Learning & Growing: Lessons on Video Streaming from Silverdale Baptist Church
Silverdale Baptist Church had a challenge any church would love to have – they were running two services at close to full capacity. To make room for more people, they started using their Student Ministry Building (SMB) as another service location. It wasn’t long before they needed to add a second service in that building as well. As they evaluated how to accommodate their growing congregation, they decided to build campuses in areas close to many of their congregants, instead of asking them to drive to the main campus. This strategy meant they needed a solution for getting the Sunday message streamed to new campuses. We talked with Silverdale Baptist Church’s Technical Director, Matthew Johnson, about that process.
Haivision: Why did Silverdale Baptist Church decide to use video streaming as the solution for getting messages to new campuses?
Matthew: The goal of our church when it comes to multisite is to have the message that our Senior Pastor preaches to go out to everyone at all campuses. We are one church over many locations. It’s not always possible for us to record a message on a hard drive and get it to our other sites in the timeframe needed, so video streaming is vital to achieving that goal.
Haivision: Who at your ministry is operating your video streaming functions? Did they come with technical knowledge or did you have to train them?
Matthew: We have three people on staff that make up the production team. Everyone else on the team is a volunteer (camera operators, video switchers, audio, etc.). In total, we have about 60-80 volunteers working across our campuses. We give volunteers the opportunity throughout the year to learn something new. If they express an interest and we see they have the potential to learn a new task, we’ll invest more training in them.
Haivision: Did you deal with any issues as you started video streaming? If so, how did you overcome them?
Matthew: We have very good internet service and bandwidth at our main campus. When we started looking at streaming services, we were going to have to change our ISP from one company to another since the new campus (North Ooltewah) is outside our vendor’s service area.
We initially spoke with Haivision about its video streaming services. However, we decided to go with a different company to save money. The issue we ran into was that the internet service at the North Ooltewah campus was unreliable. It was supposed to be 100MB per second and, at times, was only 25MB per second.
That’s when we approached Haivision again since the streaming vendor we selected originally wasn’t able to overcome the internet issue. Haivision provided us with the ability to cache a service, then play it on-demand. A lot of people do live video, but not many do time-delayed video. Using Haivision’s DVR solution where it caches locally on the drive in North Ooltewah was a huge help.
Haivision: What has the experience been like with the Haivision team?
Matthew: From the initial set up to the ongoing support they provide – the service we’ve received has been pretty amazing. We had our first challenge a few weeks ago where a piece of equipment had a power surge issue. Haivision overnighted a device out to us and when it got here, I called them up – they took care of the setup within 10-15 mins.
If we ever have a question, it’s easy to get someone on the phone to help us. It’s been a great experience overall. The reliability we get from Haivision’s services means that streaming is not one of the things I have to worry about on a Sunday morning.
Haivision: You currently have four campuses, running multiple services each week at each of them. Where does Silverdale Baptist Church plan on going from here?
Matthew: We have a building we’re in the process of working on now that’s on the Bonny Oaks site. In the next five years, we’ll likely start construction on another offsite campus. Our goal is to add another campus every 3-4 years after that.
Haivision: What advice would you offer someone looking to get started with video streaming?
Matthew: When it comes to equipment and multisite – you really have to think through how your timeframes will work, who will be staffing it, and the technical requirements for the other campuses. Look at and invest in the equipment that will set you up for success. In our first round, we went with a company that had achieved some success but they weren’t that big of a company, and we went with them to save costs. It seems like trying to go for the lowest cost usually doesn’t work out in the end. Good service comes with a price but it’s worth it in the end when it comes to reliability and support.
We want to thank Matthew for taking the time to talk with us and share Silverdale Baptist Church’s experience with adding campuses and how video streaming has supported their ministry efforts.
Would you like to learn more about how your ministry can use video streaming to spread your message? Explore our different faith streaming options, or reach out to us today to speak with a video streaming expert.