the look of the chancel, ...
Recording and Livestreaming
In many ways, the coronavirus forced churches to embrace technology to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in ways that we probably should have been using for quite some time. Todd Seifert, conference communications director, provided some tips about equipment and licensing of copyright materials during a Facebook Live session.
Download a PDF featuring many of these tips and equipment ideas.
If you are going to stream or record your worship service with any music included, you must have the following:
- Music license — Either from CCLI, OneLicense or another company, this license allows you to project words from songs covered by that license. Note that not all songs are covered by all licenses.
- Streaming license — If you broadcast beyond the walls of your church, such as on YouTube or Facebook Live, you are a broadcaster and must have this license. Again, CCLI, OneLicense and other companies provide this service.
Here are some suggestions for equipment purchases:
Standard Kit — Includes a Panasonic camcorder that uses a micro-HDMI cable to connect to a computer for streaming.
Lower-cost Kit — Includes a Canon camcorder that uses a mini-HDMI cable to connect to a computer for streaming.
Microphones for iPads and iPhones — VideoMic Me may provide you with the final piece you need to be able to stream or record sermons.
You'll may need a laptop or other computer either to connect to the internet or on which to edit your video. In come circumstances, your phone or tablet can work as long as you can keep them at eye level (nobody wants to see up your nose, for example) and within about 3 feet of your mouth. An external microphone that works with your phone or tablet is preferred in those circumstances.
Whether you livestream a worship service or record it and post it after the fact really depends on equipment, your internet connection, aptitude and expense.
- Internet Connection — Beyond the kit recommendations, you'll need a computer and, in most cases, a hard-wired connection to the Internet. WiFi is great, but it often has a slower upload speed. Go to https://www.speedtest.net. You should have at last 5 Mb/second of upload speed to stream adequately. And the higher the better!
- Aptitude — Both recording and livestreaming have their pluses and minuses. Recording requires you to have software to edit the video. You also need a place to "house" the video, such as YouTube or Vimeo. If you stream, however, to Facebook Live, you have your own archive on your church's timeline, though that means you have to scroll back weeks to find old videos. If you livestream, you need to understand how to get the sound and video together to upload to the internet. Neither is bad. Just know your limitations and play to your strengths.
- Expense — If you stream or record to post later, and if you include any music, you have to purchase a streaming license from CCLI or another comparable company. The cost depends on your average worship attendance. You'll need some kind of camera or smartphone. And you'll need the computer and/or software to accomplish your task. It's important to think of what equipment and services you will use post-pandemic so you don't use money on things now that you will not use at all later.
Model and Talent Agreement
It's a good idea to have people appearing in videos or photographs on your website or social media channels sign a model and talent release.
Download an example here.
If having someone sign is not practical, such as when a guest attends worship or a special event, it is advised that language such as the following is posted prominently at the entrance of your worship space and in your bulletin:
We record our worship service and occasionally take photos for use on our church website and on social media for evangelism and marketing purposes. If you do not wish to have your image used in this way, please alert an usher, who will seat you outside of the recording area. Please note that all activities on the chancel (stage) area of the church are recorded.