|By: Richard Hart
If you had told me, even five years ago, that God's people would be going to church, to watch a video - of a sermon series (every Sunday), I would have said you were "cuckoo".
Despite my dire prediction, Mars Hills Church has really produced some excellent broadcast and web video work through the years, and continues to trail blaze on the theme of how "centralized" information can be disseminated using video. 15,000 to 20,000 people, get together every Sunday... and we all watch the same message. 5 states and 15 Churches strong.
Our family attends a Mars Hill Church in Tacoma, Washington, and I really enjoy the format. I also appreciate the camera work, and the video production process and planning that happens every Sunday.
One Message, Triune CamerasIf you look at the video output cut aways in the edit, (note: they do this live every Sunday and broadcast live too from Bellevue, Washington!) you will typically count three video cameras used to present the Sermon format. With the three cameras they keep the flow really moving, and never let the viewer get tired of a viewing perspective angle. It's good studio work (in a church), well executed live, and often the floor work is done by volunteers with some gifts in videography and a love of core Christian messaging.
If i didn't say this clearly enough, let me try it again: This is live television work with a hot web feed out - to all the other Mars Hill Churches! No small accomplishment considering church that started in a living room ten years ago.
Then Whateth...Once the sermon is recorded, it then is uploaded to the Mars Hill Church web site, and up to Youtube etc. There is a database of sermons, messages, and "special topics" which are then available through the web "On-Demand" for perpetuity. The concept here is that Mars Hill is building a library of core materials that will allow it's members (and a curious world) to access information "24/7/365". Mars Hill Church will theoretically have more programming available than even the largest cable broadcasting channel. With the Internet viewing growing exponentially every year, this investment will help them continue to communicate even to the very edges of the world.