Christian Video速 Magazine
Nov/Dec 2011 VOL. 4, NO. 9
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 -- facing death and self -sacrifice by MARTIN BAGGS
Was It Live or Was It Memorex by RYAN GEESAMAN
Editorial 3 Cover Story 4
Think Outside - The Red Dragon of Christmas by GREGORY FISH
by BRAD MILLER
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from the desk of the editor
by STEVE HEWITT
The Untold Christmas Story I pastored my first church in 1978. It was a little country church north of Sedalia, Missouri. It had a “library” of sorts, consisting of books donated over the years. The entire library fit into one bookcase about three feet wide. However, one little book intrigued me. It was titled, “The Untold Christmas Story”. It was dusty and very old, but I have never forgotten the message! Basically, the book began to unfold the entire Old Testament, showing how Satan was constantly trying to stop the birth of the Christ child. When God promised Adam and Eve that one would come from Eve’s seed that would bruise the head of Satan, the game was on! And, look at the results. Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Able, and right off the bat, Satan manipulates one to kill the other. When God told Abraham that he would father a nation and that the Messiah would come from his seed, what happened? Sarah his wife was barren. Look at the problems Jacob and others had with either their wives, or their children. And, when Satan lost track of who might birth the Messiah after Israel’s children moved to Egypt, Satan brought up a new Pharaoh who ordered that ALL of the male babies be killed. Remind you of anything? Herod did the same when he heard that Christ had been born. Greg Fish’s video is the first I have seen in bringing this “untold Christmas story” to light. I thought it was exciting enough to make it this month’s cover story so that you wouldn’t miss it. Check it out and see if you don’t agree, the Christmas story, the birth of our Savior, is woven throughout the events of the entire Old Testament. I hope you will enjoy Greg’s video, and I wish each and every one of you a very blessed Christmas.
Together We Serve Him,
Christian Video Magazine is published monthly by Christian Video Magazine, Inc. Editor-in-Chief Steve Hewitt – firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Editors George Temple Gregory Fish Stewart H. Redwine Mark Carroll Jay M. Delp Martin Baggs Robert Kramer Ryan Geesaman Copy Editor Gina Hewitt
Corporate Home Office Mailing Address: PO Box 319 Belton, MO 64012 Phone: (816) 331-5252 Fax: 800-456-1868 Copyright 2011 by Christian Video Magazine, Inc. All Rights Reserved Written materials submitted to Christian Video Magazine become the property of Christian Video Magazine, Inc., upon receipt and may not necessarily be returned. Christian Video Magazine reserves the right to make any changes to materials submitted for publication that are deemed necessary for editorial purposes. The content of this publication is the sole property of Christian Video Magazine. Copy or distribution of articles or content can be done so on an individual basis. Multiple copies or distribution may not be done without the express permission of Christian Video Magazine. Views expressed in the articles and reviews printed within are not necessarily the views of the editor, publisher, or employees of Christian Video Magazine, or Christian Video Magazine, Inc.
Steve Hewitt Editor-in-Chief email@example.com
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Cover Story by GREG FISH
Think Outside - The Red Dragon of Christmas
his last mini-movie I made was a beast to edit...and I mean that quite literally. It is about the greatest of beasts which draws its inspiration from an obscure passage in Revelation. Here are some helpful little revelations about the creative process that I gleaned through my experience with this project, which by the way can be found at http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/ mini-movies/26526/The-Red-Dragon-Of-Christmas:
1) Think Outside the Manger You thought I’d say “box”, but that would be cliche, and therefore not “outside-the-box” thinking. When it comes to creating a Christmas illustration, we need to think outside the manger. In other words, do something that hasn’t been done already a million times over. A creative person scraping the bottom of the barrel, recycling old, used ideas just isn’t attractive. I know, I know. There’s nothing new under the sun. However, we can present a new/ old idea in a new way. Or we can bring to light something that is new to most people. It’s like when I talk about my new camera lens, it’s not actually new; it’s slightly used, but it’s new to me. This video has been a long time coming. I taught a class on Revelation at church and actually preached on the Red Dragon of Christmas last year. It’s taken me all of this time to muster the courage to piece together this video and companion leader’s guide. Why courage? There’s a risk
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in creating something that is different. How will it be received? I don’t know. But we will see. As a pastor, I know what it’s like to come to Christmas every year and wonder how I’m going to bring something fresh this time. The Red Dragon of Christmas certainly would be something that many never would have even considered, but will others now take the risk in showing this video and building their message around this obscure passage? Many pastors are even afraid to get into the book of Revelation beyond chapter three. These types of questions are always on the back of your mind as a creator, but is the unknowing a deal breaker? It is not. You won’t know until you publish. If you ship it off you’ll find out the answer. If you don’t, you’ll never know. So, create something plain and safe, or go outside of your comfort zone to bring a potentially great and impacting creation from conception to follow through all the way to completion. More on this later.
By STEVE HEWITT
2) Bring in Outside Help When making something that once was a big idea in your mind, you may have to venture outside of yourself to execute that idea effectively. The vision may be larger than your ability to accomplish on your own. That’s absolutely fine. Bring in outside help. Nobody can be an expert or even decent at everything. John Dickson does a great job in his book Humilitas of defining humility in part as common sense. In that chapter he tells a joke: There was a plane, and the pilot comes across the radio and says “Attention all passengers. I have some bad news. We are going to crash.” Now, there were three others on board this aircraft, four including the pilot. The pilot says, “The good news is, there are parachutes. The bad news is there are only three. This is my plane, I’m the pilot, and I’m going to take one.” So he straps on a parachute and out he jumps. Now, remaining on board was a brilliant professor, a minister of religion, and a backpacker, with only two parachutes. The brilliant professor jumps up and says, “I’m a brilliant professor; I have lots to achieve in this world; I can create and donate to mankind; I need a parachute.” He straps one on and jumps out of the plane. Left behind is the minister of religion and the backpacker. The minister turns to the backpacker and said, “Look, I’ve had a long life; I’ve enjoyed my life; I know where I’m going. You take the final parachute.” The backpacker stops him and says, “No, wait. That brilliant professor, he just jumped out
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with my backpack.” While the story is not true, it clearly demonstrates how expertise in one area counts for little in another. So as Dickson illustrates, while I may be OK at animating, I’m not very good at drawing. Here I needed some original dragon art that I could use and animate, but Illustrator is a program that I hardly ever use! It’s time to phone a friend. Actually I Facebooked him (if that’s a verb). I later went through and explained the crazy concept. Though we live in different states, we were able to collaborate on this project. Without him, I wouldn’t have original dragon art. And if the title is “The Red Dragon of Christmas” I probably need some dragon in the video. That’s not where the collaborating ended. If you’re a one man team like me, then you are easily tempted to do everything yourself. That way you have more control over it, and you get it the way you want it. That’s all fine and well. More power to you, but know that maybe, just maybe, quite possibly, actually, it could be better if you brought in outside help. This particular project had an enormous menacing voice-over. If you look at my videos, you’ll find that I do most of my own voice-overs. It’s easier that way. No need to bother anyone else. On this one, I broke down and said to myself that I should find someone else. The first person I had in mind was a personal friend who is a professional radio voice. Though he too lives in another state, these days that doesn’t mean you can’t collaborate. He did a fabulous job. Only had to fix one pronunciation,
and I was ready to build a score around his wonderful narration. 3) Expect Resistance from the Outside I have my original dragon art. I have my audio done. I’m looking at the calendar. I set a deadline for myself. I get the weekend that I’m supposed to use to piece this thing together. All is ready to go...except for me. The moment I’ve been planning for a year has arrived. I’ve blocked out many other activities to dedicate this time for editing, something I love to do, and yet I want to do anything else but this. Fear is creeping in. Is anyone going to be bold enough to use this? Will they even like it? I don’t know how to create a fire effect or smoke. Will people think this is tacky? Why is a public domain picture of Athaliah so hard to find? All of this is called resistance. If you haven’t watched my dragon video yet, let me give you the cliff-notes right now. (If you want to go a lot more in depth, it packs a lot of info, and I give you even more in the 4 page pdf that comes with the download.) The video is about the missing piece in our nativity scenes. Not the angels, or shepherds, wise men, or even Joseph. According to Revelation 12 a large Red Dragon was present there in Bethlehem, trying to destroy the child. This is something he’d been trying to do ever since Genesis 3. He is identi-
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fied as Satan, the ancient serpent in verse 9. The video chronicles many times throughout scripture that he attempts to undo God’s promise, but is unsuccessful. I am making a video about our enemy, exposing him for what he is. My wife told me that he probably didn’t want me making this video. That was some of the push-back, the wanting to give up, the self-doubting, and procrastination. In Gary Molander’s new book (I interviewed him in the last edition) he has a section on creative blocks and resistance. On pgs 80-82 he gives it a name. Satan. Interestingly enough, he even quotes Revelation 12, the very passage I was to be animating. Gary writes, “The most important line is the last one – the one that says that Satan is coming after Christ-followers with a rage and with vengeance. You hurt a Father most by harming His children.” I tweeted Gary, and he and others actually prayed for me that day. In two days of hard work, the video was completed. If you expect resistance, you can counter it. In your next project, remember to think “outside”.
by MARTIN BAGGS
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 --facing death and self-sacrifice
hurches and Christians have been divided by Harry Potter. Some see the books and the films as evil and full of sorcery and witchcraft; others see them as fantasy about wizards, imbued with Christian themes. I found them to be compelling reading and viewing, tapping into quintessential themes of good and evil, love and redemption, and sacrifice. As C.S. Lewis’ seven books of “The Chronicles of Narnia” captivated the youth of the 50s, J.K Rowling’s seven books in the Harry Potter series rekindled reading for today’s generation.
Ten years and 8 films later, the Harry PotHermione (Emma Watson) and several friends are ter movie phenomenon comes to an end with the mourning and burying the freed house elf. When second half of The Deathly Hallows (book 7). And the students at Hogwarts are shown being marched what a way to end the series: with this thrilling, ac- through the courtyard guarded by hovering demention packed tense adventure. It is a truly satisfying tors, it is clear the battle lines have been drawn. conclusion. This is a classic good Even before the vs. evil culmination Remember, before showing clips from opening credits, the where familiar faces movies, be sure you have a license to do film is up and runwill face death, some so. Check out Church Video License to ning, beginning exactly succumbing to it. be sure you are legal. www.cvli.com where part 1 left off: Part 1 of The revisiting the scene Deathly Hallows where Lord Voldemort had the famous trio (Ralph Fiennes) gets the most powerful Elder Wand searching for Voldermort’s horcruxes. The Dark from Dumbledore’s tomb. From there, it moves to Lord had used these to store portions of his soul in the beach in the aftermath of Dobby’s death where his attempt to find immortality. Three are left to be Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), found in this film. Unlike the earlier movie, this one
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by MARTIN BAGGS
starts frantically and carries the pace throughout as the film spans a mere couple of days. It is non-stop action. The film communicates this breathless nature even while adding some levity. An early scene has Hermione transfiguring into Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) via polyjuice potion to access her vault at Gringotts. There we experience a literal roller coaster ride as the friends descend only to find their way barred by a dragon. Here is an actual dungeon and dragon! As the trio escape, the movie moves to Hogwarts for the final two acts. The last stand of good against evil occurs where the wizardry all began. Here the final battle takes place, with Voldemortâ€™s minions, numbering thousands, taking on the vastly outnumbered and less mature students and teachers. There is more than a nod to the climactic battles in The Return of the King, the film that brought The Lord of the Rings trilogy to a close. Despite the pace, director David Yates, who himself has matured in his handling of the last four films in this series, finds time to bring some emotional revelations and some true heart. In particular, the death of Severus Snape (Alan Rickman), the perennial nasty prof and Judas-figure, delivers an unexpected disclosure (unless youâ€™ve read the book). But when all is said and
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done, this film is about the final confrontation between Harry Potter, the boy who lived, and Lord Voldemort, he who shall not be named. And the final duel does not disappoint. Rather, it underscores the true nature of these characters. It also reiterates the themes that have been present throughout the whole series: self-sacrifice, death, good vs evil.
by MARTIN BAGGS
During this confrontation Voldemort egotistically shouts, “Only I can live . . . forever!” His desire is apparent: power and immortality. Drunk on these, he seeks to subvert anyone and anything that stands in his way. In contrast, Harry stands as the humble Christ-figure who seeks nothing for himself. Real-life has its own Dark Lord: Satan. He is alive and active on planet earth (1 Pet. 5:8), seeking to usurp God’s throne and domination (Isa. 14:13). He wants to live forever. But the end of the story has been written, and he does not attain eternal life. He is destined for the death in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). In contrast, all who follow Jesus will live forever in heaven with their Savior (Rev. 21). Virtually all the characters come face to face with death here. Indeed, author J.K. Rowling has said that the series is fundamentally about how we respond to death. There are two main camps. The first are those that fear death and do anything to avoid it. Many death-eaters fall into this category. They don’t want to face the wrath of the Dark Lord and so submit to him. In our world, many people fear death and so avoid it by ignoring it; seemingly taking an ostrich approach, they put their heads in the sand and refuse to acknowledge death as if this will keep this specter at bay. Then there are those who realize that there are values and goals that trump death. Harry and his friends will fight evil until the end, even if it means dying in the process. There are some in real life who adopt this philosophy. Usually they understand that death in this life is not the end; there is a life to come, whose eternal nature makes this life seem like a mere breath (Isa. 40:23-24), a short introduction to an epic adventure in the next life. And then there is Harry. Having seen his friends face death and some die, he declares, “I never wanted any of you to die for me.” He is willing to face death himself, but does not want to put his comrades in danger. Motivated by a desire to save, he puts himself in the position of embracing the fullness of Voldermort’s power. What a display of love!
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Indeed, this illustrates Jesus’ point to his disciples: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn. 15:13). At its heart this film and its predecessors emphasize the victory of love and self-sacrifice. Earlier installments played on the love of Harry’s mother that saved him and endowed him with his power and connection to Voldermort. But here it is Harry’s love and actual self-sacrifice that ultimately wins the day. Here is Harry as a Christ-figure. Jesus Christ humbled himself from a position of glory and greatness to become human (Phil. 2:6-7). And in his earthly life and especially death, he gave himself for others (Gal. 1:4). Sinless (Heb. 4:15), the Savior carried our sin to the cross that crucified him (1 Pet. 2:24). And when Satan thought he had won the battle, with Jesus buried in a dark tomb, God raised him from the dead (Acts 2:24). Jesus experienced victory over death itself and eventually over Satan. Today, Jesus sits at the right hand of God (Mk. 16:19), orchestrating the events of history, steering it towards his eventual confrontation with Satan which will bring history to a close (Rev. 20). Since the backstory is assumed, if you’ve never read one of the Harry Potter books or seen any of the other films, you should definitely skip this one. But if you’re a Potter fan, this is the best film yet! Copyright ©2011, Martin Baggs Martin works as a manager in the high tech industry. He leads a monthly film review group at Mosaic Church in Portland, Oregon. He writes film responses from a biblical perspective on his blog: www.mosaicmovieconnectgroup.blogspot.com Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
By RYAN GEESAMAN
Was It Live or Was It Memorex?
ecently our church, LCBC, celebrated its 25th anniversary. As we were preparing creative elements for the festivities, we were searching for a way to make our three campuses feel connected. Most of our attendees only ever attend one campus, and therefore may not realize how connected we all are. Our model of multi-site church calls for gatherings that are very similar, if not identical, in all of our campuses. Each weekend, every campus has a live band leading the same songs, the same speaker delivering the same message either live or on video, and the same videos or other creative elements.
Since we all sing the same songs, we decided the best way to connect the campuses was to provide a video feed of the other two campuses to each campus during the worship set. Currently, our message video is recorded on Saturday night and transported on hard drives to the other campuses on Sunday morning, but we have done a fair amount of research on live broadcasting between our campuses. Through that research, we knew that an Internet-based solution was not an option for us and our current bandwidth. The only option for a live broadcast at the time was rented satellite trucks at each location. Renting three satellite trucks was going to cost a small fortune. This being our
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25th anniversary, we were willing to spend some money, so by itself, the cost was not necessarily
by RYAN GEESAMAN
going to stop us. The other problem was the delay inherent in satellite production. Anyone who has watched an interview conducted over satellite knows
about this, and since we were dealing with music, there was no way we would be able to keep all of the bands in synchronization. After much discussion, we decided that we would do three songs, and each campus would lead one song. That way the click track for the band and all of the video would come from one campus during that song, thereby eliminating any sync problems. By having each campus lead one song, we eliminated the sync problems, but it started to seem like we were eliminating the excitement of having a live feed as well. There would not be any interaction between campuses. It was going to be three separate live shows rather than an interactive experience. Additionally, only one of our campuses has live video projection normally. The other two campuses would only have two rented cameras each, making the feeds coming from those campuses even less exciting. The more we talked about satellite, the more restrictive it seemed to be. Finally the question had
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to be asked, “Is this worth it?” But that begged the question, “How else could we do it?” After some serious discussion and a round of voting, we decided to go the route of pre-production. We would capture video of each campus singing the three songs and combine it into an interactive video to be played back on every campus the weekend of our anniversary celebration. With little more than a month to go, we tried to find a way to record one campus per weekend or one song per weekend, but when it came down to it, the best thing to do was record all three songs at all three campuses on one weekend. The worship leaders agreed to do the same worship set three weeks apart: once for the recording and once for the playback. I set out to find enough volunteer shooters and equipment to pull off this massive recording project. Ideally, we wanted to shoot exclusively using Canon DSLR cameras. Currently those are our production camera of choice. We have two 7Ds at the church and a handful of volunteers who have their own. I first contacted those volunteers. They were committed to shooting a music video that day. All of them. Together. Plan B. A local sound, video, and lighting installer with whom we have a close relationship lent us their Sony EX3. One volunteer had a Sony V1U. Another had a Sony F3 and a Nikon DSLR. That gave us one DSLR and one Sony HD camera per campus. That would do. Between the two gatherings on Sunday morning at each campus, we would end up with four camera angles per campus. The worship leaders offered to do a complete run-through of the worship set during rehearsal so that we could record another two angles. This ended up being key to the success of the project. Remember that part of the reason we decided against satellite was the lack of interaction between
campuses. We wanted to be able to have the worship leaders at the different campuses lead different parts of each song. In order to pull this off in the video, we needed to be able to show the worship leader at each campus singing into the microphone only at the appropriate times. Even though on the weekend we were recording, he would be singing the entire time. We were planning our camera angles to allow us to crop the HD recording in our SD edit to take out the worship leader, but the addition of the rehearsal gave us the opportunity to record the entire set without the worship leaders singing. We sent out two cameras and operators to each campus. During the rehearsal, one camera recorded
a wide shot of the stage, avoiding any shots of the missing audience. The other camera recorded close-ups of the band. During the first gathering, one camera recorded a medium shot of the worship leader, and the other recorded shots of the band from the audience. During the second gathering, one camera recorded a wide shot of the room, including the audience, but framed the worship leader to edge of the frame so that he could be cropped out when necessary. The other camera recorded close-ups of
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the audience. We also made a recording of the click track and the worship leader’s vocal from each campus. For editing, the music staff took the audio recordings from each campus and made a master recording with each worship leader’s vocal edited to the portions they would sing in the video. They also provided a master click track and loops. I took the six camera angles from each campus and edited a master video of each campus making sure not to include any shots of the worship leaders singing when they were not supposed to. I then mixed them together to create a unique video for each campus. Why three different videos? I did not want any campus to see themselves for obvious reasons: people would be wearing different clothes, not all the same band members would be on stage, and generally the video on the screen would not match what was happening live in the room. We have the ability to play back video with eight separate channels of audio in each of our campuses. We put each of the three worship leader’s recorded vocals, two sets of stereo loops, and the master click track on separate audio tracks for the audio operators to mix. The day of playback was electric. The bands, the techs, and the audience were completely engaged. The three campuses felt connected in a way that they never had. If you did not know for a fact it was recorded, you thought for sure it was a live broadcast between campuses. This cost us nothing but time and hard work. It worked better than the more expensive option. Sometimes we underestimate what God has already equipped us to do.
by BRADLEY MILLER
o for the past few months or so we’ve been doing a church plant (start-up) in the Independence, Missouri area. Here are some things we are doing that might be worth exploring further in your own church, or as plans to do on your own.
Sermon Points This actually worked out very well since we are meeting in the basement of a “man cave” or “bachelor pad” as it were, where there happened to be a large projection TV. With the addition of a small media converter (we used the Diamond HD Media Wonder Media Player) we are able to display pictures or videos right on the TV set. The media converter comes with a remote control that allows our pastor to click to each slide on his own. To make the slides, we take our PowerPoint presentation and export them as images. We then copy those images over to a thumb drive or SD memory card and then we can play them back as photo slide show with a 1 hour per picture setting. Our pastor simply clicks the forward/back buttons and since the slide show is running, it never shows the menu or button bars. By using this setup we have eliminated the need to have a
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laptop for the sermon notes. (Although we recently started putting song lyrics up via a laptop/ projector combo elsewhere.) The media adapter is incredibly small and simple to use, and will plug into a composite or component (RGB) input source. With the addition of a small PA system you could literally have an entire church service in a small box. The best part of this is the price shopping around you can find it for under $30. http://www.diamondmm.com/MP700.php - Manufacturer page http://www.dmmdownload.com/downloads/CURRENT/PVR/MP700_Manual.pdf - Product Manual
Lights Camera Action Interactive media is at an all time highpoint, especially with cell phone technology and Internet connectivity that allows you to be plugged in
by BRAD LEY MILLER
all the time. In that realm we decided to video everything our church does and put it online. To do this we started off with a donated video camera, a new iMac 20” system, and BoinxTV. I don’t have quite enough time to describe all that you can do with the BoinxTV software, but if you can picture being able to have the essentials of a broadcast studio in a single computer system . . . that pretty much describes how the system works. You capture and edit live which can minimize your post-production work that is needed for weekly services. We can video the service, import it into iMovie to fix anything we need, and then upload directly to our Vimeo Pro account. (Hint - $59/ year for Vimeo is a GREAT bargain!) We have been using the BoinxTV software for all our taping and it is simply amazing. We have a green screen setup in our basement that allows us to do chroma keying and produce very professional looking videos. We have been asked many times what company does our video production work. http://vimeo.com/soulsearch The hope to soon combine our video capture and our video play back - literally to be able to preach a sermon in one place and then carry that sermon to multiple locations to different audiences. If a pastor is sick, a message could be prerecorded (or even done remotely) and then played back for those days. Using a hard drive on the little media playback device, you could have an entire sermon series available and simply play it back - whether at a nursing home, for shut-ins,
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or even as a on the go evangelistic tool. Perhaps some of these technology ideas will prompt you to go forth like the early church - and share the good news beyond the four walls of your local church to those who need to hear the good news of Christ. Acts 11:19-21 (NIV) 19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. About the author: Bradley Miller is the Connections Pastor at SoulSearch Church (http://thesoulsearchmovement.org) a new church plant in the Greater Kansas City Area from the Heartland Converge District of Converge Worldwide. He serves on the board of directors for Heart Converge. He is married to Peggy Miller and between them they have three children. They also run Heart For Marriage (http://www.heartformarriage.com) focusing on marriage and promoting Family Life’s Art of Marriage video series.