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Creativity, Art, and Short Videos

19 Jun

Our worship and arts pastor, Frank, has a real great eye for video stuff.  I mean shooting it, editing it, understanding the shots, etc.  Actually he’s probably better at that than he is in his music role (which I am sure he’d agree).  I think it’s an area that God could and will use him in more and more as time goes on.  Now I can’t get into specifics (or else we’d have to break your knees) but I know he and his team have their sights set on a couple of ambitious things in the future, and I think they can make a great splash.

So this leads me to this point: my heart has been burning for how arts and the church can go hand-in-hand to reach the culture.  I remember Mark Batterson posting a blog a few weeks ago expressing some thoughts about preaching and ways to improve how we connect with people, and I am thinking along those lines as to how to engage people in conversation.  How to open their minds…  I just can’t get the idea of using short films as a way of sparking interest, in capturing attention, etc.  
I showed Frank some Nooma videos today.  I can totally see he and his team creating artistic, God-honoring videos like this.  I don’t know what you think but I think they are great.  I think they are a great way to start discussion, to reduce tension in the room, etc.  I think the Church can rise up and use video as a medium to reach people in a powerful way.  I’m not talking about Christian movies (not that I have anything, or rather, too much, against them).  I’m talking about shorts, 10-30 minute films that engage, inspire, connect people to the truths of God, that open a door for us to discuss spiritual things.
I’m blessed to see some churches get it.  Who use their fancy lightshows for more than just trying to look like some rock concert, but rather, to set the mood, create a great environment for people to connect with God.  Who use creative videos as more than copying the mainstream culture, but rather to meet people where they are, to celebrate artistry and capture the hearts and minds of those in view.  And for the people doing great things (like Rob Bell), why is it that non-believers blow it off as cheesy.  Why do we appreciate “secular” art for what it is (even though we may not share those particular religious or non-religions expressions) but certain people just cannot see the artistry or creativity in what Christ followers do simply because they are that?  Come on!
Last night I was listening to my friend Scott Hodge‘s podcast where he was casting vision for the next year.  I was so excited to hear him talk about investing money in technology in some key areas.  Not so they could “look” like culture, “make videos” that look like they are mainstream culture, but rather to engage people where they are.  To stimulate minds.  They are investing a boatload of money in children’s media stuff to grab their attention.  Not to entertain, to compete with the video games/shows kids are already watching, but rather to point these kids to Christ in a compelling way.  Go Orchard!
Let’s keep thinking, trying, celebrating our creative God and all that He has done.  Keep writing, dreaming, painting, singing, creating.  Don’t be afraid to fall down, step out and use the gifts that Christ has given you.  Shouldn’t Christ followers be able to set the pace in creativity?  
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