New technologies, some developed for scandalous endeavors, have helped churches in the Treasure Valley and around the world grow by video streaming worship services and sermons to multiple meeting places and far-flung viewers each week.
"Five years ago, if you were to look at the top 10 churches of size in the country, only one was doing multi-site," said Ken Holsinger, a Boise-area technology consultant who has worked with churches nationwide in building multiple locations connected via satellite or the Internet. "Now, nine are doing multi-site."
The cost of video streaming technology and access has dropped to a fraction of what it was several years ago, Holsinger said, allowing churches that survive on donations to spend anywhere from several hundred dollars into the thousands. Many churches hold capital campaigns or lease equipment and pay as donations come in, he said.
In the Treasure Valley, churches broadcast, blog or post audio recordings of their services online, and at least two are streaming video via the Internet. Others are making plans to join them this year.
Several pastors said they hope to multiply the places where people gather to watch services via video, and to bolster their Web resources as well.