I’m writing this Sunday night, after two full days of NRB/Reach. My class on Saturday went well. I showed video clips from churches around the country. Most were from churches that those in attendance hadn’t heard of – which was cool. There are so many churches doing amazing things with media.

Today’s class with Grant Guffin (from Flashlight Films) and Bobby Gruenewald (Innovation Pastor at LifeChurch.tv) was a lot of fun. We did a class on churches that are taking risks in media. I really wish we could have shown a video that we pulled at the last minute – it was highly controversial and would have probably got us kicked out of NRB (permanently). There’s no doubt: some would have enjoyed it, but some would have stoned us. Hey – it’s a class on taking risks, right?

The video was one that they showed today in worship services at LifeChurch.tv. They are in a series on sex entitled “Satan’s SexEd”. Now, we showed several graphics and videos from churches that did a series on sex – that wasn’t the issue. This particular video was a very funny video of “Satan” being interviewed (picture a guy dressed up in a red suit with horns) on his thoughts about sex. Of course, all his answers to questions being asked were bad.

The potential problem was that the questions he was being asked were not words or phrases that you’re used to hearing in church. If you want to see it, I’m sure you can watch it online – either on their website or YouTube, where most of their videos end up. If you don’t like it, remember I warned you. If you do like it, then you may be more like me than you realize – which is really scary. Like Bobby said and I agree, the Church should have a voice when it comes to tough issues; otherwise, all people have to look to is what culture or the world says.

I want to mention again the wonderful resource that LifeChurch.tv offers the world: it’s called “Open” and it’s basically them giving away all their media resources for FREE! It is an amazing model and ministry to churches around the world and something you should be aware of and utilize.

The blessing for me on this trip is getting to spend time with 2 new friends and brothers in Christ: Phil Bransom and Bobby Gruenewald. Phil, who besides being a very talented TV producer, is a great man of God, a walking testimony of God’s love and grace and a man that I have mad respect for – I mean that. He’s the real deal and has a heart of gold. Hanging out with Bobby has been a breath of fresh air. Besides being a member of the 5 person leadership team at one of the fastest growing churches in the country, which by the way, was picked as THE most innovative church in America, Bobby is just a cool guy to be around and very down to earth. He has a heart to reach the lost and it shows. By the way, and for the record, Bobby would hate that I mentioned they were picked as the “#1 Most Innovative Church in America” and doesn’t really care about “the lists”.

This morning we got to go (thanks to the sweet GPS hook-up in Bobby’s rental car) to H2O Church. We had both seen their website before and heard of them, so it was cool to visit them in person and see how God is using them to reach the lost and broken in Orlando. Grant Guffin and Orlen Stauffer (the Church Media Committee Chairman of NRB) went with us as well. I think we all enjoyed A: being free and not responsible for anything AND B: seeing how someone else “does church”. If you’re ever in Orlando over a weekend, I encourage you to give them a visit.

I’m watching the end of the NBA All-Star game now and then heading to bed. I’ve got one more class tomorrow morning to do, then I’ll be free to walk around and check out some new HD cams! Tomorrow, Len Sweet (who I’m working on a book project with) is speaking and Salvador will be in concert. Good times and good night. More later…

Greg Atkinson

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