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Kansas church unites rural congregations by streaming live services across the miles using TriCaster

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Kansas church unites rural congregations by streaming live services across the miles using TriCaster
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Kansas church unites rural congregations by streaming live services across the miles using TriCaster
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On a typical weekend, the CrossPoint Church in Hutchinson, KS, conducts six services attended by 2,500 members. This level of attendance would be on par with a megachurch, if all members were to attend under one roof.

But these members aren’t under one roof. They congregate in ten churches located in9 different towns—hundreds of miles apart. And though they’re drawn by the weekly sermon of CrossPoint pastor Andy Addis, those miles make it impossible for him to be present to all 2,500 in person.

Each CrossPoint Church location has a campus pastor and conducts services for its own local congregation with all of the elements of an in-house church service, save one key component: live teaching. “The teaching is the main point,” says Paul Alicea, CrossPoint Church worship arts pastor.

With multiple locations spanning hundreds of miles, how could Pastor Addis deliver the weekly teaching churchgoers expected, regardless of which satellite branch they attend—meanwhile making the services seem as intimate and relevant as a service conducted by the pastor in person?

No strangers to leveraging technology to fulfill the church’s pastoral mission, they easily found the answer: live streaming video.

Previously, the church had recorded weekly services and burned them onto DVDs. The pastors made these available to members who were sick, out of town or otherwise unable to attend on any given weekend.

Eventually, CrossPoint Church uploaded its video archive of weekend services to the Internet, but it wasn’t long before Addis recognized how the church could use live streaming technology to reach more people and bring the element of his teaching to satellite campuses.

To achieve this vision, Alicea required the production value he found possible with NewTek TriCaster multi-camera production and streaming platform—nothing like the home-movie look that lower-quality video production gear would achieve. “TriCaster delivers quality productions that are as good as anything you would see on TV,” he says, “which helps members viewing the stream feel what the people are feeling in the live setting.”

For a typical service, CrossPoint Church uses a TriCaster system to mix two camera feeds and the pastor’s computer or iPad, which he uses during his teaching to display slide presentations that help illustrate his points.

Alicea displays full-screen graphics and lower-third titles with the TriCaster to underscore key points the pastor is making, or to display a scripture that the pastor references during the teaching.

While the TriCaster streams the program to CrossPoint Church’s satellite campuses, it also records the complete live production, which the church then uploads to the Vimeo video-sharing website.

CrossPoint Church is now using TriCaster’s multi-camera production and streaming capabilities to expand its presence throughout rural south-central Kansas, “and deliver a worship experience that overcomes the hundreds of miles separating the main church from 10 campuses located in nine different towns,” says Alicea. The highly produced look of the pastor’s message and the way he delivers it erase the miles separating the campuses from Hutchinson in the minds of those attending services at the satellite locations.

Alicea isn’t satisfied to stop there, however. A planned expansion in Hutchinson may provide him with the opportunity to push technology further. “We really haven’t used the TriCaster to its fullest yet,” says Alicea. “We have probably used 30 to 40 percent of its capabilities. Going forward, we will use a greater range of what TriCaster has to offer.”