Monday, June 25, 2007

videoblogging and sermons

Last week I noted the blog of Iain McMahon, newcomer, to Canterbury, and to Opawa Baptist. Since then, Iain has unleashed a flurry of video blogs – showcasing his work, his flat, his local video shop, his eating habits, Sunday morning at Opawa, espresso Tuesday evening cafe church at Opawa and Conversational English as a community ministry at Opawa.

I have been fascinated to watch Iain’s collection grow. They are short (2 – 4 mins). They are real to life. Iain comes across well – relaxed, curious, a bit quirky and humous. I like them.

Which got me thinking about the place of video blogging and sermons. You see, Iain has been keen to preach and we’ve talked about this. But preaching is a word that can define a genre: in time, in place, in backdrop.

What would happen if we asked Iain to preach as videoblog? Could we give him a Bible text, and invite him to video blog it – short, woven into his life, with a real to life background? Would this not allow the Biblical text to become alive in Iain and outside the building and in a different time and mode? Would this not offer different ways of communicating, thus freeing different voices to make Biblical contribution?

Posted by steve at 04:49 PM


  1. that sounds like an outstanding concept. i would be very interesting in seeing it in practice.

    Comment by derek koehl — June 26, 2007 @ 11:57 am

  2. I’ve watched those Nooma vids – don’t know if you have seen those – they are not quite what you are proposing but as a very visual person I found them really engaging and fresh
    I’d be keen to see someone try what you and Iain are proposing

    Comment by Randall — June 26, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

  3. i’m not sure it’s fair on iain to compare him to rob bell! he’s got standards :).


    Comment by steve — June 26, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

  4. Its true.

    I’m a very standard person 😛

    Well, I don’t expect any of them to be gourmet cinematics, given that I’m just one pauper with a Sanyo Xacti HD1a and Windows Movie Maker.

    But then, maybe if I *DO* follow Rob Bell’s lead… calling my video something like “Silky Sermons” or “Hot Prophet” has GOT to get a few more views!

    Or not…

    But seriously, I was considering calling my series “Three Minute Theology” (plus or minus 3 minutes i guess!)

    Comment by Iain — June 26, 2007 @ 5:39 pm

  5. I’d be very interested in seeing the results. I blogged yesterday about using conversation partners around the text instead of a sermon, grounding the words in the experience of the people talking, rather than in abstract thoughts or other people’s stories.

    VideoBloggin so that people are enabled to see (rather than just hear) how the scripture works in real life is so powerful – do it!

    Comment by Jonathan Somerville — June 26, 2007 @ 11:36 pm

  6. Been thinking about this some more. What I’m about to type might seem weird but hear me out…

    Whenever I hear (for example) a missionary talk about their experiences overseas and the work they were doing I am always fascinated by one thing… how come they are able to be a missionary and still own a house?

    What I mean is this: I am fascinated more by the nuts and bolts: you rented your house when you left for Africa – who was acting as the trustee – who did the tenants call when there was a water leak? You studied the language full time before you left? How did you do that AND pay your kids school fees?

    I think this vBlog idea could really help someone like me in exactly the way you are describing, Steve.

    The Bible says we’re supposed to love one another – but what does that ACTUALLY look like – how do the nuts and bolts of that work? What does it look like when a Christian “loves” someone?

    Just like my obsession with these people who travel to far away lands and somehow manage to live in improbable situations all the while keeping their life at home in NZ going without their physical lives folding in on them – I think “seeing someone BE christian” could be really helpful

    “What have you been up to Iain?”
    “I’ve been “ministering””

    What on earth does that mean? what does that look like? What IS

    These thoughts are slightly rambling – does it make any sense to anyone?

    Comment by Randall — June 27, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

  7. in the 90’s there were some great little 3 minute flash based digital stories – mostly by women. might be worth a look at

    Comment by andrew jones — June 29, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.