Zoom for church services—what to look out for

Thanks to live streaming and video conferencing, churches and their communities are now able to stay connected in new and exciting ways. But with so many solutions to choose from, it’s important to explore the capabilities and limitations of each option before making your choice.  

You might be considering Zoom due to its rise in popularity. However, the features Zoom offers are significantly limited when compared to dedicated live streaming solutions, and it was not built with the needs of churches in mind.

Here are the main reasons why Zoom is not a great platform for churches to live stream their services:


While it might initially seem appealing to use Zoom for your church services in order to create a digital “face-to-face” with your community, there are many distractions that come along with using a platform primarily designed for video conferencing. Without the proper settings or ground rules in place, Zoom church services become loud and disorienting because of noisy participants who are not muted. This isn’t an issue with dedicated providers because live streaming acts as a broadcast to your audience rather than an unorganized meeting. 

Dedicated providers, such as Subsplash Live, are built to deliver your live streams with the best viewing experience in mind. This focus on the quality of the stream, rather than two-way communication, creates an environment where your meaningful message is at the forefront. 


“Zoom bombing” is a term used to describe a cyberattack in which an uninvited guest suddenly disrupts your Zoom video call. This can result in everything from the “bomber” taking over the video and audio of your meeting to sharing explicit links and messages.  

There has been a significant increase in hacks as more people and organizations have turned to Zoom to stay connected. Recently, a San Francisco church’s Bible study was taken over by a hacker that took control of their computers to display extremely horrific and explicit video content. Another church in Boston had their Sunday morning service interrupted by a person forcefully displaying hate speech across their community’s screens. 

Using Zoom for church services puts you in the uncomfortable position of weighing your community’s safety and privacy against keeping your “digital doorstep” open to guests. With dedicated live streaming providers like Subsplash Live, you do not have to be put in this difficult situation because no one can interfere with your broadcasts other than your designated hosts. 


If something goes wrong with your Zoom church service, you’ll likely have to troubleshoot on your own. The technical support offered by Zoom is quite limited unless you’re willing to pay for a top-tier package. The only subscription that includes dedicated phone support and a customer success manager starts at $1,999 per month, a fee that far exceeds most churches' budgets for a video conference solution! 

The best live streaming platforms, like Subsplash Live, automatically include dedicated support and customer success with their service and are priced much more affordably for churches.


Zoom gives churches the option to record their services and download the video once they are over. 

However, the work that is then required to download, edit, upload, and distribute your recorded services is significant and can quickly become tedious. Before your recording is even ready to download, it can take upwards of an hour just for Zoom to process it!

Media management is far better when using a dedicated live streaming solution, such as Subsplash Live. It allows you to create and manage your recorded media content from a simple-to-use dashboard and then easily distribute across the channels of your choosing. For example, when your live stream is done, it can automatically appear on your app and website as on-demand content. This eliminates the need to download, edit, and reupload videos when using providers like Zoom, making it easier to offer gospel-centered content to your community! 


While there is a free version of Zoom, its bare-bones functionality makes it less than ideal for churches of any size. Paid subscriptions unlock additional features, but their costs add up fast.

Depending on the package, Zoom charges $14.99–19.99 per "host" on the account. This means that even a medium-sized church with 10 staff members requiring host privileges will pay a monthly subscription starting at $149.99!

Unfortunately, even at this price point meetings are limited to 100 participants—far too few for most churches. For the basic Pro package, churches can pay an additional $64.99 a month per host to increase their participant capacity to 500, or $104.99 a month per host to increase it to 1,000.

All told, a mid-sized church could easily spend $200–300 per month on using Zoom for their church services. If this seems expensive, you’re right; there are far less costly options out there.


Simulated live streaming allows churches to record a video, edit it, then stream it as a live broadcast later. This is ideal for situations when your church wants to produce a more complex video than a live experience would allow, does not have the resources to pull off a truly live service, or just wants to repurpose existing content. 

Simulated live should be available on every live streaming platform as a standard feature, but it isn’t. With Zoom, users must pay an extra $40 per month for the Zoom Webinars add-on in order to get access to it. On Subsplash Live, simulated live is automatically included and, unlike Zoom, allows you to stream pre-recorded videos to your church website and mobile and TV apps.


Live streamed church content is meant to be seen, shared, and easily accessible. Your church’s live streaming provider should be built to seamlessly engage your audience regardless of their device or location. 

Zoom makes it incredibly difficult to embed your live streamed church services on your church app or website. It involves an unnecessarily complex and glitch-prone process that even website and app developers find challenging.

Other live streaming platforms don’t have this drawback. Subsplash Live makes it easy to embed your live streamed services to your app and website through Subsplash web integrations. This creates a go-to place for your audience to access all of your streams, rather than searching for a particular Zoom link every single time.

Want to see this in action? Head to the Interbay Community Church app and website to see live streaming on the Subsplash Platform.

Due to its numerous issues and limitations, Zoom should not be your go-to live streaming platform for church services. Finding a solution that makes it easy to stream across multiple channels while still offering important features and technical support is ultimately the best for both your church team and your audience.  

All told, it could easily cost your church $200–300 per month (or more) to live stream your worship services through Zoom—a hefty price tag given its limited functionality! Most Subsplash Live packages are at a fraction of that price point.

With affordable plans based on your average weekly online audience, Subsplash Live gives you so much more! All subscriptions include simulated live streaming, dedicated support, in-depth analytics, and the ability to stream to 2,500 members of your community, with no limits on the number of account admins. (More than a 2,500? Custom plans are available too.)

Want to learn more about how your organization can better engage your audience anytime, anywhere with Subsplash Live? Check it out!

Already a Subsplash Client? Log in to your Subsplash Dashboard to instantly add Subsplash Live today, or schedule a call with your Client Success Manager!


Olivia Massimiano, Marketing Generalist

Inspired by her experience as a church volunteer and member, Olivia is passionate about equipping churches with compelling and useful content. When she’s not working, you’ll usually find her at the movies, exploring the Pacific Northwest, or spoiling her dog.

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