Churches & Video

I think the use of projection systems in modern churches has been both one of the greatest tools used in worship and one of the most distracting tools used in worship. When done right, the video can really enhance the worship and teaching experience. When done wrong, it distracts from worship and the message. Churches implementing video and projection would be wise to get some training in this area to make sure they're not using it in such a way that defeats the purpose.

This photo I found online today cracks me up a little. Note to churches: If you're considering featuring live video on your big screen, make sure you're meeting in a room that's big enough that it's actually needed. If the actual band looks bigger than the band on screen, it's not needed. Also, if your live video is making your band look shorter and fatter---not good, either!


Kevin said...

Hey Jeff,

You mention only the criteria of technical excellence. What other criteria do you use for deciding when to show or not show video content?


Jeff Myers said...

Good question, Kevin. First off, in the context of my post, when I referred to "video", I was really referring to anything you put up on your big screen.

I'll follow up your question with an additional post on this topic soon, because it's too big for a comment. But in a nutshell, is it conducive to worship? Meaning...will the content help people focus on God, or will they be focusing on the content?

When it comes to sermon slides or video illustrations...keep it simple and clean. Make sure your choosing fonts and colors that are easily readable. And beware of the bells and whistles. Not every line needs to fly in or explode in or whatever. Just because you have new effects, doesn't mean you should use them. Again, your slides should help keep people's focus, not switch their focus. With video illustrations, there's a lot of leeway here. Sometimes it's good to start off by introducing your topic with humor. Sometimes you need a more serious clip/story to drive the point home. Use wisdom and make sure your clips support your sermon. Don't build sermons around clips you happen to like.

I'll go into more detail in a future post.

Kevin said...

Thanks, Jeff. Your second paragraph there is what I'm really interested in hearing more about. The stuff in the third paragraph, for me, mostly goes back to technical excellence. But assuming we do everything with technical excellence, how do we practically define "conducive to worship"? I'll look forward to the next post.

Ben Parker said...

Yeah - when I ran IMAG in Vegas we would struggle with new camera operators. They wanted to hold shots that were too wide. It took a while for them to adjust to keeping tight shots.

You can be artistic and serve the IMAG purpose all at the same time. Lots of churches do it every weekend . . . great post.