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ministry resources for the digital culture, including the monthly video download
For the second time ever we’re pulling out the party hats, noisemakers, cake and ice cream to celebrate our birthday. On April 15 Midnight Oil Productions turns 2! We’re amazed at how far God has led us.

It has been an incredible 2 years of ministry for the two of us and we have been blessed by the support that you, our Midnight Oil community, continually provides. Through purchasing our resources, attending our conferences, hosting our events, telling others about our ministry, and praying for us, we’ve been able to make ends meet (most of the time). So, our families and us thank you.

If you’re new to Midnight Oil, we want to welcome you and we hope that we can help you reach the culture we live in today through our ministry. If you ever need anything please don’t hesitate to contact us. This ministry was created for you.

Now that we’re 2 years old, we figured it was time to change the look of our enewsletter and our site. This past week we debuted a brand new front page that gives you access to a lot of new stuff, and some stuff you may never have seen before. Our goal was to give you more entry points into the site. You’ll find a few new navigation buttons across the top, and there’s even a link to more “zero cost” media.

We invite you to stop by the website to check out all of the new features. We’ll be updating other pages as time allows, so for a while there will be two or three different looks going on. Starting with this issue, your monthly newsletter will reflect this new look. If you have any thoughts or feedback you’d like to share about the new design you can email us here.

Are you producing original video for your church? If not, are you thinking about it? Regardless, you may find that “On the Street” videos are a great place to begin honing your skills.

If you’re not familiar with “On the Street” (OTS) videos, you’re missing out on an entertaining and educational form of media for worship. This style of video has been made popular by late night TV stars such as Jay Leno of the Tonight Show. The basic idea behind these videos is to get a finger on the pulse of the culture at large in an engaging, funny and sometimes thoughtful way.

There are a lot of things to consider before simply grabbing the camera and going out to a public place with question in mind. Ultimately, OTS videos can be pretty easy to produce, but knowing how to approach planning, shooting, and editing can make your life much easier throughout the process.

This month’s training opportunity is designed to give you a jumpstart on creating effective OTS videos. We’ve written an article titled “How to Make Good ‘Man On The Street' Videos.” Based on personal experience, it shares all that we know about what to do, and what not to do.

This article signals the grand opening of the new Reading section of our site. You’ll find a few other articles there that we hope will spark new ideas for ministering to your congregation. Stop by and check it out!

We’re giving away a home in this month’s enewsletter. Each and every one of you will receive your very own home courtesy of Midnight Oil Productions. You’ll be able to watch the progress as it is built in a new housing community. Oh yeah… did we mention that the home is on video?

The Home Builders clip is an amazing sequence of “super” timelapse video shot and edited over a period of seven months. The finished piece is 48 seconds long and shows the entire process of home construction from pouring the foundation to laying the sod. It is a great piece to use to talk about making Christ the foundation of our lives, living as the Body of Christ (many working as one), and a plethora of other topics.

How’d we do it? Well, the MO digital video camera sat on a tripod and shot out the window in the front bedroom of Jason’s home for 7 months. We recorded the footage to a large hard drive each day and compressed the footage down to one percent of its original speed (8 hours became 2 minutes). We trimmed all of the footage that wasn’t interesting, then sped up the sequence even further and edited it to a fast-paced music track. Needless to say Jason’s wife was really thrilled to have a camera setup for 7 months in their new home pointing toward the neighbors.

You can download the Home Builders video with title included at no cost right here.

We’re on the road again, but this time it’s not far from home. Midnight Oil’s home office is in Grand Prairie, Texas (just outside Dallas). We’re thrilled to be offering a Digital Storytellers event in the home county and we’re hoping that many of you will join us. And if you’re not local, Dallas is a great city to visit in April. There are plenty of fun things to do in the area and besides that, it’s worth it to come just for the barbeque.

Here’s what we cover during the day:

Session 1- Worship in the Digital Age (8:30-10:00)
Analyze four keys to digital culture and how it affects worship.
Session 2- The Art of Communicating the Gospel (10:30-12:15)
Discover the production process, incl. how to build a worship image.
Session 3- Becoming Digital Storytellers: Building Teams (1:30-2:45)
Participate in a hand's-on look at forming teams for digital ministry.
Session 4- Momentum for Digital Ministry (3:00-4:00)
How to both get started right and maintain your momentum for media.

This unique day-long seminar will be held at Spring Valley United Methodist Church right in the heart of Dallas. You can contact our host Sara Pair, or call 972-233-7671. You can also register through our site.

Registration fees are $99 for a single registration and $79 for a group of 2 or more from the same church. To learn more about the seminar visit the Digital Storytellers section of our site. To check out other dates go here.

We're pumped by the feedback we've received about our Beyond the Tomb Easter offer! Over 5300 churches downloaded the piece and we're receiving hundreds of feedback emails from churches who used it to great effect.

We've heard about all kinds of creative uses of the video and graphic. It was used in conjunction with special music, as a background for song lyrics during praise and worship, as an intro for several dramas, as a call to worship video, and in many churches as a setup for the sermon. We've heard stories from many churches whose pastor chose to rename their sermons "Beyond the Tomb" or some variation of that theme. Other churches used it as a way to promote Easter in the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. We'd love to share every one, but obviously don't have room to do that. Here's just a taste of the way it was put to use in churches in 11 countries all over the world:

THANK YOU!!! We had never used anything like this before, but we used it as a call to worship after our welcome and invocation in our contemporary Easter service. The audio was moving, the visual was stunning, and it was short and got people centered for worship as we then went right from the video to a contemporary version of "Jesus Christ is Ris'n Today"...
-Peter Couser, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Fort Worth, TX

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the "Beyond the Tomb" video clip… When it was over there was dead silence in the sanctuary; though the length was about 3 minutes it passed in seconds and it's impact lasted throughout the service! People are still calling the church with comments of how inspiring the presentation was. Your video added so much power to the presentation; it emotionally charged our service.
-John Becknell, Community Church, Lexington, KY

On Sunday morning, all the windows were blackened, the lights off. The video began, as the video began to reach the "Beyond the Tomb" the candle representing Christ was in the Sanctuary, being carried from the rear to the front. As the final scene was fading to black, the windows were cleared, the lights brought full up and the people went crazy. Cheering, applause, shouting. Not bad for a Baptist Church. Oh, by the way, we are not your typical Baptist church.
Roger House, Allen St. Baptist Church, Clinton, MO

Souderton Mennonite Church used the Beyond the Tomb Easter Sunday prior to the pastor preaching the sermon and what an attention getter! The sub-woofers were dialed high along with the general house speakers and the thunder, lightning and the stone rolling away made the statement like no other video I've seen. What a lead in to the sermon! Great quality job!!
-Ken Clemmer, Souderton Mennonite Church, Telford, PA

Hi MO Guys, Well it is awesome.....powerful....relevant....and the music was perfect. It was truly experiential.
-Helen Foster, First United Methodist Church, Lawrenceville, IL

It certainly set the mood and got people's attention. Thank you so much for making it available. This was our second week using our projection system, and this video also helped win over some of the "nay-sayers" to the concept of multimedia in worship. I have your page bookmarked and intend to visit it frequently for other free and paid resources. You guys are great!
-Ken Dale, Eastmont Baptist Church, East Wenatchee, WA

We used the video clip on Good Friday. We had concentrated very much during the service on telling the story of the arrest and crucifixion under the title "The Story of the Cross". Right at the end, after a meditative communion, where a still from the video had been projected with some of the words of Jesus on the cross were scrolled through, the clip was played. Several people said it made them really want to come back on Sunday. Worked real well. Thanks for your efforts.
- Rev Pete Worth, Barnt Green Baptist, United Kingdom

Many have stated that this was the best Easter service they had ever attended.
-Paul E. Johnson, Chetek Alliance Church, Chetek, WI

After we downloaded the video, I created the still image graphic using the tutorial. We then chose to wrap our whole Easter Celebration Service around the title "Beyond the Tomb". Our music ministry writes a lot of praise and worship music as well as special songs/choir songs, so we wrote a song entitled "Beyond the Tomb". The whole day was incredible. We used the "Beyond the Tomb" video 3 weeks in a row to promote Easter Sunday, and we had our highest attendance ever. Thanks so much for helping us stay relevant to our culture.
-Brandon Divine, The Church at Chapel Hill, Douglasville, GA

In about 40 seconds of very clear imagery, the entire message of Easter and what we were celebrating was presented in a very clear and powerful way.
-Tom Capshaw, Seaton Park Baptist Church, Louisville, KY

If you have a Beyond the Tomb story to tell, email us here. If you did not get to use the video, or were not able to download it, we'll be making it available next year too! The media has already been removed from our server to make room for more zero cost media.

God Bless! The Midnight Oil Guys

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