With its community of young arts-oriented congregants, Mosaic Church earns its “hispster megachurch” description. Headquartered in the heart of Hollywood, it is part of a multisite church community led by pastor Erwin McManus. But for all its hipness (and some serious musical chops), Mosaic did not have an extensive media ministry, says Craig Harper, National Manager for the Sony Faith division of Sony Professional Solutions of Americas. When it came time to change that, Mosaic was not beholden to legacy gear. This, along with the church’s solid vision for a 21st century media ministry, helped set the stage for an all-4K system, designed to set Mosaic up for live streaming/over-the-top (OTT) broadcast.
The 4K system includes two Sony HDC4300 4K Cameras, two PMWF55 4K Live Cameras, and two PWS4500 4K Servers. This solid multi-camera setup, positions Mosaic to take advantage of the increasing reach and power of the virtual congregation model. For decades, media leadership came from the television ministries and megachurches, but now small and medium churches are innovating. Media consultant Phil Cooke, founder and CEO of Cooke Pictures, has worked with the big churches including Joel Osteen and Lakewood, but describes the smaller ministries as the “point of the spear,” of innovation saying that smaller ministries are making as much as 1/3 of their income from live streaming audiences. And beyond material support, they are also reaching and connecting with a broader audience—even internationally.
“And it’s not a very big step from live streaming to broadcast,” Cooke says, citing studies that indicate that television is still a vital way to reach out, whether nationally or regionally. “We see data that 85% of millennials still watch linear television.”
With this in mind, he recommends getting the best resolution possible and doing multi-camera setups whenever possible. “People who are watching want to get more of a multi-site experience from the streaming, than just feeling like they’re watching a YouTube video. They want to feel they are part of something, and that makes them want to get involved.”
Cooke says it’s critical to have a clear media vision before choosing equipment, and critical to train to that vision once the equipment is purchased. Technique matters, he says, including how to shoot, capture, store, etc.