One of the most significant pain points when creating virtual worship services for the content and media managers is incorporating music into the program.
While there are a plethora of platforms to download music for entertainment and educational purposes, downloading music for commercial use without the owner's permission is infringing upon his/her copyrights.
So how does this affect the church, which is adding music under a license they purchased protecting them from copyright infringements?
Well, most licenses protect the church during a worship service, and in church rehearsals, typically, your rights are not extended concerning the internet as freely. One famous licensing company's CCLI offers a streaming service contract stating your right to: "Upload videos to YouTube and similar services provided that copyright owners have the right to monetize and place ads on videos containing their owned copyrights (these terms of the agreement do not override those of the streaming platforms)."
So what does that mean for you?
It's not a problem if you are just starting your online ministry and don't plan to monetize your content. However, as your virtual church begins to grow, it can be a significant problem and cost your ministry hundreds and possibly hundreds of thousands in residual income.
Hence if you have a licensing agreement like the example above, this one clause allows artists to make an agreed-upon commission from negotiations made on their behalf by record labels, and distributors, with content creators like YouTube. At the same time, your ministry earns nothing off the message itself.
Facebook, on the other hand, is in a different position. YouTube has a music company that has already made complex agreements with these entities, while Facebook is not, and their only current option is to pull your live video once it is flagged. However, in fairness to Facebook, I understand they are working very hard to negotiate with Record Labels and Distributors in creating a similar deal. And while this still may not help your ministry concerning monetization, at least your videos won't be snatched down.
Hence, unless you have a budget and a team that will allow your ministry to create its own music, I would suggest you not incorporate music you don't own the copyrights. Instead, hire a musician to create an original introduction to play before your sermon starts and an outro to be played at the end of the sermon, especially if you are using the Facebook platform exclusively.
If you are in a situation where you have created and uploaded several Youtube videos that have received thousands of views already, I have a solution that I will be presenting to rectify your problem and show you how to monetize your existing content during an exclusive deep dive coming up soon. If this is an area you would like to get more details about, please sign up here to be included in that exclusive offer.
In my last post, I offered tips to ensure the Church could maintain worship services during the Corona Virus International Crisis. In this post, I would like to suggest tips the Church can use to continue its Day to Day operations should the area surrounding the Church is quarantined due to the Corona Virus.
1. DO NOT put your staff and volunteers in a state of panic, create and disseminate a day to day ciris operation plan:
Ensure your teams that as a result of the Corona Virus, the Church realized it needed an emergency crisis plan focused not only on the physical but also Day to Day Operations. Present the plan in hand out format and ensure that every staff member and ministry volunteer leader receives a copy with the intent to place the document in a safe place outside of the Church. (Should the area surrounding your Church become quarantined during non-operating hours, and they won't have an opportunity to retrieve the plan from their office).
2. Telephone Communications:
If your Church telephone system has capabilities to forward calls to an outside number, ask each staff member to forward their office phones to their cell phone numbers before they leave each night. This strategy ensures that members and vendors can still maintain daily contact with the Church, and the staff can conduct church business from home, again, if the area by which the Church is located becomes quarantined. Note- Make sure to advise your team that you are only requesting access to their cell phones during their regular work hours while operating within the crisis plan model.
3. Church Staff Meetings:
Stay in touch with your team by hosting daily or staff meetings using virtual conference call platforms. Two of my favorite- are Free Conference Call and Zoom. If you have a large staff, you may want to incorporate in your emergency plan that teams conduct team video conference calls daily.
4. Ministry Meetings & Bible Study
Again, I would suggest your ministry teams take advantage of Video Conference platforms and continue to meet at the originally scheduled times throughout the week.
5. Mail and Delivery
You can always ask the USPS to hold your mail at your local station if your area becomes quarantined as you don't want to have possible sensitive information left at the Church's front door or stuffed in the mailbox.
6. Realize this is a new normal for a while and plan to operate virtually as you would if you were in the physical space.
What does NOT have to be an option is engaging discussions about closing the church doors as there are platforms and software available today to ensure that the Church door is always open either, be it physical or virtual.
PS: If you have not picked up your copy of The Church is Leaving the Building, NOW is the time to do so!!! Preview it here
Photo Credit: Templegallery.com
Are You Working on a Sustainable e-church Plan to Continue Ministry during a Time of National Crisis?
I am sure you have seen the reports this week surrounding the global spreading of the Coronavirus and the current Government administration's reaction to it, "It's a Hoax!"
I would argue that the World Health Organization, CDC, and other organizations are suggesting the data collected notes otherwise. Many are reporting that it is now not a matter of "If" the Coronavirus will become problematic to the United States but "When!"
Many of you have called my office during the last few days seeking suggestions on creating a long term strategy to address this issue; thus, I am sending you a short message offering both a short and long term strategy.
Ensure that your Church has developed a Business NON-Profit Facebook and a Facebook private group page. If you currently do not have one or either of those, create one, TODAY! It's free and easy to create. These pages will allow your members who may become affected, continue to engage in worship and other ministry activities.
Get prepared to stream Live on one or both of these channels- if you are wondering my preference, it is YouTube as YouTube allows you to reach a wider audience and allows the opportunity for the Church to monetize off its viewership.
Every Church can go Live as long as you have a good camera (iPhone 11 XR or Samsung Galaxy 8 are worth the investment and project quality video that will suffice) and one double camera tripod.
It is no longer an option for Churches to go "Live" or not, as the Coronavirus threat is forcing pastors into a new normal in how they maintain Sunday Morning Worship, Bible Study, and Church meetings in times of emergencies and crisis.
During your pulpit acknowledgments, advise your congregation the importance of them liking and checking in on your Facebook page and subscribing to your YouTube Channel. Noting that these platforms will be the Church's primary mode of communication used to stay connected in a time of emergency or national crisis. Do not assume current members already connect to your existing social networks. This short term strategy allows you time to get everyone comfortable with what may become a new norm for a short period.
Long Term Strategy:
Two years ago, I authored a book, "The Church is Leaving the Building," and at the time of its publication, the goal was to provide Pastors with a blueprint on how to integrate e-church membership into their brick and mortar congregations. Little did I know at that time, that book would become an emergency plan needed today to help pastors continue to do ministry digitally in a time of a global health crisis.
"The Church is Leaving the Building" details for you how to continue to do ministry if or when the Coronavirus enters into your Church's geographical area.
I pray these strategies are helpful to you, and as always, here to assist you in setting up your systems as needed.