PC3 Christmas Card 2014

Each year we create a video “christmas card” that we debut usually the last Sunday service of each year (at times on Christmas Eve). This year was no different.


Our annual Christmas Card video is here! The staff of Port City Community Church wishes you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in 2015!

The video is a time-lapse with a long exposure using entirely in-camera effects. (No special effects were added in post). We shot the video over the course of two days and we all had a blast. We hope you enjoy!

To watch some of our previous video Christmas Cards check out the links below:
2013 Christmas Card: https://vimeo.com/82502194
2012 Christmas Card: https://vimeo.com/56267962
2011 Christmas Card: https://vimeo.com/34086116
2010 Christmas Card: https://vimeo.com/17980387
2009 Christmas Card: https://vimeo.com/8302149
2008 Christmas Card: https://vimeo.com/2578111


Getting Out of a Series Branding Dip

Let me get straight to the punch line…

the last year or so has been rough for our media department concerning series branding.

There are a number of reasons for the struggles and we have begun to correct those with greater focus/vision and hard work, but for now I will share just two with you.

Quality + Stimuli

The level of quality our series bumpers/title packages has dropped below our standards of excellence as a department. And when I say our department I am referring to the six staff members charged with branding our series and no one else. I am not speaking for anyone else on our staff, yet we have heard the quiet conversations happening from longtime artist and some attenders at our church.

“Remember that ______ video they made? I miss videos like that.”

And the funny thing is… we have started saying the same thing about our own pieces of work.

Example #1: Below is a video from a series titled “Just Read” that I feel is one of our best from idea to execution. This bumper still to this day helps me focus in on my quiet time.

Example #2: Below is a video from a series titled “HotHeads” that we lost track of time creating. Multiple ideas fell through and we ended up filming something quick a few days before the series began. The branding itself I honestly love and the music track for the actual bump below was great. The problem was as a team we know we could have done much better with the concept.

So the questions are:

  1. How did we get here?
  2. Where did we go wrong?
  3. Are we just not getting any better at what we do?

I would answer the last question by saying no because we are better telling stories now than we have ever been. We have better gear than in the past. We also have grown in our technical skills. Where I believe we have failed is summed up by Todd Henry in his book “Accidental Creative”.

“Creative work requires that we stay ahead of our work. Tomorrow’s ideas are the result of today’s intentions. When you rely on a “just-in-time” workflow, you will quickly find it difficult to do quality work—and you’ll also find yourself lacking the drive to do anything about it.”

Excerpt From: Henry, Todd. “The Accidental Creative.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/lsZSy.l

What we have done over the last 18 months is to begin working in the “just-in-time” workflow and it has sucked out what feels like every ounce of original creativity as well passion for what we do. We know we have stuff left in the tank and love what we are apart of at PC3, but if we don’t correct the current problem the tank will dry up.

So we are now in the very beginning stages of refueling our creative tanks and re-focusing on the vision of our department. And since we are just beginning this refueling period I will not have a real tangible group of takeaways here today. Today I wanted to share honestly where we are at as a department in a relatively large and what I believe creative church. You see every church/organization/creative department can hit a dip in their lifespan. And it’s how you respond in those dips that you get to show your true chops.

So if you have the same feeling regarding your own teaching series branding or maybe your stuck on that second worship album. Maybe your small group structure was alive and well for the first five years of your church’s life, but now you are completely lost in the why. I must say to you, do not give up.

Every organization can choose their way of getting out of the dip, but here is what we are beginning with.

  1. Stimuli & Planning – the Todd Henry quote above speaks of working in the “just-in-time” workflow. We have begun restructuring everything we can to begin stimulating our creative brains daily around the office. Inspiration ideas walls are going up. Basecamp mood boards have been created. Tactical meetings have been placed on the calendar weekly. We have begun to set into place ways to stimulate our minds before they are called on.
  2. Quality – simply putting more time, energy, and a critical eye into our work before we ship it. Quality is another way we refer to as excellence around the office and excellence is different for every organization and person. For us excellence has begun to be defined as “doing your very best with what you have been given”. Below is another quote from Todd Henry that I have printed out and framed in my office.

“There is much advice on how to organize your time to conquer your tasks, but it is mostly predicated on the assumption that your goal is simply to get through the work, with little regard to the quality of that work. But this is simply not the case. As a creative, you are held to account for the quality of your work, not just the quantity.

Excerpt From: Henry, Todd. “The Accidental Creative.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/lsZSy.

That turned out to be much longer than I expected and I only touched the tip of the iceberg. I am stoked about the next year at PC3 and the media department. I see some incredible content coming down the pipe and into the public eye. But that feeling was not there for a while until the team got very honest with each other and we regained our focus.

[highlight]Are there any times you guys have lost focus in what you were doing as a church/organization? How did you overcome it and gain that passion and drive back?[/highlight]


Raised to Life

Sin was strong

But Jesus is stronger

Our shame was great

But Jesus you’re greater

This track is on repeat right now from @elevation_wrshp for me. The bridge above says it all in four lines & has been a place for me to go to the last few days. Luckily I also have a wife who looked at me while getting ready for bed the other night and out of now where said…

Jesus is all you need. You know that right. You don’t need to find worth in your job or your talent. You don’t NEED to find favor in others. You find favor in JESUS. You know that… right?


That was a moment I may never forget. I didn’t respond with joy. I simply shook my head and said ‘yes’. But then after she fell asleep I laid there soaking that in. And it felt good.