Thom McGuire, chief audio engineer for Resurrection Life Church in Grandville, MI, likes to say that his is “the largest church no one’s ever heard of.” RL is certainly large, with total attendance of between 10,000 and 12,000 weekly, most in the spacious 4,800-seat sanctuary. Resurrection Life is also part of a 53-church global network and has a substantial in-house television production facility that allows it to share its services globally, and it adroitly tailors its messages for different constituent and demographic groups. In fact, Resurrection Life seems like a perfect candidate to participate in the satellite-campus trend that’s become a strong force in house-of-worship media management in recent years.
However, Resurrection Life has decided to keep itself highly local but without sacrificing the diversity it’s cultivated over the years, and it’s using A/V technology to do just that. According to McGuire, RL’s 200,000-square-foot building — it’s a quarter-mile from one end to the other — is divided into numerous separate worship areas: a youth worship space holds 1,800 attendees, a junior-high section holds another 1,000; a gymnasium is used each Sunday for up to 600 K-3 school children while a room called The Zone holds another 400 fourth and fifth graders; another 1,800 congregants listen to services in Spanish every Sunday, as well. In fact, there even is a satellite campus, in nearby Holland, MI, but it, too, has its own pastor and music rather than a video-over-IP feed from the RL sanctuary on Sundays.
“We literally could connects all of these spaces and locations together via video and audio and provide the same service to them simultaneously,” McGuire explains. “We’re on in 170 countries each week — we have the capability to broadcast and stream real-time; we just