Tag Archives: Technology

A Guidebook for Visual Worship

When I started building PowerPoints for worship services back in 2003 I don’t think I’d ever even heard of the term “Visual Worship.” My how things have changed since then. Not just in relation to the tools – software upgrades, faster hardware, and better designed media – but in my heart as well.

I remember going to the Echo Conference in 2009 and hearing Camron Ware, Stephen Proctor, & Nate Griffin talk about Visual Worship. I walked away that day thinking “wow, I’m not crazy.” I had discovered there were other people out there who were asking some of the same questions, having the same conversations, and who valued some of the same things that I did when it came to the use of visual media in worship settings.

Fast forward to 2011 and I’ve been pretty blessed to be a part of my friend Stephen Proctor’s latest project – A Guidebook for Visual Worship. Walking through the editing process for this book has been challenging at times but honestly a ton of fun. Sadly I too often take for granted the fact that I get to work with some of my greatest friends. And on projects that we’re passionate about. It’s been quite an honor to see hours and hours of conversation over several cups of coffee and baskets of chips & salsa come to life in this book.

I think Proctor has put together a valuable guidebook based on what God has taught him along his journey in the visual worship realm over the last several years. In his words, it’s “ a training resource designed to cast vision & to equip.” You can read more of his heart behind the project here. And you can even download a sample version here if you are interested in taking a closer look. I just love seeing my friends living out their dreams and God given callings. So much joy in that.

Throwback Sundays…When Technology Fails

Just a note: I’m really loving this Throwback Sundays series because it’s like a virtual conversation over a good cup of coffee reminiscing about what was but in doing so always dreaming of what will be. And that is one of my favorite things in life.

On with this week’s post. This Sunday is still one of the most memorable Sundays in recent memory for me. Technology failed miserably that night, but worship went on without it. And for me as a visual worship leader being forcibly pushed over the cliff of visual silence and realizing it wasn’t nearly as scary as one would think made me more willing to walk over that cliff on my own.

And I always appreciate when God gently reminds me that He’s bigger than any light, any camera, any projector, or any microphone. He is God. And He has blessed us with those tools but He doesn’t need them and neither do we.

Have you ever experienced a major tech fail during worship? What was the result?

Lion King 1 1/2 meets Flickering Pixels

I was reading the book “Lion King 1 1/2” today to a 5 year old. She was loving the story of course because she has seen the movie countless times. I on the other hand, didn’t even know there was a Lion King 1 1/2…really?…they couldn’t come up with a better title? But, I’m reading along and this part of the story happens (Actual lines from the movie. Scene: Timon has left his family and is headed in search of paradise when he runs into Rafiki)

Timon: …I want to live in some beautiful place, outside…a carefree place where I don’t have to hide or worry.

Rafiki: Whoo! Hoo hoo hoo! Life without worry. You seek Hakuna Matata.

Timon: Harpoon a tomato?

Rafiki: Hakuna Matata, it means “no worries.”

Timon: Perfect! Mind taking that stick of yours and drawing me a map, bub?

Rafiki: (hits Timon with his stick) To find it, you must look beyond what you see.

Timon: What the heck is that supposed to mean?

Rafiki: It means look beyond what you see!

Timon: Beyond what I see. Ha. Get a load of the monkey, gettin’ all existential on me. Beyond what I see. Hmmm…beyond what I see…..

My mind immediately went to Flickering Pixels by Shane Hipps which I just finished reading a couple of weeks ago. Living a “carefree life,” a life where we are not controlled by the objects or tools or technology around us is as simple as looking beyond what we see. We have to look beyond the mediums to the impact they have on us. When we do that, we gain understanding and in time, hopefully wisdom. With understanding and wisdom we are not controlled by the mediums and can live “carefree.”

What do you think? Have I just gone crazy reading Disney books?

And you can thank me for the song you’ll have in your head the next couple of hours

You know you were born in ________ if…

I’ve worked with kids in some capacity for the last 7 years of my life. I remember the first time a child told me their birthday was something 2000 when I was volunteering with an inner city after school program. That was crazy to me then, and for some reason it still is a little bit. Those children were born into a world that I grew into.

The other day I was working with a couple of kids and we were acting out some imaginary story. I said something about them not being able to get their (imaginary) horse back because they didn’t know where I was. A little girl, 7, responded as she lifted her hand as if holding a small box like object “That’s okay, I’ve got my GPS, just give me your address and I’ll find you.” I laughed…hard. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have even imaginary GPSs when I was a kid.

Last night around 10pm I saw a meteor/fireball type object fly through the sky as I was working outside on my patio. I tweeted about it because it was so amazing. It didn’t take long for someone to respond telling me they had also seen it…in a different state…and that they had read someone else who had seen it on Facebook and lived near where it landed. By this morning, less than 12 hours later, that meteor controls 7 pages of Google search results and has a Facebook fan page with nearly 1,000 fans last time I checked.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering “what’s the point?”

My point: I honestly wonder what kind of world my kids (if the Lord blesses me with some) will grow up in. Television is today’s “evil turn the mind to mush” medium…I wonder if it will even exist as we know it when my kids are growing up. The speed with which information can travel across cyberspace still amazes me, and I hope it always does. The speed with which technology is advancing still amazes me, and again, I hope it always does.

We’ve all seen those lists, right? You know you were born in the 70s if…or the 80s if…or the 90s if…and so on. Today, I’m wondering what that list will look like for my kids, for children born two generations from now.

When Technology Fails


Tonight was one of those nights. The kind where I just have to throw up my hands and laugh because I am not in control.

We turn the projector on for worship tonight. It comes on. Moments later it goes black. A couple more minutes go by and it comes on again. It goes black again.

Repeat this for over an hour.

In the meantime, we checked the filter. Dust it off, but it looks fine. Reboot entire system. Same thing.

So, we ended up with tech fail imposed visual silence. And you know what, it all turned out just fine. We still worshiped. God was still glorified. And His Word was still preached.

Sometimes I love it when technology fails. It is an awesome reminder that God is so much bigger than a screen or a computer or a light or a microphone. They are great tools, but He doesn’t need them…and neither do we. His Word works without those tools and sometimes in spite of.