How Video Streaming Can Help Expand Your Ministry’s Physical Presence
Advances in technology are making it easier than ever for ministries to spread their message. You may already be streaming your weekly worship services or other video content to different channels – be it your church’s website, YouTube, or even Facebook. As you start getting more and more viewers, and your audience begins to grow, you may be wondering: how can you get more out of that content and grow the outreach of the ministry even further?
The next step: satellite campuses
Let’s say that through video analytics, you’ve identified a pocket of your audience viewing your content who are all in close proximity to each other, but are too far from the location of the church for an easy commute to attend the worship services in person. How can you integrate this group and make them feel like they are part of the experience? Perhaps it’s time to think about establishing a satellite campus as the solution to give this audience a place to worship in person and feel even more connected to your church’s community.
Establishing a new satellite campus comes with some obstacles to overcome. With the expenses involved in expanding a ministry, new satellite campuses often start out in temporary locations where the space is rented out. Be it schools, halls or theaters, these are often spaces where set-up, worship and clean-up all have to happen within a brief window of time. So, not only do you have the technical challenge of getting your message from the main campus to the satellite campus, the gear that gets this job done needs to be easy to set up, portable and lightweight in order to help you be in and out of the space as quickly as possible.
Using video to close the distance
One of the best ways of making the satellite campus feel connected to the main campus is through video streaming. When sharing video from the main campus, the goal is to achieve a feeling of one church in multiple locations. The feeling is meant to be the same from one location to the other, and the new audience feels just as included in the worship experience. This satellite campus becomes a means of connecting and uniting people, and your worshippers will feel like they are really a part of the service – because they are.
Re-broadcasting a worship service, also referred to as time-slipping, involves the satellite campus receiving video content from the main campus. That content is then cued up for when the satellite location is at that point in the worship services and are ready to press play. This allows campuses to connect over distances, and even time. Say that for both the main campus and satellite campus, their local announcements take place right before the sermon, each announcement is unique to the campus. If the satellite campus has more announcements one week and they run over time, worshippers would want to rejoin the main campus sermon at the beginning. You don’t want to come into a sermon 5 minutes after it’s already begun.
Getting your ministry’s content to your satellite campus
The following steps are involved in getting the video from the main campus to the satellite campus:
- Video camera content at the main campus is sent from a production switcher to a video encoder
- The encoder converts the video and audio signal into an encoded data stream
- That stream is then sent up to a Content Delivery Network (CDN) where it’s stored for quick and easy access to be distributed to endpoints.
- At the satellite campus, a display engine, or video player, pulls down and receives the data, decodes it, and readies it for playback in a playback buffer
- The operator of the player cues up the content to start at the correct point and presses play, ensuring the message is shared as intended with the local audience at the right moment
Focusing on the message, not the means
When a satellite campus first starts out, it’s common to use volunteers. These volunteers may not have a technical background, so it is important that the technology is easy to use. With an intuitive workflow, volunteers will not only be more likely to stay engaged, but they can also serve and deliver the message without worrying about the technology.
The need is not only for something that is easy to set up and use, but also for a solution that can still provide great looking, professional-quality video. You want your audience’s focus to be on the message, rather than the quality of the picture. Without distractions, the main focus can be about the worship experience. This, in turn, will drive attendance – the satellite campus can grow and create a small community that fosters a relationship not only with the message, but with fellow worshippers as well. Those engaged and passionate congregation members can help drive attendance and bring in more people.
Tailored for faith organizations, Haivision’s video solutions and managed services help extend, unify, maintain and enhance your worship experience. In addition, our team is by your side from training and set-up to supporting your live events. You can learn more about our different solutions, customizable to fit your ministry’s needs, by clicking here.
Let us worry about the technology while you focus on your mission – sharing your message.