I was reminded during Catalyst of an issue I’ve seen a lot – the mini-devastation caused by “media maladies.”
It was less fulfilling to see Tim’s clips refuse to work – particularly when his talk was about using videos and other culture-oriented methods!
This particular malady certainly didn’t appear to be Tim’s fault (he wasn’t running the media), and it was awesome to see him handle the whole thing like a champ. I think the room honestly appreciated having the extra Q&A time, too. (And we all benefit, because Tim put those videos up on his blog.)
I recognize flukes can happen to anybody at really any time. Mikes go silent. Videos black out. Worship song lyrics are missing. The PowerPoint handheld clicker goes on strike. A laptop won’t link to the projector. An internet connection won’t… connect. These things happen.
But I get pretty squirmy now, after seeing that happen over and over again – including in lots of college ministries, where media has amazing potential. Just as a great “media moment” can electrify a presentation, a 30-second malady can ruin momentum, distract, discredit, or disengage.
Has media thrown me for a loop in my own ministry work? Sure. But I think I’m beginning to lean toward denying media that power over a presentation. In other words, I figure I should take the time to
- Choose the media wisely
- Prepare the media well
- Set the media up
- Make sure the media works
- Really make sure the media will work
…or don’t use it at all. (Or, if I’m setting up media for somebody else, I should triple-check Step #5.)
At least that’s where I’m leaning. I know there are temptations to imbalance on either side of this focus. But at present, I’m bummed about great ministry efforts damaged by under-prep.
Written from back home (in the Dallas area)