Pursuing Good: The Backstory


When is something good? How do we know we are doing good work?
Is there an objective standard that church technical artists can use to make sure the effort that we are putting in is paying off?
How do we know if our transitions are good? Or the infrastructure we are adding to the word and worship is good?
Ultimately, it’s really about the service itself, as an entity, how do we know it is good?

Keep thinking! Continue reading.

Video Directing 101 – Song Samples


Seeing something is so much better than just talking about it. That’s the entire premise of the idea that video plays a crucial role in communicating the Gospel. So, it’s time to practice what I preach and critique some recent video at our Christmas Eve service.

Our Christmas Eve service had some exceptional special music. As a church, we don’t usually have special music, so it gave us a chance to do some extra stuff on the video that we don’t normally do. I took it as a great training opportunity. Instead of just writing this up for our team, I wanted to share it here as well.

A couple of observations to help frame the discussion:

  • We updated our video gear last year, 2013, in conjunction with a launch of our video based satellite campus.
  • This year, 2014, we added Grace Online, a live streaming service.
  • In the upgrade, I could not afford an improved intercom, so we continued to use our legacy RTS system. Although we worked with JVC to resolve an issue, they even sent an engineer to our church from CA, we could not fix it. Suffice it to say, during worship, the camera operators cannot hear the director; therefore, we typically do not aggressively shoot the worship portion of our stream.
  • A few weeks ago, we purchased a used HME DX200 wireless intercom and are very happy with it.
  • Our team has only had a few weeks of more intense directing and these are the first specials we have shot with better communication.
  • The camera ops for the service were Jaquie on 1, Tim on 2, and Brandy on 3. They executed well in both songs, and the entire service, staying active and responsive.

It was time to try some things and see what happened! As you watch the video, think of the next shot you would take and when you would need to communicate that to the camera op. These are slower songs, shot with 3 cameras. A lot more could be done with video, but here’s what we came up with.

Keep thinking! Continue reading …

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Thinking on the beach

Love these posts I’m reading over at the Church Technical Leaders website by Jacob Barbour @hdctechdirect, “Should I Even Be Here?” Pt. 1, Pt. 2, and Pt.3.

Jacob’s writing has been really good. I get energized when I see people wrestle with their calling, wrestle with their circumstances, and speak wisdom out of their disillusionment. It is a given to get disillusioned in church work. Those who say otherwise are living an unexamined life or lying. Both of which are destroyers of authentic ministry.

Let’s dig in. Jacob asks: “Should I even be here?” My answer:

Where’s here?

One of the greatest challenges I have faced in life is deciphering the riddle of the will of God. In the church tradition I grew up in, discovering God’s will for your life was the most important thing a young person could do. And although I do believe that God can call specific people to specific tasks, I question that God calls all people to specific vocations.

Keep thinking! Continue reading.

Why I Kissed Excellence Goodbye

I recall arriving at my new Technical Director position in late 2007. I scanned all the material that the church had communicated on my new team from the website, in brochures, and training materials. One word kept appearing: excellence. This is true for many churches. I’m pushing back.

Words have meaning. Let’s put excellence under the microscope.

ex•cel•lence |’eksələns| noun
the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. from the Latin verb excellere ‘surpass’ (see EXCEL)

ex•cel |ik’sel| verb
be exceptionally good or proficient in an activity or subject

Keep thinking. Continue reading!