Getting Started with YouTube Live

Disclaimer: This is one of those Ministry Resources posts where we are going to learn together!

I’ve seen the option and heard of some who are using the live streaming feature on YouTube, but I had never tried it myself. This brought me to the logical (??) decision to give it a test run as a WELSTech Ministry Resource. If you are interested in kicking the tires a bit, my plan was for this post to give enough information to get started. You’ll have to let me know if I succeeded!

A bit of background regarding my live streaming experience to date … For our weekly WELSTech recordings we use Google Hangouts, also integrated into the YouTube live streaming arsenal. They are managed on the YouTube Live Streaming Events page at I am familiar with it and little has changed since the days when it was part of Google Plus. And I know enough to understand the two-way conversational Hangout experience is very different than traditional one-way live streaming.

As for live streaming, I’ve used the FinalWeb live streaming tool in the past. From that I had learned that live streaming isn’t handled in the browser alone. There is “encoder” software which is installed on the local computer to capture the video and send it to the streaming provider in the appropriate format. YouTube supplies live stream users with a list of potential encoding software solutions. For my test run, I chose to install Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), and had a great experience with it. Check out the video below to see me set up and stream with OBS for the first time.

After doing that one-time installation and setup of encoder software, live streaming on YouTube is super simple. Just visit the live streaming page at, name your live stream and set security options, and start streaming in your encoder software. When you are done, you’ll stop your stream in the encoder software as well. Then YouTube will automatically add the recording of your stream to your YouTube videos listing at

Boom! Just like that, you’re officially a live streamer!!


There are many possibilities for live streaming in church and school settings. Consider event streaming, including worship, Bible class, school sports and drama, meetings, etc. Live streaming is also a good way to share prepared lessons of any type – daily devotions, special speakers, etc.

Related resources

Of course, the world of live streaming offers many more options than those covered in this getting started overview. Check out these YouTube Help resources to learn about all the possibilities.

And finally, there’s my Getting Started with YouTube Live Streaming video where I demo the setup of my first live stream.

See All Ministry Resources

479 – Social Media in Ministry: YouTube

Your ministry likely has, or will have, video to share in 2017. Listen in on a WELSTech discussion of the whys, whats, whos, and hows of using YouTube to get your videos played, talked about, and shared. There’s also coverage of some of the “wow” of CES, a pulsing pick of the week, and an in-depth look at the Minneapolis Institute of Art Martin Luther exhibit.

The discussion:

All about YouTube – In this era of visual communication, the popularity of the video hosting platform YouTube has raised it to the status of the second most popular search engine. And while many may not realize YouTube has a social side to it’s personality, it can be a great place to connect and share the good news of Jesus Christ.

News in tech:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Featured video:

The newest addition on the WELSTech Presentation/Teaching YouTube playlist is Always With You featuring MLC Professor David Scharf from Your Time of Grace.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 480 – Tim Plath, chairman of Area Lutheran High Schools Online, talks with Martin and Sallie about the online learning platform, plus we discuss tech backup strategy for the new year. Release date: Wednesday, January 18.

Get involved: