Why have a media team?
Why have a media team?
Well, how far back do you want to go? For the entirety of its existence, the church has used media to communicate God’s story of redemption. From ancient transcripts on stone tablets to live broadcasts on Facebook, Christians have always been using media to speak the language of their culture.
There have been four major movements of mass communication throughout the history of the church.
Since its creation, the church has used media to communicate God’s story of redemption. @danniobracken Click To Tweet
During the age of oral communication, most people were non-literate and uneducated. Writing or recording anything was cumbersome and time-consuming. The learning style of the masses was largely auditory.
As people became more educated, the invention of new tools introduced written communication. The bible was for the privileged and educated. By this time, visual learning took precedent. The uneducated masses would learn stories of scripture via stained glass and other forms of art.
When Gutenberg invented the printing press, the bible was mass produced for the first time. Print communication allowed God’s word to become accessible to the poor, which increased literacy rates and emphasis on education. Tiny print forced the eye-glass industry, which lead to innovations in fields of science (Microscopes and telescopes), which coincided with the explosion of the scientific age. In many ways, the per-literate age was all visual and auditory. Theatre and art taught complex ideas. The literate age brought individual interpretation of scripture and lofty intellectual ideas. Mystery was replaced with theology. Advancements in scientific study brought advancements in technology, which eventually introduced digital communication. In our digital world, the focus has returned to visual and auditory learning. Though literacy is still a foundation of our post-literate world, information is being ingested visually at a much higher rate. 85% of modern marketing is visual. 99.9 percent of Americans have TVs. 97% have plumbing.
Media teams exists to communicate God’s love through the cultural language of storytelling. @danniobracken Click To Tweet
Understanding our cultural atmosphere has influenced how we communicate with the world. Ginghamsburg Church chose to respond to post-literacy by installing a projector screen in 1994. The main question was “how do we speak the language of our culture?”. In the book of 1 corinthians 9:20-22, Paul is found quoting secular poets. In Acts 17:28, he is being intentionally inclusive in his communication. “ I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some.”
Even Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in words and deeds (Acts 7:22). At the time, Ginghamsburg was one of the FIRST churches to put in a screen. Over 200 people left when Ginghamsburg began using the new wineskin of multi-sensory media. Many of those reasoned that we had in some way compromised the integrity of the gospel! The same grumblings came when the pipe organ was traded for the guitar. At some point, any tradition that no longer speaks the language of our culture must also change. Perhaps virtual communication will bring about the end of the projector screen. Worship that communicates to persons on the street will produce a throbbing, constant underbelly of tension in the temple. But it’s always worth it in the end. After the projector screen was installed, Ginghamsburg’s attendance grew to 3100 in 2 years.
In the two decades to follow, we’ve seen enormous return from our media investment. Improving sightlines with image magnification, recording and archiving every sermon, reaching the world by broadcasting live worship through the internet, giving people a place to live out their call… it’s all our function in the body of Christ. Most of all, the ginghamsburg media team exists to communicate God’s love through the same medium that the church has always used through ever-shifting cultural language: storytelling.
Now if we tech junkies could only figure out why we sing songs in church:
Dan graduated from Asbury College in 2006 with a degree in media communication. A few months later, he joined the staff of Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, OH as a graphic design intern. After learning a thing or two over the years, Dan is now Senior Media Producer and leads a team of 80 unpaid media servants. Through his incredible creative ability, God has used him to change lives through the power of story. Dan lives in Tipp City, OH with his wife, Amy, and has 3 year old twins.