You see them every day: those full-page, sometimes garish ads beckoning you to join the crowd that has moved beyond mere television to video. Everything from giant screens to 14-day programmable machines to portable camera/recorder/playback units to laser disc players—all seem to be shouting for your attention, begging to become a part of your life. Even pay-as-you-watch cable TV prides itself on being a part of the current video explosion.
Last April CHRISTIANITY TODAY suggested in a brief overview that as a part of this burgeoning industry, video—specifically, prerecorded videocassette programming—could become the church’s “now and future” audio-visual tool (CT, April 18, 1980). And indeed, in the months since that quick peek at the potential of this medium for the church, much has been happening, and many new options have come to our attention. Thus, a small update would seem to be in order.
A number of churches and denommations, and some parachurch ministries, are now committing themselves to harnessing this medium of communication, which has clamped such a stranglehold on our culture. Harnessing is, after all, better than wringing one’s hands over video’s excesses and abuses. And there is inherent in this medium a versatility that most other AV media lack.
Equipped with just a videocassette recorder/playback unit and a common, ordinary TV set, churches and individuals have a whole new world of teaching and inspirational materials available (those pioneering resources that have come to our attention are described separately).
While newer, lighter, portable VCR units are becoming increasingly available (remember those ads?), even carting an older machine to the home of a shut-in, plugging it into the TV, and turning on, say, ...1
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