I was recently told, “I know every ministry in the church needs more volunteers, but the tech team really needs more volunteers.” We have all been there - It’s Sunday morning and you are a church staff member or volunteer on the media team. You are likely spinning many plates and rarely stop for a breath from early morning until services are done. It can also be very difficult to find enough volunteers to create a regular rotation of skilled workers. This leaves consistent gaps in properly manning in-house production, which usually consists of having different people to run cameras, audio, lights, lyrics, etc. Then you add live streaming and video on demand to your workflows and you have several more jobs to do during and after your services. It is absolutely okay to put these tasks into the hands of volunteers, but you want to make sure they are equipped to deliver excellence while not get stressed out by the process.
One factor many churches do not consider when selecting a video provider is how this technology will impact their human resources - staff and volunteers - and whether it will simplify their workflow or make it more complicated. Choosing the right video provider can help alleviate some of the stress put on your media team. Things like automated workflows, system integrations and live support should be left to the video provider so your team can focus on what’s important.
To those who don’t know any better, getting your services online may seem like a cakewalk, but your media team understands the pressure this ministry has, and so do we. From years of service, and being entrenched in media ministry ourselves, we understand the impact of streaming on church technical and media teams. This includes the roles of volunteers as an integral part of those teams.
Here are three reasons your technical and media teams want you to consider a professional video platform for your church’s needs:
- Automation - Staff and volunteer time is precious and often hard to come by. In ministry, we are usually already doing the work of 1.5 people, so any opportunity to save time should be taken. Quite honestly though, we know many church tech directors who make more work for themselves. Rather than using a single cohesive system with automations in place they will spend hours each week managing multiple platforms and doing manual processes for church media distribution. There are many video platforms out there that will help create more work for your team - more to do manually, more to manage, lots of sitting and waiting. We believe you can be better stewards of time and create a superior service if you leverage a professional platform that simplifies your work.
- Integration - The work of a staff member or volunteer can be simplified when end-to-end workflows are kept in mind as solutions are implemented. This means backend management systems should easily translate to frontend interfaces with satisfying user experiences (across devices). I may be stating the obvious, but one of the most important aspects of media ministry is getting the content published so that it can be viewed. Your church website should be the natural and preferred frontend for this consumption, but sometimes the most obvious things are not that simple. Your video platform should offer frontend tools such as video players with embed services and customizable web experiences for live and on demand video. Additionally, for tighter integration, you should look for accessible, well-documented APIs and plugins will allow you to create a seamless workflow for your team and a compelling experience for your users. A well-planned integration will require upfront effort but will save time in the long run. If the thought of doing your own integration can be daunting, consulting and integration services are available, but make sure your provider has plenty of expertise in the area of delivery quality professional services.
- Support - When you have a team made up of staff and rotating volunteers, and throw in lots of different technologies, you can expect problems to arise. I’m not really talking about catastrophic technical failures (although those can happen), but the more common, simple mistakes like forgetting to start an encoder. It’s the little things that can trip us up the most. Regardless of incidents big or small, you need to make sure you have a team of experts who will have your back. When you are dealing with live streaming, real-time support is critical. It doesn’t help you much if in a moment of anxiety you can only send an email that will be followed up within 24 hours, or longer if it’s the weekend (when churches actually need it). By the time you’ve heard back, your event is over and the damage is done. Instead, you need proactive support that’s available 24/7 and integrated into the platform and workflow you are using.
At Piksel Faith, we are the cheerleaders and champions of church staff and volunteers. We want to help your church excel in digital media ministry by providing a reliable service and a solution that enables your teams to achieve their goals without being video streaming experts. Piksel Faith’s platform offers multiple automated workflows to cut down the workload of the media team and provide a more organized catalogue of your church services and other video content. While our platform is built for integration, our deep professional service experience includes consultation, system integrations, bespoke development, and delivering end-to-end solutions.
And when it comes to support, no one has a more comprehensive offering. For example, Piksel’s industry-leading Live Support does proactive checks on every event with automated systems also monitoring the streams. In fact, our platform has numerous built-in functions designed to make sure we support you completely. This is the best of technology with a consistent human touch, so when you need us you can call us (or more likely, we will call you first).
How can the principles of automation, integration, and support help your church’s media team be more successful in their roles, and help your church reach more people than ever? We’d love to hear from you- Get in Touch - or meet with us at NRB Proclaim ’18 by clicking below.