Is virtual Community Biblical? A Pastoral Perspective
Rev. Blake Wagner
“Go into all the world and preach the good news!” Below are my lectures from a class I did at ACTs.
1) How God has lead this particular pastor to form virtual biblical communities.
2) The growing need for online biblical communities
(video clip- shortened version)
3) Some pragmatic implications of Grace’s live online community.
a) Identifying the needs and seeking to meet them.
b) Moving from concept to reality within major budget constraints.
4) Functioning as a growing online community.
a) Measuring usefulness both locally and online.
b) Reaching beyond local community, seeing souls saved.
c) Revitalizing and reenergizing the local community.
5) Technical resources to foster live online community.
a) Example set up for low budget streaming.
i) Where to stream.
(1) Youtube.com for non-profits.
ii) Software for mixing audio/video while streaming.
(1) https://obsproject.com/ Free and open source software for video recording and live streaming. Download and start streaming quickly and easily on Windows, Mac or Linux. You can use this software to stream to Facebook, Youtube or simply record to disk and later upload to your website.
(2) Youtube / Google for non-profits
Let’s you stream to YouTube full HD and full length. Youtube has a free version of wirecast software.
b) Broadcasting Equipment and Bandwidth Constraints.
(i) Computer, camera, and audio needs.
Broadcasting Equipment. I recommend you use an i5-i7 3.0ghz or better, quad core or better, Windows or Mac computer with a minimum of 8gb ram and 1 Terabyte hard drive. A full-size desktop tower with expansion slots is preferred over a notebook. Yes you can go cheaper and slower on the CPU but the hassle isn’t worth it in the long run.
Two monitors help but one will do. HD USB camera, 2 would be better. IP Cameras are even better but may require more expensive software to integrate.
The audio out from the in house mixer to the computer input is the source of the stream’s audio, and you want the highest possible quality there. People will keep watching as long as they can hear clearly what is going on even if the lips are out of sync at times.
(ii) Cell phone
You can use a cell phone like Iphone 6 or Samsung 7 to stream directly to Facebook or Youtube. I would still use the audio in from the sound board to the cell phone to get much better quality audio.
(iii) Internet Service Provider and web hosting.
You’ll need an Internet connection capable of sufficient upload bandwidth. If you are sending a stream of 700Kbps you’ll want an internet connection of 2Mbps upload. Use a wired Ethernet connection to the internet router rather than wireless. And separate the in church WiFi from the wired Ethernet with a second router then move all other traffic to the second router so the stream remains solid.
c) CCLI Podcasting License and limitations.
Get to know the legalities and copyrights before you broadcast anything. Sermons and intellectual properties you’ve created are yours so they can always be broadcast. But even there if you are using a third party sources in your sermon remember to credit and acknowledge your source either verbally or in your notes. Music is generally copyrighted. If it is your original work state so in the credits. If not see if it covered under the ccli podcasting license or other licensing agency.
Enjoy the journey!