Multimedia has grown as a communications tool in the past 20 years. Savvy communicators around the globe now incorporate audio, video and the power of network-quality live production to more effectively inform audiences. Many houses of worship have readily adopted this trend. What began with use of websites and podcasts has now expanded to visual events with live music, dynamic graphics and more, broadcast or streamed across the globe.
At Northview Assembly of God in Columbus, Indiana, Youth leader and multimedia Minister Eric Burton has seen the use of technology increase at his facility
“We started pretty simply, with a projector to display lyrics and scripture. Then, I started editing videos for the services, and as capabilities grew and I become more comfortable, we got better audio/video equipment.”
“We had talked for a while about how cool it would be if we could broadcast services live and soon realized it would be easier to reach our targeted audience from our own website, Burton explained. “The congregation embraced the idea, and when a new sanctuary was built, they included a budget for proper live production equipment. Burton saw a NewTek TriCaster™ demo at the Assembly of God district convention, and quickly settled on using TriCaster as his principal tool for live production and streaming.
There was initial concern raised by some members that live streaming might affect weekly services, but Burton says the response quickly turned positive.
“TriCaster made a definite impact. People who were initially skeptical can see the value TriCaster brings to our services, and I’m now able to show them Web reports of how many watched our live services online.” Burton notes that when someone goes to a church website, they’re looking to see what a church is about, and feels the best way to accomplish that is to view a previous service. Because of this, he says many newcomers arrive with a better understanding of the pastor, the music styles and what ideas have already been presented. “We have had several people who watched a service online and then decided to come join us.”
Burton says he found a ready crew in the church youth group, and discovered that TriCaster is “volunteer-proof” and easy to master quickly.
“Having no formal training in video production, they’re doing a great job. After a couple services, they are comfortable with their production duties, switching cameras, bringing up titles and playing back video clips in the DDR.” Burton added that the crew takes pride in its production abilities, and their weekly responsibilities keep them highly engaged in the church community.
Northview Assembly of God capitalized on TriCaster’s small footprint for some outreach, as the church hosted Summer Blast, a community carnival. TriCaster was the hub of Northview’s mobile production. They turned the church van into an ad-hoc TV truck, live recording all of the key activities of the weekend event.
Burton says TriCaster greatly eased their transition into live production and streaming, and advises nearby congregations that they should do the same.
“I tell them to get two or three cameras and a NewTek TriCaster, and you’re ready to produce live and provide on-demand access. TriCaster is a great tool to reach people you would not be able to reach otherwise including missionaries watching our service around the world.”