With group gathering cancellations coming down from the CDC and Department of HHS, these can be trying times when it comes to being providing your congregation with an easy way to connect and worship. If you’ve never live-streamed an event before, you might be surprised to learn that getting setup to stream your services live – and link to it in your PocketPlatform application – is actually quite easy and simple.

Today, we’re going to discuss using Vimeo Premium to get a livestream set up for your church service this weekend, and link to it from the PocketPlatform application, right on your dashboard!

Please note – you can also use YouTube Live for this as well, however, Vimeo livestream will allow you to eventually scale up your livestream operation to offer deeper integration with PocketPlatform – and eventually – Roku or AppleTV integration if you need it in the future. If you would like to be able to set up direct integration into the PocketPlatform application and Roku/AppleTV apps, you can contact us and we’ll help you identify a solution for you.

Step 1: Sign Up for Vimeo Premium

Vimeo premium costs $75 a month, billed annually.

Step 2: Set up your streaming environment, aka: set

If you’re suspending all gatherings during this time, you’ll want to set up your environment in a cozy, welcoming way. Think smaller spaces, with interesting but subdued backdrops.

Think more video set and less worship venue. We think Perimeter did a pretty nice job with this last week.

You can stream directly from a phone with Vimeo Premium!


This allows you can start streaming immediately without additional equipment. Adding a simple tripod or a gimbal meant for a phone goes a long way. I personally bought this one from Amazon.

As your set up grows, Vimeo can grow with you.

You can also use a camera with microphones set up through a laptop, however, setting up a complete A/V configuration is beyond the scope of this article.

Step 3: Test your livestream!

Do a dry run without telling anyone about it, but have at least a few people watching remotely to make sure that your video and audio quality is where you want it to be.

Step 4: Add a dashboard recipe to set your live stream!

If you’d like us to configure this for you, we’d be happy to. Alternatively you can set your own up. – here’s a basic recipe structure to get you started.


What’s Going On Recipe

This month’s ROTM is a really fun one that a member of our community came up with. Here’s the idea:

A church member comes on campus anytime during the week for an event but isn’t registered…how do they find the room?

Enter the “What’s Going On” recipe.

Here’s the criteria:
* If a user is
+ on campus
+ registered for an event
+ that begins within 30 minutes
+ then the dashboard will display that event
* If a user
+ is not registered for any events that begin within 30 minutes
+ is on campus
+ then the dashboard will display events that are happening now or start within a 30 minute window, and has a link to all events
+ the user can click on an event to find room information and start times

This is a really fun one because it can help a user even when they aren’t registered for a specific event.

Click here to view the code

Do you need a special recipe, or have one you’d like to share?

If you have something awesome, you’d like to do on your dashboard or something you think might be awesome for other MP churches, send us a note. Just let us know.

Weekly Video Announcements

For our first ROTM (we just made an acronym) Stonebriar Community Church in Texas wanted a way to dynamically display their weekly video announcements on their dashboard. The recipe we created for them is able to automatically pull a video directly from Vimeo or Youtube (Youtube displayed in example code) along with the video’s preview image and plays the video natively in the PocketPlatform media player. For Stonebriar, the process of changing the weekly video couldn’t be easier – they simply update two configuration entries in MinistryPlatform, and the video announcements update across their entire installed user base. This recipe is easy to adjust for different video hosting solutions as well, for significant versatility across environments.

To use the recipe, you will need to add a config setting to MP for “POCKETPLATFORM” with the Key of “YTVideoID” and put the Youtube video id in that field. The original query was designed to send the user to the YouTube via the native app or browser.

/*Copy and Paste Y’all*/

DECLARE @YTVideoID nvarchar(50) = (SELECT Value FROM dp_Configuration_Settings WHERE Application_Code = 'POCKETPLATFORM' AND Key_Name = 'YTVideoID') DECLARE @YTLink nvarchar(250) = 'https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=' + @YTVideoID DECLARE @YTImage nvarchar(250) = CONCAT('https://img.youtube.com/vi/', @YTVideoID, '/0.jpg') insert into @Items(ID, Parent_ID, [Type], Data, URL) VALUES ('minute-group', null, 'group', null, @YTLink), ('minute-graphic', 'minute-group', 'graphic', @YTImage, null), ('minute-card', 'minute-group', 'card', null, @YTLink), ('minute-text', 'minute-card', 'text', 'Weekly Update', null);

Do you need a special recipe, or have one you’d like to share?

If you have something awesome, you’d like to do on your dashboard or something you think might be awesome for other MP churches, send us a note. Just let us know.