Thursday, December 11, 2008

Drama and Video in Worship Services?

My brother had a great blog entry he just wrote that I wanted to share with you all:

When I was growing up we did these things at our church called a "Cantata", pretty cool word eh?Anyways, if you've ever seen one, then you know they take a lot of work. Its pretty much a Christian Broadway production complete with a choir, actors, even live animals. Rehearsal for these things would begin about a month after each major Christian holiday (Easter and Christmas) and lead right up until the night when you'd do the production 2 or 3 times. After it was over the Pastor would get up and give an invitation for those who were ready to receive Christ.
Today it seems most churches have found media (video) to be the new drama. Its easier on many levels. Some churches base their entire weekend services around video, around their favorite move clips or the latest short story released on sermon spice.com.

But on the topic of Drama; how well can you do them? And how do you stray from the "cheese" factor? Paper swords and cardboard angels tend to take me to my happy place. I'm not against drama, we do drama's here at our church once and awhile, Im just really big on doing them as well as we could do a video, or a song, or any other method we use on weekends to communicate.

The question before attempting either is this;

What will this add or take away from what the goal of the service is to accomplish?
Are you a church that makes video's or are you a church that takes the gospel to people through the mode of media? The same can be asked concerning Drama? Does this drama further clarify God's word or will it lead the crowd to a better understanding of the message of the Gospel?

Here are some ideas for video that I've seen done really well;
Ideas for videos:
-"God at Work"
My friends Andi Rozier and Joel Smith down at HBC in Elgin, IL film people in their church who tell their testimony via video. It's more than that, but you get the idea. An amazing evidence of God at work in the church and a powerful way to communicate what God is doing in the congregation and not just the pastor.
-Baptism Highlight Video
we're working on this right now, highlighting a "best of" video remembering all the baptisms that took place in 2008)
-Ministry Highlight Video
have a ministry in your church or area of serving that needs some promotion? Make a video highlighting why people need to know and how they can get involved
-Weekend Announcements via Video
(Buckhead's famous "the 10 before" idea. Instead of boring Joe Annoucnement guy, why not think of a way to incorporate video announcements
-New Sermon Series Preview/Teaser
the week before a new sermon series, highlight the upcoming sermon series with a brief direction as to where the series is headed, a great tool for casting vision and leading the flock
-Scripture arranged to a song
a great and creative way to incorporate scripture to the worship package by having each verse arranged on the screen for people to read and meditate on

1 comment:

andi rozier said...

Great post Jonathan (not because you mentioned me in it!)

I think video is ultimately a 'form' and not a foundation of service planning. A lot of churches have confused that. They make video a choice in their service planning and end up too far down the road without having planned whether the form has any impact on the core foundations of what we're trying to achieve as worship leaders - to ascribe worth to God - and not show the church a video, even if it is a great testimony.