Critiquing Church Media

We’re in a series that our pastor is using videos each week. So I’ve been looking for canned media for us to use. The series is “How To Live Without Losing Your Joy”. Gotta love those long tittles.

The first week I created a video about “What Makes You Happy?” Last week we used the video “God’s Lens” from Visual Reality. This weekend we are using I (am) from Erwin Brothers Motion Pictures . Why recreate the video if there is one that fits already?

I’ve been searching through Worship House Media for video ideas. One thing that surprised me today was the amount of negative criticism in the reviews of different videos. It seems like some people just watch as many videos as possible and make themselves video illustration critics. They critique the music choice, pace of the video, humor, did it hit a felt need etc…

But a lot of the negative comments were like I’d never show that in my church to critiquing the price ($15/$20 is too much for this video b/c of length/quality/etc…) If it saves me an hour or more of work then it’s worth $20 to me.

Even some of them just being mean:
-I fell asleep
-Think of going into radio? (this was on a clip with no spoken words)
-Not worthy of this site

I don’t know why but this was really ticking me off today. I don’t think I like the idea of comments on a site like this. Not every video is going to fit every church/ ministry. I don’t know if criticizing the production value of a clip is beneficial. It’s not the producer is going to re-shoot the video for you. If a churches can’t agree in worship style, beliefs, structure of a service, etc… why would they agree on a video clip. It’s funny to see some of the comments on the best selling pieces. There will be lots of 4 and 5 star ratings then someone with 1 star b/c they think rap beats are from the devil!

I know I can be a media snob. And I’m hardest on my own work and work from my church. I’ve seen stuff on Worship House Media that I could have made better. But I also don’t know when they created the video. The music may be dated on that clip because it was made in the late 90s. And my videos at that time were crap!

It’s one thing to critique a media piece on whether it accomplishes it goal (does the design, message and production convey the message to the target audience)? And that’s where “canned” church media is a challenge. It’s hard to create media that will fit perfectly in lots of churches. And maybe that’s what’s bugging me about the comments at Worship House Media. I feel like a lot of the negative criticism is from small minded people not able to see the bigger picture.

I’d be more interested in seeing comments from people about how they used a specific clip (ie what topic they tied it into or how they used it to create “a moment”.

I’m stepping off the soap box and getting back to work.


February 15, 2008. Random, Video.


  1. Brent Homer replied:

    I did a review and panned a video on sermon spice for the first time in my life last week. They never posted it, but I thought I would link the video for you….

    essentially they ended a video with advertisements for their production company. I can’t imagine how anyone could play a video that ended that way. It’s not like bluefish’s stuff where you get a little logo at the end….Its a stinking huge logo / web advertisement that is blended into the music in such a way you would have to show it.

    I feel like that is just really tacky considering who the audience is for sermon spice.

    Otherwise I agree with you. If you don’t like the video it’s no big deal. It fit the needs perfectly for someone, someplace. I would be that 90% of the people who criticized the videos on sermon spice couldn’t make anything ever.

    I have also seen some truly amazing. videos on sermonspice that I would have paid $50 for.

    I will say that complete videos for $20 that are downloaded for an instant purchase make my life SO much easier….

  2. Dave replied:

    That’s a good point. We showed a video last week that I did the exact same thing. It was an add for the production company and not a website.

    Whether it was legal or not we converted the material to put on a DVD. I also trimmed the clip to cut out their tag at the end.

    It would be a little different if you weren’t already paying for the video file. But they already got their money they don’t need to put a commercial in the video that 95% or greater of our audience isn’t going to know or care about.

  3. Dave replied:

    I’ve started leaving the kind of feedback I think is helpful on Worship House Media. I’m just commenting about why I chose certain clips and what we used them for.

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