Setting the Tone – Using Countdowns to Enhance Service

By July 2, 2012January 15th, 2020Church Media

How do you usually feel during the last few moments before service begins?

The answer likely depends on the role you play in your church. For those of us in the media ministry, we’re often active and alert, experiencing that familiar “Here we go!” feeling. The ushers are already in the full swing of their duties, directing traffic and distributing programs. The folks whose names are on those programs are often reviewing their index cards or mental notes. And then there’s the most important participants in the service, the ones who aren’t focused on any of those things. I’m speaking, of course, about the members of the congregation, who are busy fellowshipping with one another, finding their favorite seats and preparing to celebrate our savior.

The last several minutes before service may seem like a flurry of activity and bustle, but they actually offer an outstanding opportunity. With the aid of a well-executed service countdown, these moments can be used to connect with your congregation, promote Christian principles and set the tone for the rest of service.

So, if countdowns have the potential to be such an effective tool… what makes for a good countdown? Here goes my two cents:

Every countdown video shares two key ingredients: a timer and a background. The good folks at WorshipHouse media offer access to hundreds of outstanding producers who’ve combined those two elements in artistic and creative ways. In this post, I’d like to take a closer look at countdown media that includes a third, crucial ingredient: a powerful message!

Whether welcoming, energizing, encouraging or entertaining, a powerful message can fit seamlessly into a service countdown. What a great chance to inspire praise and fellowship and/or communicate your church’s beliefs. The message doesn’t necessarily need to be deep or philosophical, either. For example, Igniter Media offers an entertaining and lighthearted approach with Church Signs 2 Countdown.

Take a few moments during your next WorshipHouse browsing session to search for media in the countdown store that offers your congregation more than just a timer. To help get you started, Animated Praise is excited to extend a 25% discount on our Energizing Countdowns Collection:

For those who’ve never browsed through the countdown store, you’ll quickly find that there are a lot of options to choose from. Just like when you’re searching for the perfect birthday card, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with such a wide variety of choices. If you’re having a hard time narrowing it down, I propose that you “consider the source”. What I mean by that is that you reflect on what is driving the message in the media that we plan to present during or before church service. At Animated Praise, we firmly believe that the best source for inspiration, encouragement and advice in our daily lives has always been the Bible. When searching for countdowns on WorshipHouse, I encourage you to preview videos that are scripture-based and inspired by the Word of God.  An excellent example of a Bible-themed countdown is The Potter’s Wheel by Floodgate Productions.

Animated Praise also hopes to spread the Word by offering $10 off of the It’s All About the Bible Countdown Collection:

With so many countdowns available for download, narrowing your search is important. Before you begin your next countdown expedition, try brainstorming keywords that match the overall theme you have planned for service. Consider everything from the topic of the gospel message to the color of the choir robes. Once you have an idea of the style you’d like to execute, use the search functionality to trim your results to media that matches the color and/or theme of your service. If you’re searching for a blue theme, try At Our Church by Fresh Purpose Productions. Maybe you’d like to challenge your audience’s Bible knowledge; if so, try a search for “New Testament Trivia”. Remember also that the WHM Seasonal Store is always jam-packed with a variety of holiday inspired countdowns.

Animated Praise is currently offering a 20% discount on our Floral Countdown Collection. We hope you’ll check it out!

So, what happens if you find a countdown with a theme and message that compliment your service, but the music isn’t a good fit? Don’t give up on the countdown, you actually have several options! For starters, you can mute the audio of the countdown and have a pianist or musician provide an appropriate soundtrack. If your church is wired to allow seperate audio feeds to speakers, try playing a CD or another source of suitable music. The important thing to remember is that you should always prepare and/or practice this audio switching before the day of service. A little preparation can prevent a majority of technical difficulties.

If you’ve never used service countdowns, consider giving them a try. When used properly, these specialized videos can inspire fellowship, enthuse your congregation and set the tone for service. If you’re a seasoned veteran in this type of media, I encourage you to consider the following: a countdown can serve as more than just a countdown. Don’t settle for a stationary timer when you can instead use the opportunity to send your audience a powerful message. If you choose to go that route, strive to ensure that the message is based on the Word of God.  You can browse WHM’s extensive collection of countdown themes and styles to find the right fit for your service. And for extra effect, try fine-tuning the audio so that the countdown more accurately matches your style of worship.

I truly thank you for taking the time to read and would very much enjoy hearing your thoughts. Feel free to join in the discussion and post ideas! God bless!!!

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Matthew 5:6

Jason Satterwhite

Jason is a motion graphics artist who produces content for Animated Praise and Playback Media. He’s recently migrated to Richmond, Virginia with his wife and newborn daughter. In his free time Jason loves to watch sports, create digital artwork and hang with family and friends.

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