How Elevation Church Uses Faith Streaming to Build Connections Over Social Distance

We recently sat down with Nick Dooley, IT Director, of Elevation Church, as part of our “Behind the Streams” webinar series. Throughout our discussion, we explored how Nick and the team at Elevation Church, have adapted to the challenges of 2020 with video streaming for online ministry, and connecting campuses.

Elevation Church is a ministry that started with one location in North Carolina in 2006. In 2010, they added an online option for their congregation, and by 2019, Elevation Church had 19 physical locations and a weekly attendance of 30,000 congregants. Online ministry has played an important role for Elevation Church for a long time – even before 2020, Elevation Church would see as many as 20 attendees at their online services for attendee at a physical location.

In the webinar, Nick led us through the different Haivision solutions that make up the typical workflow at Elevation Church.

Elevation Church faith streaming workflows as seen in the webinar

Elevation Church utilizes Haivision KB encoders and Haivision Video Cloud for streaming to their online campus and social media profiles, while Makito X4 video encoders and decoders at different campuses have allowed the team to keep connected between campuses. The team also uses Haivision Play Pro for remote contribution, for additional content.

Adapting to the Unexpected

Things took a dramatic change earlier this year as the spread of COVID-19 forced ministries to shut their doors and bring their entire ministry online. Elevation Church’s experience with online ministry certainly made the shift to online-only easier for the team – but it certainly didn’t eliminate all obstacles. One of the main concerns facing Nick and the team was, considering that their attendees weren’t allowed in the church, would the team be?

To share their message and connect with their congregation while keeping the team safe, Elevation Church developed a plan to conform to local health guidelines with fewer staff onsite. With limited staff to help for services, the workflows being used to connect Elevation Church with their congregation needed to be not only reliable, but easy to use. Nick praised the convenience of the Haivision KB encoders, which allows the team to send streams to multiple destinations with ease.

“Just the ability to go in and configure multiple things through this one platform, so that our team has one interface that they’re used to, they have one set of processes they can use regardless of what platform we’re streaming to.” – Nick Dooley, IT Director, Elevation Church

This ability to stream to multiple destinations with the Haivision KB and Haivision Video Cloud was especially important to Elevation Church, who share their services over social media like Facebook and YouTube, their own website, and over Roku for Apple TV.

Screen shot of Elevation Church's online ministry workflow from the webinar

Maintaining Close Connections over Long Distances

Ease of use wasn’t the only important component of Haivision’s video streaming solutions for Elevation Church, the extremely low end-to-end latency – under a minute – made a tremendous impact on how the community was able to connect. This low latency means that when Elevation Church’s lead pastor, calls out to the congregation over the online service, that they can interact in the chat in a meaningful way; the pastor can see those comments, and respond to them, if need be, before moving onto a different topic.

Nick pointed to the flexibility of Haivision’s video solutions as a contributing factor their success in pivoting to online-only events. While trying to develop a creative solution for their youth program, who would not be able to have an in-person camp experience, the team was inspired by a very different event – the NFL Virtual Draft.

In the webinar, Nick describes how learning about the NFL Virtual Draft leveraging SRT and Haivision solutions made him realize that they “had the solution in our hands.” By using the tools they already had, and with a little bit of assistance from the Haivision team, the team at Elevation Church put together a “how-to” guide that allowed teams in their youth program to contribute remotely, while on the road. The event was a considerable success, and Nick described his teams relief at having “a neat tool to not have to jump through a ton of hoops.”

Other Haivision solutions, like Haivision Play Pro, have also made it easier for the team to utilize remote contribution, which has enabled Elevation Church to bring their community together, virtually, with events like remote baptisms.

Shining a Spotlight on Faith Streaming

As we have mentioned, Elevation Church uses Haivision’s faith streaming technology for so much more than their online ministry. Want to learn how they have brought their campuses together for multi-campus coaching, or are using remote production to create compelling footage for before and after their services? Watch the recording of our Behind the Streams webinar to learn more about the workflows, challenges, and successes that Elevation Church has seen with faith streaming.

Behind the Streams with Elevation Church

Learn how the team at Elevation Church is using faith streaming to grow their ministry over different campuses, create compelling content, and stay connected with their congregation over distance.

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