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    What Is Worship Music Anyway?
    March 16, 2011 1 Comment By Judah
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    OWLE Bubo for iPhone
    February 16, 2011 No Comments By Judah
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    Wrapping it All Up
    February 15, 2011 No Comments By Judah
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    Putting it all Together (Making Sermon Videos Part 3)
    February 12, 2011 No Comments By Judah
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    The Story (Making Sermon Videos Part 2)
    February 11, 2011 No Comments By Judah
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    Demystifying Church Video (Making Sermon Videos Part 1)
    February 9, 2011 No Comments By Judah
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What Is Worship Music Anyway?


Worship in The Bible

When you look at “worship” in the Bible it is often used in the context of servanthood, admiration, actually falling down in front of something or probably most commonly sacrificing something…(as in Romans 12:1).

However we have a whole category called “worship music.” What is that anyway??

For example Psalms is probably the most “musical” book of the Bible (if for no other reason than that it is the longest and partially written by David). When you look at the word “worship” you see things such as:

Psalm 48:9 O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple.

Psalm 95:6 Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,

Psalm 96:8 Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come to worship him.

Psalm 138:2 I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.

There are a FEW verses that mention singing in the same verse as worship, but those usually add in praise as follows:

Psalm 66:4 Everything on earth will worship you; they will SING your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs.”

Psalm 100:2 Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.

So singing can obviously be an aspect of worship, but worship is not defined by singing and singing is not defined by worship.

Contrast the above verse with the mentions of “praise:”

Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever.

Psalm 7:17 I will thank the Lord because he is just; I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

Psalms 33:1-3 1 Let the godly sing with joy to the Lord, for it is fitting to praise him. 2 Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten-stringed harp. 3 Sing new songs of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp and sing with joy

Psalm 40:3 He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord.

I could go on and on, but I won’t bore you with that, you can check out the rest on your own…or just read Psalm 150!

Anyhow, as a result of these thoughts some folks thing I am “radical” and I tend to feel like a misfit as a “worship” pastor…because I lead the music. I mean, c’mon…it MUST be worship…because there is a whole industry CALLED worship music, right?? 😉;-)

So am I supposed to “lead people in worship?” Or am I helping them to praise? Is there such a thing as worship music? Does any of this distinction even matter??

OWLE Bubo for iPhone


A Better iPhone Solution

So I have had the iPhone4 for several months now and I love the fact that it shoots 720p HD.  However, the BIG problem that I saw is that when I try to shoot a video I could barely hold the phone still enough to get a smooth shot.  So, I found myself shooting much more video than normal but it was coming out shaky.

I saw that Zacuto had come out with an iPhone support system that looked really cool, but was a bit out of my price range.  Then I stumbled across the OWLE Bubo I decided that I had found what I was looking for.

The OWLE is basically solid piece of machined aluminum that you iPhone will securely fit into with the use of a rubber bumper.  It adds a considerable amount of weight to the iPhone which stabilizes it tremendously!  Check out this video of a side-by-side comparison of an iPhone with the Bubo and one without:

So you can see that is stabilizes the picture and also gives you a wider shot due to the external lens.  The cool thing about the lens is that you can also add filters or other lens as you see fit.

The OWLE also comes with an external mic, which I have honestly had some problems with.  I like having it be more directional, but it tends to crackle a bit so I would probably suggest upgrading the microphone if you are serious about your sound quality.

The other thing that I don’t like is that the encasement completely covers the on-board flash, so not only is it unusable but you need to turn it off because if it does come on it shines right into the lens.  However, the rig also allows you to attach a light (or other non-powered hot shoe device) to the top of the camera.  Also you can mount any of the four corners to a tripod for added stability.

All in all I think this is a great piece of hardware to have if you want to be able to always have a camera with you without having to lug around the rest of your gear!

Wrapping it All Up



Music can cover a multitude of audio mistakes…that’s from 1 Filmmakers 2:5. If you can get your hands on some stock music it will go a long way in making your production seem more professional. There are two things to keep in mind when adding music.

Make sure it sets the mood. Don’t put the music from “Halloween” behind a video encouraging people to take time with their families!

The next thing is to make sure that the level of music doesn’t dominate the level of the voices. This is really easy to do, but always remember that the music should come below the voices not above.

Burn baby, burn

Not that your film is complete it is time to figure out how to get it onto a DVD. Once again, find that 12-year old, bribe them with some pizza and ask them to burn it to a DVD. If you don’t know where to find a 12-year old, then it really isn’t that difficult because most PC’s these days come with the ability to burn a file to DVD.

The alternative to this is if you happen to use presentation software such as SongShow Plus, Media Shout, ProPresenter or a free software like OpenLP. In this case you will need to render your file to a format compatible with your software.

The debut

Wow, you are almost there! The service begins and your palms are sweaty. The pastor gives his cue for your video and your fumble for the “play” button and cross your fingers and hope it actually works! It does work! Whew! Everyone applauds wildly once the video finishes and the minister now proceeds to finish a life-transforming talk, which YOU played a part in!

Each time you make a video the process will get easier and your creativity will begin to flourish. At my church we began to think that if we enjoyed the video so much maybe other churches would find it useful as well. It is my belief that a video that has been developed by a church for use in a church will always be more effective than something that was created by a company that is just trying to produce videos.

Putting it all Together (Making Sermon Videos Part 3)


Cast away

Now you have a great concept, a beginning, middle and [maybe] end, now you just need some great actors to pull off your masterpiece. Unless you are blessed with living in Hollywood you probably don’t have professional actors to pull from. A good place to start looking is in your drama ministry, if your church has one. If not, perhaps the people that work with kids, they often tend to be very expressive. If none of these work, you can do what we oftentimes do…the “fog” test. Hold up a mirror to someone’s mouth and see if they fog it…if so, you have an actor!!


Many people have a hard time acting because they have a hard time remembering lines, that’s why we generally shoot a concept not a script. The director’s job then becomes to coach the actors before each scene and let them know a general idea of what they are supposed to do, and let them go for it. Are you going to win any awards? No, probably not, but you are helping to include people in teaching the message in a relevant way, and chances are it won’t turn out half-bad. Besides, it is my opinion that people enjoy a lower quality video with people they know and recognize rather than a video that is well made but with people they don’t know.

Also, when you use people you know, it is easier to tie in inside jokes. For example we made a video called “Ministry Swap” where my lovely wife was a teacher in children’s church and she swapped places with one of our drummers. You may watch the video and get a chuckle, but when our congregation saw it they were rolling! The difference is that they know these people and know how absurd the “swap” really was.

please install flash

Cut to the Chase

So, everything is filmed and ready for the cutting floor. This is probably one of the toughest parts of the process. First you need to digitize the footage and bring it into a non-linear editing program. If you don’t know how to do this, find a 12-year old kid and ask them to show you how.

As a rule of thumb, cut the video to be as short as possible. After you think it is finished show someone and get their opinion of the slower or weaker parts, then go back in and make it shorter. They say that great films aren’t edited they are re-edited!

As you are piecing together the clips of your blockbuster, please do everyone a favor…only use hard cuts and dissolves! There is no need for wipes, flips, 3D rotates and so forth unless the mood of the video calls for it or is you are going for the ultra cheesy look. When you go to the movies you never see those flashy transitions. In my opinion that is the difference of a pro and a rookie…well, maybe not completely.

The Story (Making Sermon Videos Part 2)


Beginning, Middle and End (and when to break this rule)

Even if your time crunch doesn’t allow a fully written script, you can come up with the beginning, middle and end. Do not underestimate this step!  When coming up with a new concept ask yourself these questions:

  • Where does my story start (beginning)
  • How will it end (end)
  • How does it get there? (middle)

Many times people try to overcomplicate this process. Please don’t. Decide what point you want to get across or what question you want to ask and then figure out how to set it up and how to conclude it.

One thing to consider which does seems to contradict the “beginning, middle, end” philosophy and that is realizing that in some cases the video doesn’t really need to have an end. Now, you think I’m crazy! If you were shooting a movie or short to be played by itself with no explanation you would need to resolve everything, but often the videos that churches find most useful either show just a scenario or leave it open ended for the teacher to tie together.

An example of this is a video we created called “God’s Phone System.” In this video we were showing what it would be like if God had a phone system. Several people called in and through the next couple minutes became frustrated with pressing the correct options and getting put on “hold.” That video doesn’t stand well on its own, but when someone then begins to teach about prayer and how God isn’t like a phone system, it is a home run!

please install flash

Go for the Opposite

Sometimes the best video illustration is one that actually demonstrates the opposite of what you are trying to communicate. Maybe make a short informercial about a product that will supposedly help you to hear from God better. Or maybe an interview with someone that is talking about how they overcame anger but they get mad at the interviewer during the process.

That’s the great thing about video. You can hit a completely absurd angle which gets everyone laughing, and then the speaker can come up and drive home a point about prayer or about how each of us struggle with anger at times even if we don’t admit it.