Simulated Live Worship Online

A Simulated Live Worship Experience

Online viewership statistics along with the incredible growth of the multi-site ministry model has proven that delivering a targeted and well executed online media experience builds the physical presence of believers. One of the tools that has been deployed by ministries over the last five to seven years is the re-broadcasting of a live worship service over time – we call it Simulated or Sim-Live video.

In its simplest form, Sim-Live is basically a video-on-demand (VOD) media file of an entire worship service that is scheduled to replay or re-broadcast at specific times over a specific period of time. This allows online attendees to enjoy the service at other times convenient to their schedule. This can have a great impact on both the local and global church, as the web creates ministries without walls (or time zones).

When crafting a Sim-Live strategy a ministry should consider the following tactics to properly manage the experience for maximum impact. Many of our clients use their current live streaming statistics and geo data to help determine schedules to cover specific global time zones.


Many ministries that offer Sim-Live ensure that an online campus pastor is available to chat and engage with the online attendees (notice they are not referred to as an audience) during Sim-Live playback. This allows ministerial interaction during the service and the potential for prayer, the prospect of establishing new followers, and the opportunity to invite attendees to one of their physical campuses.

Online Campus Experience

Since the technology behind the media playing out is typically a video-on-demand file, it’s often wise to use a Javascript or XML to strip out the online player scrubber. This forces the viewer to watch the content as a live experience with only the ability to pause the content for breaks and not be able to skip around while the video is streaming. The goal here is to inspire a call to action for the viewer and to encourage them to engage with questions and dialogue. A VOD file would not create the same sense of urgency.

In Content References

Considering that your content will be viewed in multiple time zones and around the clock (depending on your schedule), it is recommended that your worship team and pastors refrain from commenting on times of day or making comments related to any timely news or local information. Saying “good morning” when an attendee in London is watching during dinner just feels awkward for everyone. Seeing Christmas Trees on the platform for a service that is re-playing in January can have the same effect.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean making major changes before your services. Some ministries accomplish this in post production so as not to interrupt the cadence of the pastors sermon.

Fresh versus Stale

Delivering a consistent online experience is crucial but even the most patient can grow weary of the same content being offered over and over. It is important that any Sim-Live strategy incorporates a deliberate content strategy and schedule to keep your attendees engaged and wanting more.

Get Social

Your ministries’ social media calendar should incorporate posts about your Sim-Live experience along with any decisions or positive outcomes from the online campus delivery (like salvations or new attendees). Social channels can help build the Sim-Live audience in many ways. They give attendees a different way to connect with your ministry, and they help to raise awareness of your message.

However, to maintain focus, it is wise to consider driving viewers to your ministry online campus page as opposed to offering Sim-Live within the social platforms. Use social media to post links to your content, but make sure you host the video on your own website where you can make sure that viewers are exposed to more details about your ministry and are open to engaging directly with your ministry.  

What a Friend we have in Automation

Most current media delivery cloud-based services provide scripting and automation. This allows a ministry to serve up a VOD file as Sim-Live in 60 minutes or less. Availability can be predicated on the live streaming service and encoding solutions used, the content delivery network footprint and workflows, as well as the original size of the file.

As with any ministry activity, consistency in the quality and experience is key. Campus pastors should be constantly measuring the effectiveness of their Sim-Live experience to periodically tune the online content, schedule, and overall attendee experience. At the end of the day, an effective Sim-Live experience should be adding souls to the ministries’ church campus or, as in many cases, creating a new campus within a geographical region.

Are you ready to add a Sim-Live experience to your ministry? Reach out to the team at Haivision to learn more about our faith-based solutions. In the meantime, you can learn how a good online strategy increases physical attendance at your services, as in the case of Florida’s El Rey Jesus Ministries.

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