Church on the Move, a Tulsa, OK-based church, wasn't always the large congregation it is today. In July 1987, Willie George, a former youth and children's minister in Plainview, TX, launched the first Sunday service to a crowd of just 163 people.
Three years later, Church on the Move reached its goal of 2,000 congregants when 2,807 people came in May. After that, it only took a week for the new property to be located to hold their services.
Throughout the 1990's, the church moved to a 50,000-square-foot building, reinvented their youth ministry, reached an attendance of over 50,000 people among many other accomplishments.
Over the last decade, Church on the Move has been committed to redefining the worship environment. Their focus is to appeal to the younger generation of churchgoers, which is no secret it can be difficult to get the young ones to head out to church with you every Sunday. By creating more dynamic, engaging services in which video production is relied heavily upon, they were able to get the younger congregants more engaged and more active not only during worship events, but also in the worship community.
Willie George, longtime pastor, led the movement toward more dynamic, engaging services for the 2,600-seat auditorium. This heavily relied on professional video production, audio and lighting. Recently, Hitachi Z-HD5000 HDTV cameras were installed in order to help with the effort.
Production Manager Andrew Stone said Pastor George's vision to reach out to younger generations has driven Church on the Move to deliver a concert-type experience. To do this, they knew live cameras and video were needed, along with big sound and immense lighting.
Stone has been with the staff since 2005, and him and his staff of in-church volunteers and personnel have relied on the durability that Hitachi cameras bring. Up until recently, Stone was relying on Hitachi SD cameras while he upgraded gradually the infrastructure to HD.
Because the SD cameras allowed such high performance still, Stone was able to focus on upgrading to video walls, LED lights and new studio equipment. Later, he was able to invest in the HD cameras once the budget was replenished.
Ultimately, it was Stone's decision to go with the Hitachi Z-HD5000 after Hitachi did a site visit. "Hitachi flew the cameras here at their expense and configured them in our sanctuary to simulate how they would perform during real-time services," Stone said. "They took the time to steer us toward a product that was sensible and cost-effective."
He said consistency and versatility are vital when choosing equipment for their services. "Hitachi has paid attention to these points on the user side."
Most of Church on the Move's staff are volunteers, so Stone knew he needed cameras that were easy to operate. Because the Z-HD5000 has the same design as the SD cameras Hitachi offers, it was an easy decision to make to stick with Hitachi. "New volunteers are up and running within a few rehearsals," Stone said. "The short learning curve is a huge benefit in a worship environment, where volunteers may be here today and gone tomorrow."
Another way they enhanced their worship experience, not just for the younger generation, but for everyone, is the use of the ProPresenter from Renewed Vision. Much like the Hitachi cameras, Stone chose the ProPresenter due to its ease-of-use and quick learning curve.
"I can train a new person to use the software in about an hour," Stone said. "Which is important because I don't want our volunteers overwhelmed by learning how to use this technology."
He said he wants the volunteers to feel good about the service and what they are doing for the church. "ProPresenter makes it easy to add titles, lyrics and other visual elements," Stone said. "Our technical staff has found new and creative ways with ProPresenter to add unique production values to our large screen displays for image magnification."
Church on the Move also has 36 ProPresenter 5 workstations as well as two ProPresenter 4 workstations. All of ProPresenter's are used daily to create lyrics and messages for the large screens that are positioned at the front of the main auditorium for church services, concerts as well as educational projects.
The ProPresenter is also used for visual power, creating sidebar graphics, full screen slides, alpha-channel overlays and countdown clock. Stone said changes to the text as well as images can be made at the very last minute during any service or event, which empowers the staff to continuously update content throughout the performances.
"I'm always amazed by what these kids and our church staff come up with," Stone said. "We know that the way to hit our target audience is to provide them with compelling audio and video materials from which to learn and understand what the church is all about."