Leading Worship Online
Opportunities to share in worship online with other local Methodists are being provided by all of our Circuits. This page is for those involved in leading worship online, bringing together guidance and questions to help you develop what is best for your context.
If you can't find the information you need here, please get in touch with Neil Harland who will put you in touch with someone who can help.
Invitation, welcome and accessibility
- Everybody Welcome Online from CPAS provides all manner of advice, including etiquette of interacting well with visitors
- How will you make your worship easy to find? sharing on multiple platforms? advance notice? regular pattern (with some space for evolution and spontaneity)? consistent branding?
- Most of our circuits/churches are putting their worship on a YouTube channel and/or their own websites, meaning that people can go back to it, or track it down easily if they are actively looking for it. Services on these platforms can then be promoted via social media and email.
- Recording direct to Facebook has been popular for short midweek devotions or prayers, either live or uploading a pre-recorded message. What not host a watch party to encourage others to join?
- Encourage congregation members to comment on social media content and share with their online friends
- For those without internet why not pre-record worship accessible via a telephone?
Music, creativity and visual art
- Have you the right copyright licences? It's really important that we are make sure we have the correct copyright permissions in place before we share worship online. Here's what you need to know and the all important links of where you purchase any additional licences needed.
- No additional licence is required to read songs as poetry in streamed services or share links to pre-existing YouTube clips of songs.
- No additional licence is required to reproduce the words of hymns and songs covered under the standard CCLI License on screen via Zoom.
- No additional licence required to include music you are singing/performing on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, as long as you don't have fancy branding overlaid on your video.
- To use professionally-recorded music (eg played off a CD) in your streamed worship, you would a CCLI Streaming Licence and a PRS Limited Online Music Licence (usually £175). There is a risk social media companies may detect this automatically and block your account pending investigation.
- To include any music in a streamed service embedded on your website you need need a CCLI Streaming Licence and a PRS Limited Online Music Licence
If you have any doubt as to whether a song you are looking to use is covered under the licences you have please do check the website links above.
- Popular free editing software people have found useful includes Inshot (for smartphones), Windows Movie Maker (for PC/ laptop), iMovie (for mac), Audacity (sound recording and editing) For a small fee you can subscribe to Doodly which allows you to create aminations and also gives access to royalty free music.
- Epidemic Sound provide background music with copyright permission for a small monthly subscription.
- Audiohub provides royalty free music free of charge, you just need to display the copyright details.
- You can find free to use images on the following websites: Pixabay, Church Motion Graphics and Free Bible Images.
Scripture, teaching, news and testimony
- Stuart Forsyth and SpeakLife tips on how to increase impact of what you say when speaking to camera.
- How does your online worship relate to your other communications, pastoral care and practical support?
- Who in your church might have a story to tell at this time?
- theworshipcloud.com offer pre-written local arrangement and home services sent by weekly email. Connexional home service sheets are also downloadable
- Messy Church at home resources, suitable for leading your own Messy Church via Zoom or sharing with families
- How would the pre-teens and teenagers in your congregation like to engage with your online worship? Young people's chat group during the service? Their peers leading prayers/ reflections/ reading scripture (would they want to be on display or voice only)? Can you break your service into bite-size chunks that match the way they naturally engage with social media? 60 second sermons? Short prayers, Bible texts or pieces of music through the day? Use #hashtags to make linked content easier to find?
- Don't forget that teenagers and young adults are more likely to use Instagram than Facebook if you are attempting to advertise or hold your services via social media
- Many of our churches have met for prayer or "coffee after the service" via WhatsApp groups, Facebook groups or Zoom video-conferencing. This has proved excellent for interactivity, but careful thought is needed to make it accessible for new people or those on the fringe of your worshipping community
- Methodist Way of Life is larger than worship, but has already worked for those who have used it via Zoom
- Accessible URC beginners guides have been produced covering WhatsApp, Twitter, Zoom, Instagram, filming worship, creating podcasts
- Who in your church/ circuit might have relevant skills to enhance online worship?
- Are people giving financially via standing order to support your church? What other ways are people giving sacrificially at this time? Will you bless this offering as part of your online worship?