Implementing Multi-Media in Music Ministry
By Anthony D. Coppedge
A Vision In Your Church
Have a defined vision, purpose and plan for using Media within the music ministry. That’s it. If the church leadership has a desire to use Media, then there must be a clear vision, attainable goals and operating budget established.
If the desire is to be ‘cool’ or ‘do what ABC Church is doing’, then I’d question the passion behind the vision. However, if the vision is to use media as a sermon/song support tool, membership growth and involvement and community outreach, then you’re on the right track.
The vision must be defined. In 3 months, what things MUST have occurred as a result of using display media?
What things MIGHT occur in the first 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? 2 years? If the Pastor is a person who is easily satisfied with “good enough”, I’d question making it a staff position. Good enough is what can be done by volunteers (no slam intended). True excellent comes from solid leadership with vision.
There needs to be a plan to go “beyond PowerPoint”. It’s a great starting place, but it’s not a final resting place. The leadership, namely, the Pastor, MUST have a vision for how they can be involved in utilizing video, audio and lighting.
Will the media only be used for in-service audio, video and lighting support? If so, what content do they need to begin producing and refining? Will testimony videos be used once a month? Will music videos be made for new sermon series? Will 3D and/or 2D animation be created for each sermon or sermon series? Will intelligent lighting be added for special events? How often can renting gear for “specials” be allowed? How much creative license will the Media team have in helping plan a worship service?
Will the church have a NEED to go on Television? In certain small markets, I see this as a great outreach tool for shut-ins. In most of the medium to larger markets, there’s already a plethora of “church services” and “Bible teaching” programs. (WARNING: Soap Box Moment)
Honestly, I think there are too many churches spitting out a church service on TV. Seriously, think about this: If you’re content – be it a church service, Bible Study with the Pastor, whatever – is not as effective as what’s being sent out on Cable and Satellite, why would you do it? More mediocrity (or worse) is not what the community in your 10 mile radius, much less the world, needs!
I’ve worked for a church where the TV Ministry was national – and it was good – but not great. I went to the leadership and lovingly asked how we could change the program to be more relevant. The answer: that’s the way we’ve always done it, and we get dozens of letters each week about the show.
I’d rather make a show that was more like “Dateline” and have life-application stories and how God and his church are reaching out in everyday situations than make another “Church Service On TV”. If we saved people and we got dozens of letters about “I saw your show and that interview of so-and-so could have been me, and I realized I need Jesus,” then I’d be happy.
But, come on, letters about “your church service ministers to me – right after I was ministered to by Pastor ABC and before I am ministered to by Church of the XYZ that comes on after your show.” These people, sweet as they might be, are usually already saved and are not getting anything new! We’re feeding those who are full and stuffing them with more! Why!?
There are a few exceptions to this – there always are – but man…have you seen cable TV’s “Christian” line up? 90% of it is boring, ineffective and outdated.
You’ve heard it before: “Plan your work, and work your plan.” It’s corny, but it’s true.
The church leadership needs to budget for getting started (maybe a PC, Projector, screen. Small sound system, basic lighting, etc.) and then have an annual budget for running and operating a
Here’s a quick rabbit to chase (but it has meat on it): How many companies have an accounting line item called “Cost of Doing Business”. The answer? Most. The “Cost of Doing Business” for Media is one of continual upgrades, repairs and additions. Whenever technology is involved – especially computer-related items – the cost never ends.
Please hear me out: this is not a “bigger, better, faster’ mentality. This is an honest understanding of the growth of technology. Additionally, any staff that becomes more efficient will need more tools to accomplish more tasks. Those tools may be software, hardware or people ware (you like that one?).
Try this out: Put your budget together and add a line item for “People ware”. This will allow you to outsource certain things you don’t have the time/expertise/equipment for to people who do. Media is usually an expensive ministry. However, put it into perspective: What is the cost for being outdated, boring and/or ineffective? I guarantee you that your media budget will be far, far less.
This article ‘Implementing Multi-Media in Music Ministry’ was written By: Anthony D. Coppedge. From: www.ctschurchmedia.com web site. October 2008
This article may not be not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, ‘Eat meat. Throw away the bones.’