Where Do You Get Your Videos? Part 3: An Interview with A Technology Expert.

This post is the third in a series in which I try to answer the question I’m asked most frequently when I preach, other than questions about the actual content, of course:

Where do you get your videos?

In Part 1, I provided some context for the discussion.

Part 2 laid the groundwork for searching for and finding video content for messages.

In Part 3, I’m very grateful to provide an interview with a wonderful friend who also serves as an international expert on the use of technology in ministry. Brad Huddleston travels worldwide teaching on the subject. His latest book is The Dark Side of Technology.

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www.bradhuddleston.com

How did you get involved in the use of technology for ministry?

Long before PowerPoint and Keynote existed, Brian Charette was already incorporating what we now call “multimedia” into his sermons. [Editor’s Note: I left it in, but Brad is the one who has actually taught me, not the other way around.] That inspired me. Once the personal computer matured, we were able to easily go from overhead transparencies and VHS tapes to data projectors and digital video clips. My degrees in both computer science and Bible make using technology in ministry a natural fit.

If you could give pastors one piece of advice on using video in sermons, what would it be?

Learn how to embed the videos within Keynote, Powerpoint, ProPresenter, etc. and have them trigger automatically. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed the flow of a sermon broken because of having to start a DVD player or having to move a media player from a computer over to the main screen.

If a pastor, lay leader or Sunday School teacher could learn just one piece of software or application that would help them make effective use of video in ministry, what would it be?

On the Mac side, iMovie. On the PC side, Sony Vegas Movie Studio (http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegassoftware $49.95). Either of these programs can deliver very professional results for the brief video clips that often appear in sermons.

What are some of the most common mistakes you see pastors and teachers make as it relates to the use of video or technology in their messages?

Poor slide design. Just a few things can take a presentation to a whole new level:

  • No more than two thoughts (bullet points for example) per slide. Preferably one thought per slide.
  • Too much text in the presentation. Most people learn better visually. After creating slides for your message, go back and see how many images or brief videos that you can substitute for words.
  • Font size too small. Make sure you use san serif fonts at 30 point or larger.

You actually teach about this material. What do you find are the most difficult concepts for students to grasp?

When I am guest teaching at High School Film & TV Schools, I often find that students do not have the patience to pay attention to small details and they strongly dislike to proof their work. They are very gifted at graphic design, video and audio editing, photography, etc. but have no attention span to do the simple but crucial things such as check spelling and grammar, audio levels and go back and watch their entire presentation with someone else to pick up on possible mistakes.

I listed some of my “ground rules” for using video in my messages in a previous post, what are some of yours?

  • Segue is crucial. Work on transitioning from one concept to another and make it clear that you are moving on. If not done properly, some of the audience will still be on a previous thought while you have moved on. This causes confusion and your message is not being heard during this period.
  • Balance. What I mean in this situation is if I am dealing with a very heavy subject such as divorce, depression, etc., I don’t keep the audience there for too long at any one time. I try to gently transition into something positive (humor, encouraging Scripture, etc.) and then take them back to the heavy subject if necessary.
  • I always open with visual humor. Humor has a way of disarming people, especially if they know you are going to be dealing with a heavy subject.
  • I seek the anointing. My presentation can be flawless from a design point of view but if the Lord does not touch it, it is worthless.

In Part 4 of this series – The Nuts and Bolts of Using Video.

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