I’ve been thinking for a bit about writing a blog about the incredible team of dedicated volunteers that, week after week, produces a professional quality webcast that blesses people beyond the walls of Rogers First Church of the Nazarene.
People often have no idea what they do or if they are even there. My wife has been asked on more than one occasion “Does you husband still come to church here?” I imagine that she rolls her eyes as she points upstairs and answers that I’m involved in the media ministry.
In 2008, Rogers First Church of the Nazarene moved to our current location at Pleasant Grove Road. We had decided at that point that we needed some video media capabilities, but really had no idea what we needed. The initial camera setup was a single Sony PTZ NTSC camera with a controller, mounted to the wall of the sanctuary just over the main doors.
That little camera served well, but the days of “standard definition” were already being numbered with very few digits. It was not long before we were looking for something better.
In 2011, we began a series of technical upgrades that, over time, have enabled us to minister beyond the walls of our building in ways we could not have foreseen.
In 2012, my daughter graduated from the elementary school program where I had been serving for years, and I felt it was time for me to move on myself. Almost as soon as I was free, I suffered the “techie’s curse” and ended up “upstairs”.
Our first challenge was to recruit a team of people who would commit the time and energy to a fledgling ministry that was, at that time, largely invisible. In the beginning, we depended heavily on immediate family. Our teen aged kids, Maverick and Mitchell Moon, and Jessica Johnson, were our regular crew through the sometimes painful early years.
Going back and looking at the early webcasts is painful in some ways, but it feels good to see how far we have come. There were weeks where we were unable to provide a webcast for one reason or another. The webcasts we did produce looked amateurish and clunky, and they sounded like they were underwater. It was hard to take pride in our work, and it didn’t feel like we were getting anywhere.
Our first big break in training came with a District Assembly. My fledgling crew of teens sustained nearly continuous webcasts for 46 hours over three days. By the end of that shakedown we had ironed out most of the technical kinks in the system and our skills had reached a level comparable to a good crew of cable TV volunteers.
Today, our crew has changed. Our Sunday morning crew is descended from that original crew – Jessica remains from the original crew, Max and Mclain have replaced their older brothers, Jake has been added as a camera tech and is training for technical director, Doug Wright is our audio technician, and Jonathan has taken on the role of Key Grip. We had a Sunday Evening crew in 2016-2017 (Scott and Isaac Woodward), and have a number of volunteers trained and capable of taking a camera on occasion as needed.