These days, anyone with an Internet connection can broadcast live to the world. Here, I share some live broadcasting resources you can use to impact Japan with the gospel. Facebook Live and YouTube Live are the easiest to start with. Both have mobile applications that turn your phone into a global broadcasting station in seconds.
No matter what the size of your church or ministry is, having an online presence is an essential part of reaching the current techy generation. You can quickly create that presence by starting a Facebook page. Once you’ve signed up for an account and created your page, you can begin sharing its link as part of your outreach plan. A Facebook page allows you to tell the world about your group, share upcoming events, and point people to other useful information. It also enables you to live broadcast to anyone in the world who wants to tune in.
All you need is a phone connected to the Internet with the Facebook app installed. In the app, touch the “Post” or “Publish” button, then the “Live Video” or “Go Live” button. If you have not given permission already, the app will prompt you to allow it to access your camera and microphone. A preview of your stream will appear on the screen. Before going live, you can add a description to the video. If you look closely, you will see an area under the name of your page where you can set the range of your audience. Setting it to “Public” will make your stream available to anyone who wants to tune in. Hit the red video button to start broadcasting live.
You can see who is tuned in during a live event (and can chat with them if your hands are free). Anyone who has liked your page or follows you will notice you have gone live and see it in their Facebook feed. If you have scheduled the event in advance, those interested will be able to tune in. Also, Facebook encourages users to watch what their friends are watching.
When you’ve finished your live event, hit done and the video will be saved to your Facebook page videos. You can go in later and edit the description, add details, and download it so that you can publish it in other places.
As your audience grows and you post more events, those events will be visible to anyone in the community in the “Discover events near me” section of Facebook. And as more people view and like your videos on your Facebook page, your audience will grow and the good news will go forth.
YouTube Live is one of the greatest additions to YouTube. If you intend to make live broadcasting a more permanent feature of your media footprint, then consider using YouTube Live. Compared to Facebook and many other media platforms, it is easier to find videos and has a wider audience. YouTube also integrates well into most websites and other media platforms, which makes sharing your message even easier. And the ability to pair Google Analytics* with your YouTube Channel enables you to get a wealth of information on your audience that can help you to shape future offerings.
Getting started can be as simple as picking up an app like Wirecast Go on iOS or broadcasting directly from the YouTube app on Android 6.0+ devices. To take live broadcasting to the next level, use a desktop application like Open Broadcast Software Studio or Wirecast Play that run on PC and Mac and that can be configured to stream directly to your YouTube Live Channel. These more advanced studio applications have options like adding text to your stream, switching between multiple cameras, and using other very cool effects. These make your stream look more professional and can provide useful information to viewers such as scripture references and other live links. While their learning curves might be a bit steep, there are plenty of video tutorials that can assist you in getting things set up. The sky is the limit with YouTube Live, and with enough time and talent you could have a 24/7 live channel spreading the good news.
Live streaming is a wonderful tool to add to your ministry’s media footprint. Over a billion people view these platforms daily. Getting the gospel out there for them to access has never been easier. Let’s impact Japan together as we live stream the great things God has done for us and is doing in Japan.
* If you’d like more information about Google Analytics or other details mentioned in this article, please contact Jared at tech(at mark)impactjapan.net
Jared Jones lives and works in Takasaki, Gunma. He’s a church planter for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He’s been in Japan since 2009 with his family. He and his wife have five children.