Preaching from Your Porch – Remote Contribution for Ministries
The spring and summer of 2020 has presented new challenges for ministers, pastors, and the evangelical church around the world. Most churches that were not streaming their live services or offering any of their messaging as video on demand had to quickly pivot to maintain communication, encourage their followers, and deliver messages to their congregations. What seemed like a novelty to some suddenly became a necessity leaving many to scramble for online video solutions to meet their needs.
Ministries that have long understood the positive impact of a dynamic online content strategy were in a better position. The COVID-19 shutdown left many church facilities closed completely so these ministries immediately began to ask the next level of questions like: “How do we design a remote video workflow flexible enough to allow our pastor to preach from home, study, or other campus location and still stream the content to our online campus and social media channels?”
Known for providing video solutions for major broadcasters, Haivision answered the call with proven remote contribution workflows providing ministries with the required flexibility to allow pastors and preach from anywhere – to anywhere.
The Challenge of Connecting Over Distance
When the COVID-19 shut down orders were issued, pastors realized they needed new ways to reach their congregation through an online experience. How would they be able to deliver daily and weekly messages while being quarantined at home? The answer: remote contribution. Having already delivered transport streams via remote contribution workflows for several major broadcasters and sports leagues, Haivision was able to deploy the required technology through existing mobile apps, hardware, and software – much of which our faith clients already had in place.
Remote Contribution on Mobile
One workflow we were able to deploy at no cost to our clients was the use of Haivision Play Pro – a free app for both Android and iOS. Media ministers were able to configure the app to send an SRT transport stream directly from the app to their Haivision KB Video Encoder at their main campus or normal broadcast location. The Haivision KB Video Encoder uses the transport stream as its source and transcodes the content into multi-bitrate, sending the content to the content delivery network and social media portals over the internet. The media minister would then place a mobile device on a stand or tripod and use the onboard HD camera to broadcast their pastors messages.
The reverse workflow also benefitted ministry as some worship pastors were unable to attend rehearsals in their main sanctuaries but were able to watch via an SRT stream on their mobile device from the KB encoder providing them the ability to coach and amend their worship sets in near real time.
This workflow offered flexibility and opened up massive options for pastors to communicate with their congregation and staff. Due to the ease of this workflow, during the shutdown several pastors decided to encourage staff and others on a daily basis.
As a video streaming solutions provider to leading broadcasters around the world, Haivision’s video encoders and decoders provide users with options for video delivery. And as many leading broadcasters were shifting to remote production, ministries with Haivision’s tools were able to do the same. Many of these ministries were equipped to deploy mobile switchers and cameras or fly packs providing greater production value from their remote locations. Pastor studies, offices, and basements were converted into mini studios allowing social distancing amongst the staff and crew while providing a rich worship and sermon experience for their online congregations live and in real time.
See the below diagram to see how the different contribution options work, using the open source SRT streaming protocol alongside hardware from the Haivision Makito X Video Encoder series and the Haivision KB Video Encoder and Transcoder series.
The beauty of using SRT, is that ministries can stream video in near-real time (sub-second delay,) even over unreliable networks. This provides online campus pastors the ability to engage with the online congregants through chatting and other connections, in real time. This ability to interact and engage provided much needed encouragement to staff and followers.
We’ve seen an unexpected blessing for ministries using live video, through enhanced online giving. Most ministries have reported an increase in online giving during COVID-19 which has helped ministry continue to support their communities and fund ministry locally and missions abroad.
You Have Options to Reach Your Congregation
If we could summarize these new workflows for ministry in a word – it would be “flexible”. There are several options available to give you and your ministry much needed flexibility during these times. As several of our partners have discovered, if they dream it – we can typically deliver it within a reasonable budget and in a short turnaround time.
Want to get started with remote contribution workflows for your ministry? Contact us today!