In an earlier post I suggested that there were a few basic things that churches needed to address if they were interested in introducing video into their church and worship services. They were: basic equipment, a mentor or professional that knows the medium, and most important, the will to enter an unknown area for most conservative Baptist evangelicals in leadership and support those who can use the medium for the kingdom purposes.
With that in mind the next step for those brave souls in leadership is to have a plan and purpose. I have found from my experiences with secular clients and client ministries that you can boil down the basics to three main areas.
Every evangelical should already be putting forth the foundational message of redemption, offered by God to all those that repent and believe on The Lord Jesus Christ.
To that end there are many ways to tell that story. It is an ancient story but the fact that Christ is alive today, and lives in the hearts of his children makes the story a current event. There are however secondary stories that need to be told and can be found throughout the scripture. The major themes of love, reconciliation, forgiveness, service, community, sacrifice, warfare, encouragement, missionary service, and on are all parts of the complete experience in the Christian life and it is where we as believers live every day. In short, pray and seek God to help you identify the specific message that He wants illustrated with video.
You all know the saying “ready, aim, fire.” Unfortunately many efforts to introduce video and multimedia into the Christian worship experience fall into the “ready, FIRE, aim,” category. Just doing something usually does not work. Do some research and adjust your message to the primary audience. Don’t over-task your videos and media to reach every demographic imaginable. It is true that truth is truth but I know for myself that unless I can relate in some way to the media, I miss most of the message. Understand that there will be some that your multimedia offering leaves out in the cold but if you seek God on how to craft His message for your intended target, you have done all you can do.
Refining your message and identifying your market or primary audience, makes the choices of the method and style of delivery less complicated. However, it is an oversimplification to suggest that this choice does not require thought or prayer. Brining all of the pieces of the multimedia puzzle together demands leadership, craftsmanship, and ownership. There I go again with the beginnings of a three point blog again. If your church is equipped with audio video capabilities and can play dvds, that is a good deliverable. If you have a Youtube channel or a website that can embed video, that should compliment your live presentation of the media. My final thought on method would be to be sure to allow enough time before presenting the media to the church to run it by the leadership or another set of eyes for approval. Hopefully during the production of the media there were checks and balances built in. In addition, rehearse the presentation. The enemy does not want God’s message out and will do what ever it takes to steal and destroy it.
The first steps to developing original multimedia for worship and teaching is a process that takes into account the message, the market, and the method. Having a plan and a purposeful process will insure that you don’t miss God as you introduce video and multimedia into your worship, teaching, and outreach models.
Paul Liggitt is a former television director for the Christian Broadcasting Network and has operated Paul Liggitt Communications for over 25 years. He is also the founder of Mission Video, a ministry that produces media for qualifying Christian ministries and holds workshops to train churches and individuals on how to using video and photography in missions.