Archives for posts with tag: technology

I’m a Mac guy. I own all sorts of Apple products.

I will admit right now that I am severely caught up in the “coolness” of exclusively purchasing Apple products. There is something affirming about sitting at a table at a coffee shop with an over-priced cup of ethically-traded, shade-grown coffee and opening up my laptop so that the soft glow of the Apple logo bursts forth from the brushed silver casing of my MacBook Pro.

With that said, I want to share my opinion on something.

Over the years I have used a variety of different technologies to display words at a church. When I was a kid I changed transparencies on the overhead projector that shown on the white walls inside our sanctuary. I’ve used Powerpoint. I’ve used SongShow. I’ve used MediaShout once or twice.

I have never used a program that had an interface that worked quite as well as ProPresenter loaded on an Apple computer.

At the church I used to work at I purchased an iMac loaded with ProPresenter. For years we had used a PC running SongShow. That method worked well, but there was a pretty long learning curve for volunteers running the software. I would make a volunteer do at least 3 “practice runs” with SongShow before I let them use it on Sunday morning.

With ProPresenter I can give someone a 3 minute tutorial on Sunday morning before a service and trust them to do a decent job of running the slides.

It’s just a lot easier to navigate in a live setting.

Take it or leave it.

If your church isn’t on Twitter you don’t need to use Twitter to engage your congregation.

If a majority of your church doesn’t know what an RSS feed is, you probably don’t want to spend too much time making sure that your pastors are blogging.

If most of your church likes good old fashioned traditional church music, you don’t need a contemporary service.

With that said…

If your church is highly saturated with smart phone users you probably don’t need to send out a paper copy of your newsletter.

If your church members participate in a monthly bloggers meet up you should probably make sure that at least one of your pastors is involved in that group.

If your church’s facebook page has as many fans as you have attendees on Sunday mornings, you should be using your facebook page as a tool to communicate.

When you go to a Catalyst/Orange/Northpoint event you can expect one thing: quality.

Quality in content. Quality in atmosphere.

The most obvious thing, though, is quality in production.

As a Technical Director I was very excited to see all of the video, sound, and lighting tricks that they would roll out this year. They did not disappoint. The stage lighting, sound, and video were all incredible. I loved the LED curtain that hung above the stage. They did a fantastic job.

However, one thing in particular stuck out to me…

In spite of the phenomenal crew, phenomenal talent, and phenomenal amounts of planning, there were a few minor technical glitches during the conference. I heard feedback on more than one occasion. The IMAG director punched up the wrong camera a couple of times. The giant flat-screens even went out at one point.

That gave me an enormous sigh of relief. It really helped me to see that mistakes will always happen in live production. We can minimize them, but the likelihood that we will completely eradicate them is quite small. We can’t get caught up or stressed out about the little things. The problems will happen.

The only way to avoid technical problems is to eliminate technology.

The next time your pastor calls you out in a staff meeting because you clipped two microphone cues last week (true story) say “if mistakes can happen at Catalyst, they can happen here”.