Friday, October 15, 2010

In Advertising, It’s All About Placement

Sometimes, you just can’t beat an automated algorithm when it comes to getting that ‘perfect’ ad placement!

Before the Body is Warm

Monday, September 20, 2010

What’s a Producer, Anyway?

CarlosWhittaker Carlos Whittaker asks a great question this morning over at Ragamuffin Soul.   Worship Pastor or Program Director?  He’s served in both roles, and has some great insight on the differences between being on the platform, and being behind the scenes.

From the service programming director position I was in more of a producer role. The PRO was I saw everything from the view of the attender. The CON was I only saw the backs of their heads and not their faces.

From the worship pastor position I was in a more of a leadership role.The PRO was I saw everyone’s faces. The CON was I did not see the room from the view of the attender.

My view is that it’s not an “OR” question at all.   Even in relatively small churches, someone needs to fill the stage manager / producer / program director role.

First, playing producer probably isn’t exactly in line with the gifts of a typical worship leader.  It’s a detail oriented job.   Not that there aren’t worship leaders who can handle that requirement, but in my experience, it’s not where their gifts usually are.

Beyond that, it’s a distraction.  You won’t be at your best as a worship leader if you’re also worrying about the fact that the volunteers who take the kids to children’s church after the children’s moments aren’t there yet.

Even in a relatively small church, someone who can manage the details of getting it all put together is  a huge gift for both worship leader and pastor. They have enough to manage on Sunday.

I would also argue a producer’s role is much more than just clerical. Ideally, they should be on equal footing with the other worship leaders and also viewed as a leader.  A good producer is making as much a creative contribution as they are in logistics, planning and execution.

Producers and Program Directors are some of the hardest slots to fill, whether you’re putting together a Sunday morning worship service, or putting on a newscast.  The job requires creative chops, the ability to manage creatives, and the ability work under pressure, quickly and efficiently.  When you find someone who is great at these things, take care of them.   They’re valuable!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Telling Stories – The Equipment Curve

Arment Ben Arment points out a very interesting dichotomy today, noting the fact that using video to tell stories requires two very different sets of gifts and skills.  He calls it “The Equipment Curve.”

“Right now, it's the cinematographers and editors who are creating projects. But they aren't necessarily the best storytellers. They simply know how to use the tools.”

A very key point here!   There are two very separate skill sets involved in using video to tell stories.  I can point a camera, and generally find my way around a non-linear editing system.  I am NOT an editor, and not a shooter.  I’m a word guy.  A story teller. On the other hand, the guys I know who are gifted shooters and editors aren’t generally comfortable sitting down and hammering out a great script.

What does that mean?  For a church, or any other organization seeking to use video, make sure you understand the real cost of doing it will.  If you’re blessed to find someone who is the rare tech guru who is also a gifted writer and storyteller, do everything you can to keep them!   If not, you’re going to need to plan on having two people for these two very different tasks.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ebay’s Response – No 700 mHz Here!

Shure Wireless Heard back from Ebay regarding the 700 mHz mics being auctioned.  It took them 24 hours, which is not great, but OK.  The response is, however, surprising to me.

“Thank you for writing in regard to wireless microphones that operate in the 700MHz band which are prohibited on eBay.

We conduct searches for wireless microphones that operate in the 700MHz band throughout the day, though if you have located specific auctions you would like us to review, please respond to this email with the item numbers.”

I have reported a few dozen auctions over the past few weeks… and NONE have been removed.  There are dozens of illegal units for sale now.   I’ll send them a list and we’ll see what happens.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Is Ebay Listening?

awx6030 Over the past month, I’ve seen an ever increasing number of 700 mHZ wireless microphone systems up for sale on Ebay.  Few of them point out the fact that they are illegal to operate in the United States.  I have talked with two churches recently who thought they were getting a great deal on wireless.  In one case I was able to catch them before they bid on the worthless gear.  For the other, it was too late.  They had already made the purchase and were pretty much stuck. 

Today, I sent Ebay an email asking them to clarify their position on the sale of illegal wireless in the U.S. on Ebay.

Sirs:

I would like to have you clarify your policy on sales of items that are illegal for use, for sale, or to ship in the United States.

FCC Document 10-16, adopted 1/14/2010, prohibits the manufacture, import, sale, lease, offer for sale or lease, or shipment of wireless microphones and other low power auxiliary stations intended for use in the 700 MHz Band in the United States.

At this point, there are DOZENS of these items listed for sale on Ebay, in clear violation of the law. I have reported a number of these items... but as your system allows for no follow up with the reporting member, I'm not sure if I'm simply shouting into the wind.

Is Ebay going to continue to allow illegal wireless microphones to be sold to US customers?

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Kirk Longhofer

I’m looking forward to seeing what Ebay has to say about this.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Simplify

horse with chain I have done a lot in terms of ‘going simple’ in the past couple of years.  I’ve significantly pared down list of causes, events and things I’m involved in.  To be honest, making this change was reactive on my part, and in that way, it may not have been entirely healthy.  I was running away from a time of life that far, far to complex.  What I really wanted was to stick my fingers in my ears and holler ‘la la la la la’ just to block out the chaos.

I think I’ve moved back to a more healthy place today.  Still, I struggle sometimes with trying to push to much into life.  Much of the time, finding that balance is all about saying no.  I don’t want to wear blinders.  I don’t believe in looking opportunities ‘in the mouth’ as it were.  So, I struggle. Picked up a GREAT tip today from Dave Kraft, the Development Pastor at Mars Hill Church.

“Never saying yes to anything over the phone, but buying time to think and pray about it.”

How simple is that.  “Let me get back with you on that.”  That is an easy to say phrase that I will be adding to my vocabulary.  Dave actually has six more tips that you might like too.

HT to Todd Rhodes at MMI for the tip.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mission Minded. Really?

annepicMy friend Anne Jackson over at Flowerdust pointed to a post from Adam yesterday that I think really calls out churches on whether or not they are truly missional.  It’s focused on how a church community interacts with it’s own local community.  See what your think.

  • If you have a building, offer a public bathroom and shower that’s open to whomever needs it during your office hours.
  • Ask every attendee to get in the habit of bringing a canned food item to church every week. Then start a food pantry that’s open a couple days a week for people to drop in.
  • Buy things for the church from local suppliers. Avoid the big box (probably cheaper) stores for ones that support a local company. Encourage your church attendees to do the same.
  • Encourage people who go out to lunch after church to be generous with tipping servers and conscious of how long they are staying. You want wait staffs to desire the church crowd, they are avoiding it at all costs now.
  •  

    There are more suggestions and lots more to think about, here.  What do you think?

    Is your church community really engaged in living the missio Dei?