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The Media Minister’s Bulging Bookshelf

Jul 5, 2006 11:05 AM

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The church media minister can sometimes feel all alone in the world, especially when first embarking on an enterprise that can seem vast, expensive, and complex. For many, the first place to turn for help is the library or bookstore, and these sources continue to grow in importance as the list of helpful titles continues to expand.

Many leading equipment vendors offer printed reference materials and guidance. Shure, for instance, has published a 59-page Audio Systems Guide for Houses of Worship. It covers such basics as “what is good sound?” along with detailed advice on selecting the right microphone for pulpit, choir, handheld, and other uses.

The library of printed how-to guides for applying media to worship continues to grow. Veteran church media consultant Anthony Coppedge, for example, is putting the finishing touches on a new book, The Church Tech Handbook: A Resource Guide for Audio, Video, and Lighting. Coppedge says he is adding yet more new material to the book, which is due out in the early autumn.

The book aims to provide “practical advice on how to effectively implement systems that ranges from removing the hum from a sound system to planning for a full high-definition video suite.” It’s part of the “DV Experts” series, which includes a wide range of practical guides on using video systems and software.

One of the best-known books in the field has been Tim Eason’s Media Ministry Made Easy, published by Abingdon Press in 2003. The book package includes a variety of samples and other content on DVD, all designed to “help congregations of any size learn how to implement an effective media ministry by providing guidance for developing a vision and building a media ministry team, as well as advice about practical matters such as equipment and software needs.”

The last several years have seen a steady stream of new books addressing both the theory and practice of adding multimedia to worship. New from Abingdon Press is Video Ministry: Using Media in Worship Without Going Hollywood by Constance E. Stella. Abingdon also offers Jason Moore and Len Wilson’s Design Matters: Creating Powerful Imagery for Worship, published in May.

The same authorial team has produced Digital Storytellers: The Art of Communicating the Gospel in Worship, and Wilson is also the author of The Wired Church: Making Media Ministry, published in 1999.

You can find advice on the best uses and most common pitfalls in media ministry is found in High-Tech Worship: Using Presentational Technologies Wisely, by Quentin J. Schultze.

Similar guidance can be found in Screen Saved: Peril and Promise of Media in Ministry by Dan Andriacco, published in 2001 by St. Anthony Messenger Press.

Some readers will use books like these as self-paced educational programs, while others just want to gather enough savvy to interact effectively with an AV integrator of consultant. Either way, the library of print resources available to worship media specialists—both veterans and rookies—is expanding all the time.

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