virtual community

Is virtual Community Biblical?   A Pastoral Perspective    
Rev. Blake Wagner

1)    How God has lead this particular pastor to form virtual biblical communities.

2)    The growing need for online biblical communities

(video clip- shortened version)  

 Website Evangelism Videos  

3)    Some pragmatic implications of Grace’s live online community.

a)    Identifying the needs and seeking to meet them.

b)    Moving from concept to reality within major budget constraints.

4)    Functioning as a growing online community.

a)    Measuring usefulness both locally and online.

b)    Reaching beyond local community, seeing souls saved.

c)    Revitalizing and reenergizing the local community.

5)    Technical resources to foster live online community.

a)    Free and almost free software resources to help get you going.

i)     Bigbluebutton

ii)    Red5

iii)   Website and Bandwidth considerations.

b)    Example set up for low budget streaming.

   i)     Where to stream.

(1)  Youtube.com for non-profits.

(2)  Livestream.com

(3) TrustCasting.com

(4) Mediaserve.com

c) Broadcasting Equipment and Bandwidth Constraints.

(i) Computer, camera, and audio needs.

Broadcasting Equipment.   I recommend you use an i5-i7 3.0ghz or better,  quad core or better, Windows or Mac computer with a minimum of 8gb ram and 1 Terabyte hard drive.  A full-size desktop tower with expansion slots is preferred over  a notebook.  Yes you can go cheaper and slower on the CPU but the hassle isn’t worth it in the long run.

Two monitors help but one will do.  HD USB camera, 2 would be better.  IP Cameras are even better but may require more expensive software to integrate.  Old camcorders with firewire on tripods are what we use.  These take a separate interface that is also USB.  Each usb camera needs a separate USB bus card in the computer.

I should also mention, that you’ll need a separate computer for Propresenter or Powerpoint for the in house projection.  Encoding is cpu intensive so don’t bother trying to do it all on one computer.

The audio out from the in house mixer to the computer input is the source of the stream’s audio, and you want the highest possible quality there.  People will keep watching as long as they can hear clearly what is going on even if the lips are out of sync at times.

(ii) Internet Service Provider and web hosting.

You’ll need an Internet connection capable of sufficient upload bandwidth.  If you are sending a stream of 700Kbps you’ll want an internet connection of 2Mbps upload.  Use a wired Ethernet connection to the internet router rather than wireless.  And separate the in church WiFi from the wired Ethernet with a second router then move all other traffic to the second router so the stream remains solid.

d) Live Broadcasting Software

(1) Wirecast – (free and paid versions)
(2) Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder – (free)
(3) Procaster – and Mobile app.

e) CCLI Podcasting License and limitations.

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