Notes from Boot Camp | Visual Media

To those who attended my breakout session on visual media at the BCMD Worship Team Boot Camp on Feb. 25, thank you so much for attending! I hope the day was as much a blessing for you as it was for me. As promised, here are my notes from the session.

  1. Role of technology/Visual Media in a worship setting
    1. To create an environment
      1. Visual Worship Leaders
      2. What is a worship leader?
        1. A worship leader can’t make people worship, and it’s not our responsibility
        2. Two things we can do:
          1. We can and should respond to God with worship.
          2. We can and should speak, sing, play, create, and use technology in such a way that the people we hope to lead receive every opportunity to respond to God with worship.
      3. What is a Visual Worship Leader?
        1. Oversees, curates, prepares the visuals
        2. In a very real sense you shape the direction of the service
        3. It’s your job to help everyone know where they should be:
          1. Congregation: What words am I supposed to sing right now?
          2. Band: What words am I supposed to sing next?
          3. If you don’t go at the appropriate time, you can cause a bit of chaos
        4. At times, you have a greater influence on the environment of worship than anyone else
        5. Choices you make impact the flow and experience of the service in significant ways
        6. Be vigilant, always listening, always watching, always learning
    1. To serve the Word
      1. Four load-bearing walls of Worship Service (Constance Cherry)
        1. Gathering
        2. Word
        3. Table/Response
        4. Sending
      2. The Word is the focus – everything points to it
        1. Message over media
          1. Don’t do something just because it looks cool – does it serve the message?
          2. Example: structure visuals around the sermon
            1. We create graphics for sermon series
            2. Those inform our visuals throughout
    2. Band and pastor can’t do their job without you
    3. Not a job you can do without preparation
  2. General Pointers
    1. Backgrounds
      1. Not too many colors
      2. Not too much motion
      3. You’ve got to be willing to delete stuff that looks cool
      4. Not too many changes
        1. Every song doesn’t have to have a different background
        2. Same goes for slides in the sermon presentation.
          1. Keep the background and use foreground images
    2. Text
      1. legible
        1. common font and size for songs
        2. slightly smaller font size for message
        3. create a style that you think looks good, stand at the back and make sure you can read it.
      2. comprehensible
        1. how much is too much at one time?
          1. less is more
          2. the great serif debate (serif or sans serif)
            1. sans serif all the way baby! (it’s less cluttered and therefore easier to read in a worship setting)
          3. concise idea onscreen – not multiple ideas – specifically in the worship context
            1. I usually shoot for no more than 2-4 lines per slide in a song
            2. 4-6 lines per slide in a sermon presentation
        2. care for orphans and widows (in text)
        3. Punctuation & Phrasing
          1. relax, it’s just poetry
            1. rules of sentence structure don’t necessarily apply
            2. commas and line breaks dictate phrasing (but you don’t have to SHOW the commas)
            3. I don’t include punctuation at the end of a line except for quotes and questions
      3.  Lighting
        1. Use light to define spaces
          1. Example:
            1. Smaller lit area during preaching
            2. Larger one during music
        2. Be conscious of the emotional impact of color and light
          1. DO NOT USE RED
          2. Think about your house lights
            1. Up or down?
        3. Don’t be afraid to go black
  3.  Resources
    1.  Books
      1. An Hour on Sunday: Creating Moments of Transformation and Wonder by Nancy Beach
      2. The Worship Architect: A Blueprint for Designing Culturally Relevant and Biblically Faithful Services by Constance Cherry
    2.  Websites
      1. visualworshiper.com – blog
      2. http://www.sundaymag.tv/lighting-color-theory/ – great article by Camron Ware about the emotional impact of color
      3. lukemcelroy.com – articles
      4. judkossum.wordpress.com – my blog
      5. Visual Media
        1. shiftworship.com
        2. twotp.com

Well, there you have it! If you have any questions, feel free to comment here.

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Cling to His Word

Your statutes are my songs In the house of my pilgrimage.
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:54‬ ‭NASB‬‬

God’s Law is a great source of delight and deep joy in this transitory life.

God Himself is the source of hope. His word renews us, gives us life and strength. His word is worth holding on to through trials. His word brings comfort. His word brings delight. In this life, trust in God – obedience to His word – is the one thing we possess that has true value.

Hope, comfort, joy, delight are available to us in the word of God, in obedience to Him, because His word is His revelation of Himself. We must cling to it in suffering and happiness. We must remember Him and His word no matter our circumstance. He will sustain us.

Remember Him. Cling to His word in through good and bad. He will sustain us.

This life is transitory, temporary, and we too often cling to transitory, temporary things rather than the eternal God and His eternal word. We find delight in things that are not worth finding delight in. We look for delight, comfort, hope, renewal, strength in things that just can’t offer it. Instead, we should cling to God, obey and delight in His word.

We need the hope, comfort, renewal, strength, delight, sustenance, stability that only come from God. We need His grace to change our hearts so that we trust in Him, obey His word, find our delight in Him.

If we allow this truth to bloom and live in us, we won’t be so attached to things. We will have more faith, true faith. We will lead our families and ministries, live our lives from a foundation of true, eternal wisdom rather than the transitory wisdom of the world.

What Makes Prayer Powerful

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.
James 5:17

We must pray because the prayers of righteous people, by the grace of God, have power to accomplish things. Elijah is our example: he was a man like us, and when he prayed that it would not rain, it didn’t rain for 3 and a half years! Then he prayed again, and it rained.

God is the power behind our prayers. Therefore, rightness with Him is a requirement. He wants us to pray. (It is commanded, expected here.) He wants to do things for us – to grant our requests, to heal us, to forgive us, to restore us – in the context of a right relationship with Him.

If we truly seek to follow Christ, our prayers will have power. Righteousness – rightness with God – ensures that when we pray, we are asking for what God wills. Elijah asked for something outrageous and got it because his will – his request – was aligned with God’s will. This is what makes prayer powerful.

God will answer the prayers of those who are right with Him. He will answer prayers in dramatic ways when those prayers – when those praying – are aligned with His will.

He heals. He forgives. He restores.

Have you lacked faith in God’s answering of prayers? Maybe you haven’t always asked in line with His will. Maybe you have not been righteous. Maybe you have not prayed faithfully as we are commanded and expected by God to do.

He does not answer prayers that are prayed from a place of unrighteousness – when we are not right with Him, when our prayers are not aligned with His will.

We need to pray faithfully and expectantly from a place of rightness with Him.

Ask God to make you righteous, to make you one whose prayers hold power like Elijah’s.

It’s by His grace that He answers prayer at all, for none of us is righteous on his or her own, but only by His grace. Therefore, the power of a righteous man’s prayer ultimately comes from God by His grace.

To be a righteous man, to be a man whose prayers hold power, I need Christ’s grace.

The Least of These

“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭25:40‬ ‭NASB
‬‬

When we believers care for the poor, the sick, the hungry, the thirsty, the prisoner – all those in need – it is as though we are doing these things for Jesus. We show that we are believers, that our faith is real. Those who live this way are true Christ followers. Those who don’t are not.He cares for the needy. He cares about our physical needs. He cares for the physical needs of His creatures because He loves them. He expects us to reflect His character by loving and caring for the physical needs of others as well. These are the works of true faith.

Do you reflect God’s love like this? Do you have time for the needy? Do you want to?

When we serve others, sacrifice for others, love others, we serve and sacrifice for and love Jesus.

We become comfortable and content with our self-centeredness. We so often live lives of isolation that are focused entirely on “me and mine,” but our lives should not be this way. We desperately need to care for the material and physical needs of others as outward evidence of a real faith.

Pray something like this:

God, I know that I need to change. I know that I need to release this self-centeredness and live outside myself. I have told You honestly that I want to be more like Christ. But in this way, honestly, I don’t, and I don’t know how to be different. God, I need You just to give me the desire to care for the needy, for anyone outside my immediate, close circle.

 

Without His grace, this cannot happen in us, but He wants to transform us.