Posts Tagged video

Austin Stone – A well executed worship resource site

Thanks to my friend Chris Hatch, I heard about this church, Austin Stone. They are using video and sharing their music through their website in a way that empowers many other churches to perform their songs. It’s a cool business model, but it’s also an interesting model for how the church can share it’s songs in the digital age. Watching the videos, I am struck with a few random thoughts (2 positive and 1 critical).

Theology is important to my generation. Despite the accusations of traditionalists, the music of post-modern Christians is expected to have theological meat to it. It might not sound the same as Isaac Watts, but theology is not something we want to ignore.

There is an art to writing piano, guitar, and drum parts. (also bass, but there were no tutorials for that. Check out this video for bass tips.) You can see from the tutorials that these musicians are doing a lot more than strumming the four chords. When you go in the studio and take time to craft a song, you have to think about every guitar or drum part as a composer.

Your cultural is invisible to you and blatant to the rest of us. It’s great to see how this church is living out the gospel in their context. If you are not from their culture, you might notice that they dress different, sing different, think different, etc. When I listen to most “modern worship” recordings these days, I am struck by their mono-cultural nature. Did you notice the vintage keys and antique piano? Why not use a Phantom? All the guitar parts are a wash with delay and chimey distortion – where’s the funk or the blues? I’m not saying that they needed to include that stuff, but I am saying that this music is not designed to reach across cultural barriers. It seems to be comfortably easing into a singular cultural expression, but they are probably not doing that intentionally. Right?

True confession: I am totally jealous of this website. I love the video tutorials, the chart downloads, the minimalist design. They have nailed what we imagined our ncfmusic.com site to be like.

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“A Living Sacrifice” performed by Redeemer Church PCA in Jackson MS

We sang “A Living Sacrifice” on Sunday and everybody in the band was talking about how they saw this video of Redeemer Church doing the song on youtube. This song had meant a lot to me this year especially as my family and I have been through a very stressful trial as we pursued a calling from the Lord that brought us into a lot of mess. The Lord has never promised us an easy life. In fact, we have a more certain promise that we will experience trials in order to have the power of Christ revealed in us and that trials work to purify our hearts. The cry “make me holy” is not disconnected from the offering of our lives as a sacrifice. I know that my friends at Redeemer are embracing this call in their community, and it makes me so glad to see them worshiping with my song.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDePrdzW-Eo&feature=colike%5D

By the way, please pray that the Lord would provide the means for me to make another recording. We have made a lot of financial sacrifices in order to be faithful to God’s calling for us as a family. I can’t wait to be able to record this tune which was written shortly after Guardian Grace was completed.

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More NCMC Video: Mike Higgins

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Rev James Cleveland sings “Deep”

I would give my right leg to have a voice like Rev. James Cleveland.

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Live Worship at New City Fellowship in Chattanooga, TN

this is a James Ward tune called “Keep Lookin’ Up” which is a standard here in St Louis as well.

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Communication Ministry at New City Fellowship

We need gifted and passionate servants at our church to serve in the Communication Ministry. Communication Ministry uses the gifts of aesthetics, design, and composition through images and text to share information in a compelling and engaging way. As an artist, I know that I can use a song to covey a message in a much more powerful and meaningful way than if that same message is simply read. I can read a sermon, but a gifted pastor can present a sermon in a more compelling way through their oratory skills. In the same way, just about anyone can create a power point presentation or a make a digital video, but without the particular gifts, their presentation is not as compelling.

In our worship service, we use projected text to give the congregation the words of the songs we’re singing. Just like singing, the process of switching slides in time with a song is something almost anyone can do, but not every person is uniquely gifted as a leader. I have to confess that as the leader of the worship music ministries, I have mostly been looking for “warm bodies” to just show up and click the button. However, I have become more aware recently that I have been presenting this service opportunity in the wrong light. No one wants to just serve in any ministry as a “warm body”. God created us to have particular gifts that reflect his glory in us. I would love to find volunteers for our ministry that are longing for an opportunity to let these gifts be unleashed for the service of the kingdom. Please take a moment to pray for this vision.

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Curtis, can you bring the funk this morning?

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Rape of a Nation: A Short Film on The Democratic Republic of Congo

Here’s a video I watched online today about the Democratic Republic of Congo. There is a community of Congolese immigrants in our church. I’ve grown to love Congolese music and worship. Please cry out and mourn for the Congolese people. Our Father sees from heaven, and His kingdom will prevail against the gates of hell.

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