4 Factors for Choosing Great Media

By March 10, 2014Church Media

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Choosing the right media for your worship presentation isn’t something that comes naturally. For me, there’s a process and I am always wrestling with what specific motion background or still image to use. Over the year’s I’ve refined my process to ask four key questions. In this post, you’ll find the four factors I consider when choosing the right piece of media.

1. Speed
Whenever you’re browsing online or in your library for media, you need to make sure that you’re factoring in a very important factor: Speed. Speed is like the tempo of a song… if it’s right it can be uplifting, hopeful and inspiring. If it’s wrong it is a train wreck. I always ask “Does the speed of this clip match the tempo of the song?” That is my test to see if a piece of media will work in my worship set.

2. Story
Every piece of media can tell a story… however I find that most of the time we don’t let our media tell an intentional story. If we aimlessly select media as a “background” to the lyrics, then we’re only interested in adding noise and filling a void. Think about it: if our purpose is to fill a void, then we’re just adding pixels to an already cluttered visual environment. However if we choose our media to highlight a key phrase in the song, or elevate a key emotion that is heard, then we have an ability to allow the pixels to deepen the worship environment.

3. Space
Not every piece of media that has the right speed and a story that matches the song is right for worship. A key to great design is great white space, or the areas in which there is nothing to help direct the eyes to focus on another. That may be a confusing way to say this: is there an area where the text can live unhindered by other textures, etc.? Does the design lend itself to see your text more clearly if it’s behind words?

4. Style
Finally, I am very concerned with the style of a motion. This is very different from the story or the space because style is how it has the ability to connect with my community. The media you use in your church environment may not actually be the same as the church down the road. That’s because each community has a unique calling from God. For example, my church has a style that includes a lot of grunge, textures and “rough” looks. This stems out of our belief that we are broken, fallen people who are desperately in need of a savior. Therefore our media’s style is specifically chosen to fall in line with that vision. Does your church has a specific style?

I love it when I see friends at other churches using media that connects well with their community. When this happens there seems to be a synergy between the worship leader and the visual worship leader. This week try looking at these four things when you get the song list from the worship leader. If by chance you are both the worship leader and the one who chooses the background, then what would it look like to put the same amount of intentionality into the media on screen that you put into the songs you sing?

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Luke McElroy

Luke McElroy ImageLuke McElroy is the founder of Orange Thread Media and author of The Wide Guide: Blueprint for the Multiscreen Movement. Through his leadership, Orange Thread Media’s work has been associated with American Idol, Atlanta Falcons, Bill Engvall and many more. Luke has a heart to equip and connect the visual worship tribe and launched SALT Nashville in 2013 as an annual conference for this community. Orange Thread Media is also the parent company to TripleWide Media Aside from all of this, Luke loves student ministry and loves serving at Fellowship Bible Church in Nashville, TN.
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