Friday, April 17, 2020

A Guide to Running LDS Church Service (or really any church service) Virtually Over Zoom

Hi all,

I've been getting a ton of questions about having church meetings over Zoom. I've worked at Zoom for the last 3+ years. Here is crash course.



First, Zoom has a very robust free product that can have meetings with 100 people at a time. To sign up for free just go to Zoom.com. The main limitation is that there is a 40 minute time limit if you are meeting with 3 or more people. This can be used for all sorts of meetings, large and small. You can even do breakout rooms and divide people up into smaller classes. If you are going to have church meetings virtually, I strongly recommend you use some of the security features outlined here. Please use passwords.



You're better off posting meeting invite details into email lists and not publicly on social media. If you share a Zoom meeting invite on social media and don't have a password or enable waiting rooms, anyone and I mean ANYONE can join your meeting.

If you want to meet for over 40 minutes, you can buy one license for $14.99 here. https://zoom.us/pricing

If you are going to have consistent ward wide or congregation wide meetings over Zoom. I recommend you run this as a Zoom Webinar. Check this article out for a how to. This means you'll only see video and audio from the speakers. In a normal Zoom meeting everyone can be on video and audio. A webinar will make it easier to manage a large group, you can also stream it to Facebook or YouTube. Webinar licenses start at $40/a month depending on how many people you are expecting.

A few other quick tips.

1. You can broadcast video and audio so for the music you can share YouTube clips, PPT or visual aid.
2. You can mute everyone all at once.
3. You can make a meeting setting so people will be automatically muted upon entry. A really good idea.
4. For the paid versions of Zoom it also includes a dial in number which can be helpful for people w/o computer access or have difficulty with technology.
5. It generally does not work well to have everyone singing at once. Best to have one person sing and others sing at home, or just broadcast it.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any questions.

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