Today, we are driving back home to Illinois for a very quick visit. I’m really looking forward to it. I haven’t seen my parents and sisters in six months, which is the longest I’ve been separated from them. We’re having a birthday party for my dad. He turns 70 this weekend. One of my nephews graduates from high school as well this weekend. I’m getting old.
It will be interesting going back there. Have they changed? Have they stayed the same? Will they say that I’ve changed? Six months has been a long time. God’s been doing a lot in me over these past few months. Will those internal changes be visible?
These are some of the things I’ve been thinking about. But for whatever reason when I starting thinking about home, my mind keeps coming back to the deep dish pizza I’ll be having in a few hours.
This past week, we did a major upgrade of the Global Operations Center (GOC). If you need more information on what the GOC is, just look at my previous post. With the new setup, we have the ability to simultaneously view the experiences at 10 of our campuses. Previously, we were only able to view 4-5 at one time. In addition, we are able to view the Internet Campus experience, the Attendance Management system which shows us real-time attendance data from all the campuses, and a global map web page that show us what part of the world people are logging in from to attend our Internet Campus experience. None of this would have been possible without the hard work a long time LC.tv team member, Evan Hamilton. Here are the great pics…
This one is for all the Apple fans out there. You’ll be happy to know that much of the technology that is being utilized in the GOC is Mac based.
The GOC stands for Global Operations Center. Here at LifeChurch.tv, on Sunday mornings, we turn one of our conference rooms at our central offices into the GOC. At the GOC, our leaders gather at watch the experiences at many of our campuses. This is accomplished by using a device at each campus call a Slingbox. We connect a camera, like a Sony HandyCam to the Slingbox and then connect the Slingbox to our network. With this setup, we are able to watch what is going live at our campuses in New York, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arizona.
Utilizing the GOC allows us to save on travel costs. It also allows us to better support our campus teams. Our leaders are able to provide our campus pastors with immediate feedback as soon as the service (we call them experiences) ends.
Here’s what the GOC looked like on the first weekend we started it.
This past week, we’ve did a major upgrade on the GOC. I’ll post some pictures of it later today. It looks pretty cool.
Here’s another funny sign I saw while driving through Indiana last week.
Last week, I had the privilege of visiting Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana. Granger is a great church led by Mark Beeson. I spent some time getting to know Jason Powell, Director of IT and Adam Callendar, Director of Tech Arts. It was great to hear how they are using technology to spread the Gospel. I was especially excited to hear about their plans for utilizing technology as they launch additional campuses in the next couple of months. The church plans to not have any live elements at their new remote locations. The worship, the announcements, and the message will all be via video. I’m not aware of a lot of multi-site churches going with a video worship model so I’m very interested to see how it will work out for them.
I was also excited to see Granger’s giant video screen again. They use a Spyder Video Processor from Vista Systems that utilizes four projectors to create a giant 18 foot by 43 foot screen. Here are some pictures of it action. It’s pretty cool.
On the final day of WFX, I listened to a keynote speech, attended a hand on training class, and had lunch with a friend. It was a good way to end the conference. It started off by listening to Rex Miller speak at the keynote. Rex wrote the book Millennium Matrix and spends a lot of time thinking about the future. He talked about how we have transitioned from a broadcast culture to a digital culture. Before, news and information was given to us by a few TV broadcasters. Now, using YouTube, anyone can disseminate information. He said that churches need to move away from an attraction model to an engagement model. We need to transition from “come to us on Sunday” to getting people engaged throughout the entire week.
After attending a hands on training session for ProPresenter and ProVideoPlayer, I had lunch with Dennis Choy. Dennis is the Technical Production Pastor for North Coast Church in Vista, California. North Coast is one of the pioneers in the multi-site/multi-venue movement. At his church, they have different worship experiences in different rooms on their property. For example, in addition to a contemporary music experience, they also have hard rock, traditional and country music experiences. After the unique music experience, all of the venues watch the same teaching. It’s very cool to see how they do this.
As I reflect back on WFX, I thought the breakout sessions were okay. The keynote sessions were pretty good. But what I really enjoyed was the opportunities that I had to network with my peers at other churches. I get a lot of benefit out of hearing what God is doing in churches very different than my own.
Right now, I’m sitting in a Panera Bread in Granger, Indiana. I had a great conversation with the IT and Tech guys at Granger Community Church. In a few hours, I’ll be attending their service. I’ll blog about it in a few days. Tomorrow, I’m headed home. I can’t wait to see my family again.
While attending the WFX conference, I was able to visit Grace Community Church in Noblesville, Indiana. I was interested in seeing their new auditorium that they are building. I know the architect that designed their new space and was eager to see his work. It was very cool. He spent a lot of time designing the sanctuary to feel intimate even though it can accommodate approximately 1500 people. The pictures are below. I’m sorry I couldn’t see it with the carpet and chairs installed. I’m sure it will look great.