OK! The link.
Hillsong has grown a lot over the past 15 years. It is currently the most attended weekly church in all of Australia. As the church grows larger, the goal is to keep the church connected and "small feeling". Linking is a good way to achieve this. Pastor Brian Houston always says, "Hillsong church is one small church...with many many people. We are one church... with many rooms." And, links are a great way to accomplish this and to keep us all on the same page.
When we say "link", what we mean is - remote connecting and watching to a service or services. Most of the time, a standard link consists of the following: Hills Campus (Located in Baulkhum Hills, Sydney) will send a live internet feed to all other campuses around Australia. This feed will be sent similar to a TV broadcast, and be picked up by our other campuses who have been instructed to "tune in" for that Sunday/service. This is known as "live linking", and is, by far, the preferred but slightly riskier method simply because it is live and there are no do-overs or editing.
There is a second type of link known as a "delayed link". This means the feed that the Hills campus sent was recorded on an internet server, and other services around Australia are free to "link in" from the server at their desired time. This method is popular for our extension services that normally don't have a strong enough internet connection for a live link.
Lastly, we have something called a Global link. This simply means that a service has been recorded at a campus located outside of Australia (or outside of whatever country you are from) and will be played as a recording as if it is live. Global linking is always so exciting and normally happens for big events like Vision Sunday.
This past week, we did a live link from The Weston Hotel where Pastor Brian welcomed everyone, did an offering message, then introduced the speaker that was speaking from the Hills Campus. So after Pastor Brian announced the speaker, all campuses went live to our Hills campus for the remainder of the service! Simply put, we live linked all over Australia to all Hillsong churches and extension services from two locations - The Western Hotel, and the Hills Campus. I was playing at the Weston Hotel and our sound was being used through worship all across Australia!
There are 3 types of linking across Australia - Live link, Delayed link, and Global link. All are great and have positives and negatives due to internet connection speed or service times lining up.
If all this sounds rather confusing, that's ok! We are often confused! But I want to say this, we do not link just for fun. We also, as a church, don't want to simply be using cool technology, we link because we know that it creates a sense of family and connection across all campuses. We all get to hear from our lead pastors, and tune in to whats happening all around our country in the life of church.
It has been such a blessing to be a part of all 3 linkages!
Thank you so much for your support and love!! I miss so many of you!