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Author Archive | Cory Mansfield

Hidden Gem: Larry Linguist

Today’s hidden gem is meant especially for youth and college ministers. There have been a set of products on our site for some time called Larry Linguist: Service Starts Now. If you’ve stumbled upon these videos, you may have been a bit perplexed since they’re in the countdown section but don’t have a countdown clock.

Amturian Media decided to go a little different route with these countdowns — or service starters, as they call them. Essentially, the main character, Larry Linguist, hosts a guest who performs some sort of (usually oddball) act, at the conclusion of which, the video ends with Larry signing off and starting your service.

As I mentioned, these videos probably won’t work before a normal worship service, but they’re perfect a college or student ministry, as a way to capture everyone’s attention before starting your service or bible study.

After you’ve taken a look at Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the Service Starts Now series, be sure to check out the newest Larry Linguist contribution to the WHM store, The Lost Episodes. Be sure to leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below or as a review on one of the videos.

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Hidden Gem: “Shine Your Light”

Shine Your Light by The Work of the People is very much the epitome of a hidden gem. Not only is it an older video, but it could easily get buried just in the pile of work that The Work of the People (TWOP) have produced over the years.

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TWOP have been around the church media world for quite some time and are easily one of the most prolific producers we’ve seen. They are also very unique in their style and approach to Christian media. The gritty and raw quality of their films, paired with the stark realism of their storytelling, makes for a body of work that is exceptional at driving home a point and moving viewers to a place of action.

If your not familiar with TWOP, Shine Your Light is a great entry point to their work. The film takes on a reflective mood and is set to the song “Shine Your Light on Us” by the Robbie Seay Band. This video would be perfect for a missions or reflection type of service. At just under seven minutes, it is a bit longer than most videos on our site, but it’s well worth checking out.

If you’re interested in seeing the lighter side of TWOP, check out one of my new personal favorites, Jimmy Meerkat; though, I will warn you that their sense of humor may not be shared by everyone. Even so, as the most commented on video on our site, it too is worth a couple of minutes.

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Hidden Gem: “Nativity Story”

Ok, so maybe this mini-movie isn’t quite a hidden gem (currently the #10 best seller on WHM), but it has been on the site for a while and might just be useful in a new way. Nativity Story by Shift Worship is a wonderfully simple Christmas mini-movie. A white line on a black background traces scenes from the nativity story. The continuously flowing nature of the video, paired with the beautifully arranged piano soundtrack, creates a very calm and reflective mood — one that I’m sure is very welcoming during the busy season.

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While, this video certainly works great as a sermon or worship intro, I’ve recently seen it used in a new and inventive way. Stephen Proctor of worshipVJ.com has talked about using this and another piece from Shift Worship, Easter Drawing, as motion backgrounds. I think because of the simplicity of these two mini-movies, they do well not to distract but to add to the worship experience. I could see the nativity story being used quite well as a background for several traditional Christmas songs that together tell the story of the nativity.

If you don’t own Nativity Story, you should certainly check it out, and if you do own it, try using it as a motion background this year. Also be sure to check out Shift Worship’s newest Christmas piece, Christmas Really Happened and all their other top-notch media.

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Hidden Gem: “Lonely People”

Everyone seems to have at least a few pieces of media (whether it be songs, movies, tv shows, etc.) that you could watch over and over again; somehow that particular piece doesn’t loose its meaning for you. This week’s hidden gem is just that for me, as far as church media goes.

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Igniter Media released Lonely People on its third volume of Igniter Videos. Even though they’ve released five volumes of videos since then, Lonely People continues to be one of my favorites. Set to the well-known song of the same name by Jars of Clay, this video certainly tugs at the heart-strings. As the viewer is introduced to a series of seemingly normal people, we soon find out that on the inside they are all quite lonely for a variety of reasons. Ultimately, we are reminded of the powerful truth that God has overcome this world that is filled with hurt, pain and lonliness.

Lonely People is a mini-movie that could be utilized any time of year, and would do well to introduce a talk on compassion, evangelism, community or even a small group setting where each person could ask themselves where they feel lonely. Take a look, and if this doesn’t fit your upcoming message, check out the many other best-selling videos from Igniter Media.

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Hidden Gem: “Be Still”

This week’s Hidden Gem is a short and to-the-point mini-movie by Visual Reality, entitled Be Still.

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This video is very simple, but I think it does a great job of accomplishing its goal. Using black and red text on a white background and only a single “shhh” sound at the beginning, this video serves to calm your congregation. They are encouraged to stop what their doing and rest in God.

With the holiday season growing ever nearer, this might work well as a service starter. Before worship, announcements or even the welcome, you could play this video to help usher your body into a mindset of worship and peace.

Lastly, Visual reality has made two other versions, one of which might be a better fit for your particular application. Check out the Christmas version and the student version.

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