Environments matter. Anyone who tells you otherwise… probably has a crappy environment. Ha! I couldn’t resist.

I’m actually doing what I can to improve our current environments. Last year we were hoping to do a 1-1.5 million dollar remodel, but things didn’t play out the way we wanted to. I had a little extra money I didn’t use on some staff positions, so I’m doing some work on our environments because they are in need of attention. Our building is 8 years old and it’s starting to look a little tired. I’ll write more about some of the things we’ve done later, but I had to throw a question out to the audience. I’m in need of some help from those who have some experience in this area.

I had a good friend come visit last may and I asked him for an honest evaluation. Standing in the middle of my ministry lobby he spread his arms around indicating his surroundings and said, “You live in a high tech digital city, yet you’re doing ministry in an analog building.” Wow, so true. So many at our church work at Dell, Apple, Google and about every other tech start-up you can imagine. It seems that if that is a part of our audience, a somewhat digital environment would appeal to this part of our community.

So, I’m 5-6 months out from this project, but I’m trying to do the research now. I want to add 5-6 large screen TV’s (60-65 inch) in our main lobby. Some TV’s will literally have video provided by our curriculum playing possibly interspersed with some of the cool music video worship songs we use in our elementary environment. Other TV’s will display announcements and information. You know how many fast food restaurants and movie theaters use video monitors for their menus now? Well, that’s what I want. I’d rather communicate most of what families need to know via video displays.

I know that I can literally put a video on a thumb drive and plug it into the TV’s USB drive and play the video. There are also several hard drives designed specifically for this purpose. This might be step one for us, we’ll load custom videos on each of these TV’s.

Question Number One: If you’ve have experience with this, do you have any equipment that you recommend. We haven’t bought the TV’s or the drives yet, so any recommendations you have would be highly appreciated.

Question Number Two: There’s a better way than individual hard drives plugged into 5-6 TV’s. I know that TV’s can be connected via network cable and that a HD signal can be sent over network cable and either be converted to HDMI or video could be distributed over the network to be displayed on the TV. I had lunch with a couple of smart men who help me with this kind of stuff. Both work in the market place and are already dreaming up multiple solutions… but I wanted to check with the ministry community because I know this has been done before. What systems/technology/resources do I need to look into?