Growing Your Ministry with Multi-Site Monitoring – a Q&A with Church of the Highlands
Since it was founded in 2001, Church of the Highlands has been growing rapidly. As new campuses opened, Church of the Highlands needed a way to ensure that they could share their central message each week. In 2011, they began to leverage Haivision’s video streaming technology to reach their satellite campuses. And as the church continued to grow, so did their use of video streaming for their online ministry and connecting remote campuses. This led to a new challenge; by simply streaming to their satellite campuses, they were creating a one-way connection.
They needed a way to better support their campuses in order to create a positive worship experience for their pastors, volunteers, and congregation. Recently, they started using Haivision’s Multi-Site Monitoring service to connect with their satellite campuses, opening the door for two-way communication that will help them to continue to grow and spread the message in a meaningful way. Today, Church of the Highlands has 19 campuses across the state of Alabama, with their 20th location scheduled to launch in April 2019.
We spoke with Justin Firesheets, Production Director for Church of the Highlands. He shared his experience using video streaming technology to support campuses across Alabama, and the difference that they have been able to make with Multi-Site Monitoring.
Haivision: How has live video streaming and other technology helped Church of the Highlands achieve its ministry goals?
Justin: Being a multisite church, we’re always trying to leverage technology to be as efficient as we can across the state and with our online audience. As our leaders’ vision has grown and developed, it’s on our production team to make sure we’re engaged with technical trends and to stay well versed in what the industry is doing and what’s available. That knowledge ensures we’re ready to bring new ideas to the table for how we can support ministry growth more effectively and efficiently. This includes preparing for a campus launch and in how we can be more efficient in how we’re doing things at our broadcast location. We’re always exploring new systems and methods to keep getting better.
I’ve been on staff for 10 years. In 2009, we had four campuses. Today, we’re getting ready to launch our 20th location. What’s helped spur this on, is that it’s more scalable to reach other parts of the state than it used to be. We initially used satellites or fiber connections at certain locations. Having Haivision’s IP-based delivery systems was a huge step for us in opening the door for broader expansion than we could have had given other distribution methods.
Haivision: You started using Haivision’s Multi-Site Monitoring recently. What led to the decision to use that product and how has that experience been so far?
Justin: We had looked at using Haivision Multi-Site Monitoring for our ministry for a couple of years. From a central standpoint, it was getting harder to support everyone as we added new campuses. We wanted a system that would allow us to provide coaching for campus pastors as they were getting stage experience, monitor what’s happening during worship so we could coach worship leaders, as well as provide training and evaluation for our ministry school students who were serving in a service environment. From a production standpoint, if a campus is having issues, we can now see in real time what’s happening so we can provide feedback on how to work through an issue. It provides a resource so we can better support, coach, and develop the people we have across campuses.
Also, as campus teams meet, they’re able to review services and discuss amongst themselves how to improve. They can also exchange feedback with other campuses. This allows for a more peer-driven, collaborative process instead of the central team driving the process from a distance.
Haivision: What was the setup process like?
Justin: We started setting up IP delivery for all campuses in 2011. It’s been a growth process over time since then. We had a lot to learn on how to do this including how to configure our network to support it and learning the terminology. That’s where there was a benefit in having a support team from Haivision. They were able to provide us with coaching, resourcing, and help as we figured this out. We’ve had them come here and we’ve also sent people to their offices. We developed a strong symbiotic relationship in the early days to help each other through this process. Their development team has been open to our feedback and we’ve leaned on their support team to help us through seasons of growth.
Haivision: What has the experience been like with the Haivision team?
Justin: We’ve been very blessed with our relationship with Haivision. Sometimes the worship market can get overlooked since it’s not always the highest profit opportunity, so it’s natural for some vendors to minimize their level of investment in this market. However, Haivision has been a fantastic partner. They work with us to resolve any issues and provide us with a great support team. We consider them a partner in ministry and not just a company that sells us a service. They believe in and support the vision we have as an organization.
Haivision: With all the growth you’ve already experienced, what are the growth plans for the near future?
Justin: We have 17 off-site campuses plus two venues at our broadcast location and will launch our 20th location in April. This fall, we may explore adding 1-2 more locations. We like to be opportunistic and have resources available to take advantage of opportunities should they become available.
We want to thank Justin for taking the time to talk with us and share how Church of the Highlands has leveraged Haivision technology to support its growing congregation.
Would you like to learn more about Haivision’s solutions for multi-site monitoring? Learn how your ministry can use it to build consistent culture, improve collaboration, and enhance the worship experience across locations. Explore Haivision’s Multi-Site Monitoring solutions today.