Worship Leader Roundtable

With the wonderful advantage of modern technology it’s seems a waste to not utilize one of the best resources that exists for worship leaders today, each other. We can now sit in our respective places while still meeting face to face. We can challenge, lift up, edify, and inspire each other no matter where we are in the world.
So let’s do just that. Starting once a month we’ll gather and have some good fellowship and discussion about the things we do and challenges we face as worship leaders. I hope you can make it.

Our first Roundtable will be Tuesday July 19 2011 at 11:00 am MDT (1:00 pm EST).

password: worship

see you there

Changing Servers and Domains

ContemplativeCreativity.com is becoming less pretentious (well at least the name ha ha).  It is changing to NathanSutliff.com.  There have been some transition issues but thanks for checking in and things will be up and running again real soon.

Inspiration: Talking Head Testimony

Here is a collection of some of my favorite talking head shots used by churches for testimonies and more. It can be a powerful way to tell a story. It gives distinct advantages to live testimonies; exact timing (no rambling), utilizes an array of media to help give power to the story (music, photography, art, etc.), and it allows you to help craft and perfect the story through editing. I don’t know if you employ the use of video testimonies in your church but I would recommend it.

Here are few tips when creating your talking head testimony.
1. Story is paramount. A great story can make up for other lacking areas (produciton, video quality, sound). But conversely bad production can hinder the power of a story.
2. Lighting will help tell the story. Use what you have or can get a hold of to light the subject of the video (work lights, paper lanterns, etc).
3. Get the best quality sound you can. A shotgun mic is best but other mics can be used. Do not, I repeat do not use the onboard camera mic unless you are with in 12 inches of the subject.
4. Get good b-roll and cut shots. Yes you can do it with out but b-roll will help smooth over transitions as well as reenforce story ideas and help move the story from A to B.
5. Never stop recording. 99% of the time people say the greatest lines the moment after you stop recording. You can always edit out the useless stuff but you can’t recapture real moments. A little trick I use is to tape over every and all red lights on the camera so that no one knows when it is recording.

All the videos below are great examples to help inspire you.
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How Should We Respond?

I came across this video on youtube and had to literally pick my jaw up off of the floor after watching it. It amazing to me how people can rationalize and justify just about any belief with biblical teaching – even hatred. It’s a shocking response to say the least. I wanted to share it with you and get your take on the video.

How would you respond to this video? Is there truth in it? Or is she just a product of the Pat Robertson School of Natural Disaster Response? It reminded me of a book I recently read called Jesus Loves You This I Know by Craig Gross and Jason Harper. I was championing every point of the book with great enthusiasm till I got to the last chapter “Jesus Loves the Religious.” So what’s your reaction to seeing something like this?

$25,000 Worship Resource Giveaway from Proclaim

New church presentation software is coming out soon called Proclaim and it’s located here http://proclaimonline.com. Unlike all other church presentation software systems, this one will allow pastors, worship leaders, and worship team members to all access and add to the same presentation before it’s presented, and then use the same application to run the presentation during the service.

To add to the excitement of the release of Proclaim, they are giving away $25,000 in worship resources in The Great Worship Resource Giveaway. They are going to have 100’s of winners of some of the best worship resources on the market. The giveaway is located on the Proclaim home page http://proclaimonline.com where you will see how to enter. You can also see all the prize partners there, listing out some great resources from companies like Planning Center Online, Graceway Media, Worship Leader Magazine, Centerline Media, Musicademy, Clover Sites, Christian Musician Summit, Luna Guitars, National Worship Leader Conference, and prizes from many more.
I’m excited about this new product Proclaim. You can see a video of the software on their site which gives a quick detail of how it will help worship leaders and ministry teams. Visit http://proclaimonline.com to see the video, and enter ‘The $25,000 Great Worship Resource Giveaway’.

New Sermon Series Poster: The Jesus Way

Our new series that started this past week in entitled “The Jesus Way.”  It is a look at the counter-cultural teachings of the beatitudes.  When thinking of a poster design I ventured over to CreationSwap (formerly CreativeMYK).  I often go there for inspiration, starting places, and files to get me going.  I found a file that really just encapsulated what I was going for and with some minor tweaks it became our new series poster, bumper, and basically series brand.  Sometimes a design from scratch is great, complete originality in creativity is needed but sometimes it is beneficial to stand on the shoulders of other to get started.

Continue reading…

Monday Morning Hangover 1.18.09: Conversations with Generations

What a weekend it was. We had a great weekend service. It was, of course, a unique Sunday with the recent tragedy in Haiti. On short notice we were able to donate more than I really thought possible. I pray this support continues for the devastated country as it will be needed for many years to come. Sometimes being generous can be easy because “it’s the thing to do” and very easily change to “out of sight, out of mind.” This is a country that will need our prayer and support for a long time to come.

It was interesting the conversations that this event created in and around my church.  Everything from agreement with Pat Robertson’s statements to a desire to leave immediately in response and everything in between.  And I was in discussion with a number of people I realized I could probably group the response type with generation.  Each generation’s response seem appropriate to how that generation view and responded to the Church and Christianity.

Two generations back from me (which i assume would make 3 generations ago to speak properly) was a church during turmoil.  World war, not too far removed from a major divisions within the church, and the rise of revival circuits is something familiar to this generation.  Fundamentalism was born out of these movements.  The revival circuits saw the “turn or burn” style of preaching as effective and popular.  This generation, in my conversations about Haiti, tended to gravitate towards the God’s Punishment point of view.  It is no wonder when you look back at environment in which they were introduced to God and Church.  God would punish them if they didn’t repent and follow a specific set of rules. (I won’t get into a theological debate nor a nature/nurture debate – i am just pointing out my observations) This generation and the beginning of the next, held on tight to the promise of eternal life often focusing more on “getting to heaven” rather than the time between now and then. Shoot this earthquake just emphasized the fact that Jesus was gonna return during their lifetime (I think the Apostle Paul said the same thing about his lifetime but that’s not here nor there). The hope that I found in these conversations was a generally accepted belief that regardless of the why, the nation of Haiti needed prayer and support.  I still struggle with the human judgement element.

The “Baby Boomer” generation saw a shift in how they viewed church and Christ.  This generation saw a shift towards the “me.” Phrases like “my walk” and “personal Lord and Savior” became a driving force in the church.  Baby Boomers saw the advent of seeker services and praise and worship.  Honestly all in effort to make church more enjoyable for them.  Most likely a product of the way they were raised – hard work, blue collar living in the midst of changing times – baby boomers began focusing more on themselves.  And this changed the way church happened and was viewed.  Mega Churches popped up with comforts the church has never seen.  Many baby boomers became self-made working long hours while providing a “better life” for their families.  These conversations were probably the least unique out of all – and thank God for that.  I might have lost faith in humanity if their responses were in line with how they changed the church.  It wasn’t about them and they were generally more apt to want to help through donation.

Generation X conversations seemed to lean towards action.  It you look at how Generation X has responded to the previous generations growth of Mega Churches and the inward focus you will see pretty much the opposite.  Smaller house churches, focus on social action and justice, unique church communities who are acting for change.  This is my generation.  And the conversations about Haiti could easily be categorized as one of action.  Without care as to why this happened the Gen Xers wanted to spring into action.  Most of my peers didn’t necessarily know how they could physically help but they wanted to.

Now these are general and broad descriptions of Generations.  But it is amazing through all of this to see how they view this moment in time through the lens of how they saw and changed church.

What do you think?  Am I missing anything?  How would you respond? Thinking back did conversations you have fit into any of these categories – as to how that generation views things?

Question of the Week

Would you rather be good at everything you attempt or great at just one thing?
Jack of all trades, master of none, or  Prolific in one specific discipline to the point of lacking other aspects or normalcy in your life.
We all know someone who just seems to be good at everything they attempt.  And we probably also all know someone who is so devoted and prolific in one specific discipline and that is about where it ends for them.
So if you could go back and rewrite the story of your life, where would you rather fall on the scale?

Jack of all trades, Master of none.
Master of one discipline, lacking in others.

Log in or register if you need to and leave your comments.  I am interested in hearing your reasoning for why.