This week was a great example of how we sometimes fail to realize role we play in visually leading others deeper into worship. You’ll notice I’ve included two versions of this setlist, one that was used in our first service, and the other that was used in our second. Unfortunately, I was in a creative funk early Sunday morning and had originally decided to just use some more simple, abstract backgrounds to make the set look good, with relatively little effort. And I needed coffee. I know, I know, not cool. But sometimes we as worship leaders and creatives let ourselves get in the way and keep us from being used to impact others. We either go through the motions, knowing that we can fake it, or we broadcast our personal moodiness out to everyone, using all of the dark, starving man in the desert footage and quotes from Lamentations, and. freak. everyone. out.
- Does that mean we shouldn’t express how we really feel?
- Does personal emotions count when you’re called to lead others in worship?
- How do we provide an environment for meaningful worship, both for ourselves and for everyone else in the room, that maintains authenticity without freaking everyone else out with our junk?
- Or is sharing the crud of life part of what it means to be in community, even from the stage?
Many thanks to @jeffreycberry for his encouraging words from the stage during the first service, regarding the way our intentional use of visuals enriches his time of corporate worship. Those words shook me out of the funk and back into the realization of my role as a worship leader.
NOTE: All of the song and image/video titles include links to a reference song, or the actual media content we used in the set.
- Radial Glow (Igniter Media) - Dark blue abstract with a pulsing light shining out from the center.
CAME TO MY RESCUE (bridge only)
- Grunge Window Room (Igniter Media) - Grungy shot of light shining through a window into an abandoned, time-scarred room
- Nature Sunset Colors (Igniter Media) - Grungy shot of a sunset through the trees with floating light particles throughout.
- Verses: Majesty Vibe (Non-Titled) (Highway Video) - This video starts off with clips of sunrises and sunsets, as well as 2 great shots of the sun arching down and out of frame, crossed with the moon arching up and out of frame. NOTE: The version of this video I use has been slowed down between 25-35% and also has been edited to exlude a brief clip of a fetus (Great visual for the original purpose of this video, not awesome for random VJing.)
- Choruses: Sunlight Vibe (Non-Titled) (Highway Video) - Footage of sunrises, sunsets, pulsing, flaming sunspots, and other high-energy, sunlight-tinted clips.
- Quiet Instrumental & Down Bridge: Underwater Cross (Highway Video) - As the music begins to sit quietly coming into the bridge, this dark clip of a small, metallic cross under slow-moving water begins to show the beauty of the cross.
- Up (Loud) Bridge: Cross Montage Loop 2 (The Work of the People) - The first portion of this clip features bright, blue-tinted footage of stone crosses and the crucifix, bringing visual energy back as the music rises back into the chorus.
- Last Chorus Set & End: Majesty Vibe (Non-Titled) (Highway Video) - Coming back to this video and starting a couple minutes in, brings back the original visual theme. NOTE: The version of this video I use has been slowed down between 25-35%.
CAME TO MY RESCUE (bridge only)
- Jesus Said These Things (The Work of the People) - Our arrangement of the song this week only uses the bridge, starting softly and crescendoing into a powerful instrumental. To harmonize with the simple lyrics (‘In my life be lifted high, in my world be lifted high, in my love be lifted high’), this Visual Liturgy film uses the entire text from John 17, where Jesus prays to his Father for his disciples and all believers, that “they may be as one…so the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
- Intro & Verse 1: Heavy Rain Effect Loop (The Work of the People) - This dark loop of heavy rain, provides nice visual harmony and constant movement to the 4-on-the-floor beat.
- Chorus 1: Rain Vibe (Non-Titled) (Highway Video) - Dark, rainy footage with some nice light filter effects give brightness and more energy to the first chorus.
- Verse 2 & Chorus: Dance (Highway Video) - City streets, dusty lanes and darkened forests continue the dark visual theme but add energy and the human element to the journey.
- Bridge: Timelapse Commute (Highway Video) - Fast footage from the front window of a car on a twilight drive through windy roads.
- Chorus to End: Sunday Drive (Highway Video) - Bright, sunny footage taken from the side window of a car, looking up into the trees.