Get Started with Phone Streaming
With Faith Online, not only can you stream video to multiple platforms, you can also concurrently stream to a dedicated phone line. Making it possible for all members of your congregation to connect to your church, even if they don’t have internet access. We’ve made it in incredibly simple to set up your phone line. Once you set up your free account you can get started right away.
Set up Your Phone Account
- Activate and Login to your account
- Select Phone menu option
- Enter your area code
Based on the area code you select we provide you a list of options. You can also coordinate with our Faith Online team to automatically link to your current dial in number.
Set up Your Phone Menu
Faith Online offers 9 menu options where you can share both necessary communications (such as ways to connect) as well as engaging content that can help your parishioners once again get a sense of community. But first, start with your opening Welcome.
Add a Welcome Message
The Welcome message is the first thing your congregation will hear when they dial the number. This welcome message can be as simple as “You’ve reached our church.” It is short and simple, so we’ve limited this welcome to only 10 seconds.
You can add a pre-recorded Welcome message from your device or add a new one on our platform to get started. Just make sure your mic is enabled on your device.
To add or record a Welcome message, you will need to create a new media file in your library. A free Faith Online platform offers 10Mbt of data, offering plenty of space for multiple recordings.
We always recommend using clear naming conventions when naming your files so they are easier to find in the future. For this, “Welcome” would be sufficient.
Record your welcome message. If necessary, you can re-record until you get it how you like it. When you are pleased with your message, click Save.
Add Menu Options
You can add up to 9 menu options and each menu option can be up to 30 minutes long.
For your parishioners that cannot come to church in person and cannot access your video streams or more interactive events, this is a great space for adding meaningful content in addition to your regular live streams. We recommend that you have a minimum of three menu options in addition to your weekly live stream. The likes of which could be (but certainly are not limited to):
- Hours of operation and Covid restrictions
- Donation instructions
- Daily prayer
- Thought for the week
- Previous important live stream, such as a holiday service
- Weekly devotional
- Offer other ways to connect or community resources
- Children’s story
- Featured congregant story
We will cover how to go about recording each of the above options in our other How To articles. For now, we will focus on adding a standard menu option and the live stream option.
Adding Your First Menu Item
The first thing you need to decide is what type of menu item you are adding. For now we are offering two options: Recorded & Live Media or Donations.
Enter the Name of Your Dial-In Option.
For this sample, we are creating a menu item for our operating hours, where we describe when you can visit our church and our procedure for adhering to social distance guidelines. Select the extension you wish to use for this menu option, from 1-9.
You’ll need to record a menu message to clarify for your callers how to access your Operating hours. Simply hit Record and read the text.
Once you’ve finished click the stop button so as not to leave empty air between menu options for the caller.
Add Your Menu Option File
If you have previously recorded this information you can upload the audio file. Or you can record up to 30-minutes of instructions for your caller. If you had any previously saved audio files you could also pull from the storage you have on our platform. This option is most useful for live streams.
Add Your Live Stream Menu Option
To live stream your services to the phone you will need to set up a menu option. Similar to the steps above, you will name your menu option, select the menu number, and record a brief direction for your caller to select the appropriate menu number.
When you are setting up for your first live stream, you may need to record a placeholder message. We recommend you record the time and date of the first live stream as this placeholder, so the caller knows when to dial back in.
With your menu options saved, you can begin to share your phone number with your congregation. Make sure they know when and how to join you for your first phone live stream!
Connect Your Live Stream to Your Dial In Number
You can record a live stream immediately from our Studio option without using our booking tool. However, we recommend you create events for the broadcast so you can better communicate with your congregation about your upcoming streams. You can use this booking tool to manage your in-person and video broadcasts alongside your phone line.
To create an event:
- Navigate to the Stream menu option and click Create an Event
- Include all your event details, such as start time, name of event, and any additional descriptions.
For this tutorial, we will only focus on creating a phone event and linking it to your menu option.
3. Save the event and in the next screen select the “Stream to Phone” option.
You’ll notice your menu options display when you select the Stream to Phone option.
4. Select your preferred live stream menu option
From there we will automatically add your scheduled live stream to the dial in option for the moment when you set it go live.
What Happens When You’re Not Live Streaming
Once your live event is over, the file automatically saves to your media library and remains as a recording on your menu option until the next live event is scheduled.
Some of our churches have used the previous recordings to create a third menu option so that listeners can call in and hear the two most recent sermons. However, there are plenty of other ways to use the dial in options available to you, and your creativity is encouraged!