We’re only a few days from Christmas services now. Perhaps Christmas concerts and productions are behind you at your church and you’re wondering how to make Christmas Eve feel special – especially if you went all-out earlier this month.
Here are three ideas, three tools to keep the video images vibrant without putting yourself over the edge again this year.
- Dim the images behind projected lyrics. If your software allows you to, dim the background image you use behind lyrics & Scriptures by 20 – 25% and return them to 100% between songs. It’s a subtle way to focus attention where you want it – and it’s easy to do in most programs.
- Take digital close-ups of this years church decorations and bring them to the video screen as backgrounds for lyrics and Scripture, perhaps even as stand-alone images. Any digital camera with good resolution will give you good images to choose from. Shoot four images of each close-up. 1) Auto exposure, 2) with fill-flash 3) with no flash 4) and manual – experiment a little. Be creative in the composition. Start with outside the church if you can, and work your way indoors. Garland and wreaths. Candles (maybe in the corner of the picture, not the middle). Poinsettas. The middle of the tree. The Nativity Scene. These scenes are unique to your congregation. They’re like First- Church family photos almost, and if you already have the camera, they’re free.
- Try a minimalistic approach here and there. Sometimes less to look at on the screen frees worshippers to focus where you’d like them to – on the Word. Lyrics. A soloist or ensemble. For example, one year we ended our Christmas Eve service with the traditional Silent Night. I asked our video tech (actually a video artist!) to find and use a picture of a starry sky for that song. No close-ups, no bright colors, just a field of bright stars on a clear night. When the lights dimmed and we stood there singing by candlelight, it was as though we had a picture window looking out into the night sky. All is calm, all is bright. Sometimes less is more.
God bless you volunteers – You give so generously through these special seasons – we couldn’t do it without you!