5 Ways of Using Apple TV in Church

apple tv in church

Apple just shipped the new Apple TV and I got one because I love the little black box but hated the old remote. It got me thinking about using Apple TV in church and I came up with 5 ways you can use the new Apple TV in church or in ministry.

The new Apple TV 4K is a great tool for churches.

What Is the New Apple TV?

Apple first produced a set-top box way back in September 2006, but it didn’t really take off till the company updated it 4 years later. Now it’s a small black box that looks like an oversized hockey puck. It now comes with a metal remote that’s tiny and useful for watching streamed content and even playing some casual games. You can connect a keyboard or a game controller via Bluetooth. You can also connect Bluetooth headphones, Apple AirPods, or a speaker.

apple tv 4k with new remote side by side

Apple added a streaming service called Apple TV+ that includes content made for the service and gathers content from other streaming apps that run on the Apple TV like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more.

Apple added a streaming service called Apple TV+ that includes content made for the service and gathers content from other streaming apps that run on the Apple TV like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more.

apple tv in church new remote

This week (May 2021) Apple starting shipping the 6th version of the Apple TV. The following list shows the specs of the latest version, also called the Apple TV 4K 2nd Generation…

  • Fast A12 Bionic processor
  • High frame rate 60fps HDR
  • HDMI 2.1
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • New color optimization using the iPhone camera
  • tvOS 14.5 or higher
  • AirPlay
  • New and improved remote replacing the horrifically bad touch remote from previous generations
the new apple tv 4k remote

Most people probably think of Apple TV as a way to consume content for entertainment or maybe education. It’s also a gaming system for casual gamers. However, you can use it in ministry or the church. So, we’ve got some tips for using Apple TV in Church.

back of new apple tv

The new Apple TV costs $179 for a 32GB model and $199 for a 64 GB model. Unless you think you’ll install a lot of games or apps, you can get the 32GB model. However, I’d recommend buying the 64GB model since it only costs $20.

Using Apple TV in Church for Presentations

This tip seems obvious. Use an Apple TV in Church for wireless presentations from either your Mac, iPad, or iPhone. If you have an Android device, you can find apps that work with Apple’s AirPlay.

apple tv in church for presentations
Connect a MacBook to your Apple TV over AirPlay and use it for presentations.

Start with traditional presentation apps like Keynote, PowerPoint, or a lesser-known presentation app. Use AirPlay to connect to the Apple TV and fire up the app. It will allow you to mirror the screen or display your slides on the Apple TV and the presenter’s view on the iPad, iPhone, or Mac.

On your Mac connect to the Apple TV from the new Control Center on Big Sur and choose your Apple TV from the drop down list and click on Use As Separate Display so you can use your Mac for presenter view and the Apple TV as the audience view.

If you need the details about how to connect over Airplay, use the tips on Apple’s support site. Here’s the support page for using a Mac to present.

Set Up a Foyer Information or Announcement Kiosk

You can display photo slideshows on an Apple TV. That’s a great use for an Apple TV in Church. Get a TV in the foyer or in any room where you need to display announcements or informational slides. Hook up an Apple TV and set it to play the slideshow.

Put all your photos or slides in an album in the Photos app for the account connected to the Apple TV. Then follow the steps on this Apple Support page for setting up the Photos App to display the slides or photos.

You can use it for…

  • Announcements
  • Informational slides – for visitors, families, etc.
  • Slideshows of events from recent activities in the church – consider putting these in the midst of the announcements or info slides.
  • Play a video message – you can also place this in the slideshow of photos or announcements and info slides.

Play Music to Set Tone of a Room or Worship Event

Sometimes I fire up the Apple TV in our church’s fellowship room and play some background music. It’s great at holiday events or a supper for the church or groups in the church. I also occasionally play music to set the tone for a Bible study or worship event. Then after the event’s over, I might fire up the music again with a playlist that sets the tone of how we want to send people on their way.

Stream Video Content

Of course you can stream video content on an Apple TV in church, but why would you?

  • Show videos of past events
  • Share a video message from a shut-in shot on an iPhone and stored in Photos
  • Use one of the many Christian and Bible-centered apps like the Life.Church Bible, Faithlife TV, or RightNow Media Media.
  • YouTube videos
  • Facebook Watch videos
  • Plex to stream your own videos
  • Hold a movie party for a small group

That’s just a handful of useful ways to use the streaming capabilities of the Apple TV in Church. You can watch any video that you want, so long as you’re not breaking copyright laws.

Educate People on Using Software and Websites

If your church just got a new Church app, then use the Apple TV to demonstrate how to use the new app. AirPlay the screen on your iPhone or iPad. You could create a video and stream it.

Use AirPlay to show off your church’s new website. Maybe you want your people to use another website. Demo it using Apple TV.

a demo of logos 9 on apple tv 4k
A demo of Logos 9 on an Apple TV 4K.

If you have a group of people who want to learn more about studying their Bible with Bible study software or an app, then you can teach them by opening the app or software and then use AirPlay to connect the computer, iPad, or iPhone.

Conclusion

The Apple TV can help save money and make you more successful in communicating with your church. Instead of a long cable run, connect an Apple TV to a projector. Also, it’s cheaper a whole computer hooked up to a display.

While the new Apple TV is a great box for using an Apple TV in church, you might want to consider an older 1080P Apple TV. They’re cheaper and will still work great. If you’re getting one of the new 4K models for home, then maybe you can re-purpose an old 1080P model for the church.

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