The Volunteer’s Guide to Video Streaming in the Church: Easing Communications with Digital Signage
Editor’s note: This blog post is the fourth in our series called The Volunteer’s Guide to Video Streaming in the Church. Stay tuned for our upcoming posts, helping to guide church volunteers as they enter the world of video streaming with their ministry.
What is digital signage?
Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you have certainly seen digital signage. You may have walked into a mall, corporate office, or sports venue recently and watched a TV screen to view a directory, map, score updates, or company announcements. Digital signage helps those running a venue, restaurant, or office to quickly and conveniently communicate with their audience.
Why use digital signage for ministry?
Digital signage isn’t only reserved for big companies or sports venues. Many churches use digital signage to communicate information about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, where to find a specific room, stream a live service, and more.
We live in a visual culture where we automatically go to a screen (whether that involves a TV, computer, or mobile device) for information. Digital signage technology offers the flexibility you can’t achieve with a paper bulletin or flyers.
For churches with multiple campuses, the central campus can control digital signs for each location. This ensures consistent messaging across all sites. Additionally, each campus can create customized options based on events or other announcements unique to that location.
How to get started with digital signage
Step #1: Find the right vendor
While many excellent vendors provide digital signage options, it’s best to work with a team that’s familiar with the unique requirements and needs of ministries. They’ll be more prepared to offer guidance based on their experience with other churches and will be able to anticipate potential challenges (and help you avoid them).
Step #2: Gather the right equipment
You’ll need the following items to set up digital signage:
- A digital signage system that can stream live video (for displaying live or recorded services) along with other digital content
- Set-top boxes – You’ll need a set-top box to go with each screen to receive the data and display it
- Screens – These are usually TVs that can accommodate the set-top boxes
- Digital signage content manager – You’ll want a central system for managing all content to display on the screens. A robust system should provide you with the option to display the same content on all screens or different content for each screen. You should also be able to pull information from a variety of data sources (website, spreadsheet, text file, etc.) and have the system format and display the data on the screen or screens selected.
Step #3: Decide what your ministry will share over digital signage
There are many ways to leverage digital signage as part of your church’s overall communication strategy. Here are a few examples:
- Prompts during a service including song lyrics and scripture readings
- Announcements about a new sermon series, building program updates, capital campaign fund progress, volunteer opportunities, baptisms, etc
- Weather or holiday announcements
- Welcome first-time guests and direct them to your Welcome Center
- Display schedules for upcoming events such as Vacation Bible School, marriage retreats, outreaches, and more
- Emergency evacuation or sheltering instructions
- A map of the campus
- Specials available in the church bookstore or coffee bar
- Display information for your hearing-impaired members and guests
- Provide instructions on how to give online or via text message
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to leverage digital signage for your church. Want to learn how your church can use to digital signage to improve the worship experience? Reach out to our team to learn more about how you can incorporate digital signage into your communication efforts and enhance the worship experience at your ministry.