Theater Church Movies

April 25, 2007 by

Just wanted to pass the word along to everyone that National Community Church has begun making their video efforts public and open source. Make sure you check them out and be inspired, but don’t copy!

Update 1: Perhaps open source isn’t the best term. As you’ll read in the comments, that’s the direction NCC is looking to head, but these videos aren’t quite there. They’re just for the public to see and learn from and critique.

Update 2: “…but don’t copy!” OK, so maybe copying is a good alternative to not creating at all. But at least do your best to tailor everything you do to your own environment, and move towards a greater understanding of creativity and contribution.

Still go check out their videos, they’re well-planned and well-executed. We can all at least use them as a creative resource.

Post By:

Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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9 Responses to “Theater Church Movies”

  • Jacob Smith
    April 25, 2007

    I’m not seeing how they are “open source” there is no license information on the page so the assumption should be they are all rights reserved.
    If they were “open source” I would expect the GPL or BSD license and some access to the source (Quicktime) files.
    I would say these are free as in beer, not free as in speech.

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  • Jonathan Blundell
    April 25, 2007

    “but don’t copy!” doesn’t that defeat the purpose of open source?

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  • David Russell
    April 26, 2007

    Joshua: Thanks for the highlight. :)
    Jacob: We’re working on getting a Creative Commons license on this work. Currently, it’s the site design and development that we’re wanting to protect with an All Rights Reserved license, unfortunately, the content is licensed under the same by default. I’m going to have to dive into it and see if we can keep things mutually exclusive. If you’re an expert in licensing, feel free to shoot over an email with your thoughts.
    Jonathan: I actually agree with Joshua’s sentiment here. At NCC, we are in the process of releasing a large segment of what we do (and have done) as open source and free for all. But the whole idea behind open source is not that anyone should simply rip something off at face value to abuse to their own end. Ideally, an open source project is utilized by others to push and prod a work into a different form—a form that functions more broadly, works more efficiently or creates more productively. If the Linux community just ripped from Linus Torvalds, rather than building from him, where would we be? If every Wikipedia article was still at its first draft, where would we be?

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  • Gloria
    April 26, 2007

    That was kind of my thought too.
    Doesn’t seem really “open source” unless they are offering up the “source” files for you to modify and use on your own.

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  • Mark Batterson
    April 26, 2007

    Hey all,
    Just spotted this post.
    David Russell is our digital guru. Props to David for creating a media center on All we were trying to do with the media center was share some of our videos.
    Our goal is to be as open-source as possible. For example, all of our videos, transcripts, and graphics from our chase the lion series are free and downloadable at
    Once we get a little more staff help, we’ll try to make some more content downloadable. But our goal with the media center was to make it “viewable.” We’ll get to “downloadable.”
    Hope the videos are a blessing. We’ll keep adding to the library.

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  • Shawn Wood
    April 27, 2007

    Mark, David and NCC
    Props for sharing best practices with the rest of the kingdom team. I know the heart of NCC and it comes from your leadership!
    Joshua, I understand where you are coming from, but I think that there is a new creative culture that says, “don’t copy”, “come up with up with your own ideas”, “don’t copy pop culture”, etc…
    I think that we need to always remember that the goal is to see people know and follow Jesus. Although there are many churches that have the staff to make their own stuff – there are many, many churches who do not and anything that those of us who do can give away and say “straight up copy it like your name is Xerox Community Church” is a win for the kingdom.
    David, I know what you are saying is copy it…just make it better and I resonate with you on that…
    Again I applaud NCC – to all creatives I just say,
    Originality is not the goal. If you make it your goal you may be very original but ineffective.
    I will get off my blog-box now and go back to working on our future series…
    “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader” :)
    Now that is original…I think that Fox should start a tv series or something…they can feel free to copy us…

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  • Jacob Smith
    May 3, 2007

    Licensing the videos with a cc licensee should be as easy as adding some code on the page. I’ll pass that along in an email.
    I do appreciate NCC’s effort to get this media out there, I just think want to keep our terms straight. Open Source software and hardware have great promise to help churches do what they do at reduced costs, and I think we want to keep the marshmallow out of the peanut butter.
    Open sourcing video is hard. Even posting the Final Cut or iMovie or Premier source file might not go far enough. What if I wanted to make a change to an animation? Would you have to include the motion or after-affects or flash source as well?
    It’s all a bit fuzzy with media, which is why cc licensing and putting media out there for download is a few ticks shy of open source.

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  • David Russell
    May 3, 2007

    Jacob: Agreed. Thanks.

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  • Brian
    August 28, 2007

    The goal should be Jesus, not $$$. Who cares if anyone else uses it? It’s all for Jesus. I’m so glad NewSpring and are huge on sharing their stuff.
    Fellowship Church and Saddleback are crazy. They have close to 20,000 people. Can’t they find volunteers to dupe media and just charge for the CD/DVD and S/H? For downloadables, charge $1 each for server/internet upkeep? People want to plant more churches than ever but do not have the extra funding to buy these extra resources that could mean the difference between a growing church and a dead church.

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