Churches with large congregations are finding image magnification to be an invaluable way to help share the message. With large screens, image magnification (or IMAG) can help congregation members see every gesture and expression a pastor makes.
It's a simple concept, at least for viewers. However, installing it is a different story. During a WFX conference session, Ryan Geesaman offered a lesson in image magnification and its implementation at the newest campus of Lives Changed by Christ Church (LCBC).
Geesaman, the video production director for LCBC, discusses the church's ten years of experience with IMAG and the lessons they learned during that decade. He also shares how the church used that experience to bring the best possible use of IMAG to the new church location.
Church leadership needs to make knowledgeable decisions when installing or upgrading IMAG, churches can substantially cut down on costs by finding the best deals this is especially true in the area of IMAG technology.
Getting Started: The Key Three Questions
Begin the process by asking three questions:
What do you have? What do you need? And, what can you practically afford?
"These questions need to be answered specifically as they will define the scope of the project which is largely dependent on budget constraints," Geesaman says.
The equipment used for the LCBC project includes two handheld cameras, a stationary camera, a high-definition switcher and projector. LCBC stayed within budget by installing Sony EX-3 cameras, and even purchased one off Ebay. "Churches should always try looking for better deals and better options when going for upgrades," tells Gessaman. "They might be able to get the best deals and cut down on costs substantially."
LCBC IMAG Planning Timeline
Key team members were told about IMAG being installed at the new location.
The congregation at large was informed of the decision.
An informational and financial campaign began.
The congregation voted on the matter.
Equipment upgrades were made.
The Image Magnification system was launched.
Working with Volunteers
The process involved existing and new volunteers who were informed of general church rules and trained on assisting and working as a team.Volunteers also were given vision casting, which consisted of questions such as these:
- "Why do we exist?" Answer: To make fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ out of unconnected seekers.
- "How do we do that?" Answer: By gathering, connecting and serving.
Gessaman said the team-building process must include creating teams and setting them on rotational services, so that one team, for example, is not always doing physical tasks, which could result in that teams’ members becoming over-worked.
"Different skill levels of people also need to be balanced and teams should be created accordingly, preferably a high-caliber volunteer should be used to create teams," he said.
It's also important, Gessaman says, that the church makes its expectations for the volunteer clear. By being up front, volunteers will know what how to achieve the church's goals.
The church practiced the new technology before going live. Volunteers were trained through staff support and their efforts were analyzed in order to motivate them and boost potential development.
The IMAG projects resulted in a nearly 25 percent increase in total turnover. There is still a need for volunteers, and the church has made substantial progress over the 10 years.
Some Closing Advice
- Nurture and maintain relationships with primary volunteers, so that they stay motivated and also bring in volunteers similar to themselves.
- Do not underestimate the power of technology and the power of youth.
- Consider installing an IMAG system with consideration of the future instead of limiting your vision to today.