The keys to a successful tele-sermon are simple setup for the speaker and easy access for the congregation. It’s essential you pick a teleconferencing solution that has built-in features specifically designed for this type of application. Here are some of the key features to look for in a tele-sermon conferencing solution.
- Large Group Support: Look for a conferencing system that supports a large number of callers. There’s no way to predict how many members will opt for tele-sermon access and you wouldn’t want call quality to suffer or members to be locked out.
- Lecture/Seminar mode: Some conference call systems offer a configuration that is designed to reduce problems seen with a large number of callers such as ambient noise and distortion. Lecture mode allows a single speaker or moderator to talk while all other callers are muted. The moderator or callers have the ability to unmute should interaction be required.
- Customizable Playback: You’ll want a system that lets you customize the message callers hear when they call the conference line. Some organizations use it to introduce themselves to their members while waiting for the sermon to begin. Others use it to playback previously recorded sermons so members can access it on demand.
- Computer Access: Teleconferencing services with computer access allow you to broadcast live events to callers by using a microphone connected to the computer. Look for a system that requires a single click to start and stop the broadcast to reduce the possibility of technical error.
- Visual Interface: A service that offers a visual interface into the call allows the speaker to manage the call and see who’s on. These services also usually offer other important customization features like changing the moderator PIN, customizing hold music, and allowing callers to join by computer.
- Recordings: It’s essential to look for a service that lets you record your calls and store them. This will allow you to publish recorded sermons on a website, play them back over a conference call for a re-broadcast at a later time or post them for on-demand access via telephone.
- Virtual Offering: As tele-sermons grow in popularity, there’s a need beginning to materialize to collect offerings electronically. Few services offer the capability, but the those that create a simple mechanism for callers to contribute are invaluable
- Reliability! : Last, but probably most importantly, use a service that is highly reliable. Look for a professional service with good support options. Your members will be counting on it.