The Muppets Reloaded and What Churches Can Learn

Talk about making a comeback. I remember watching The Muppets over twenty years ago, but they seemed to disappear sometime around 1990. That seems to be changing as they are quickly refreshing their image through social networking sitesYouTube in particular. A few months ago they posted their version of Bohemian Rhapsody which has had close to 13 million views.

Their latest video to hit YouTube is Beaker’s Ballad. It pokes fun at itself and Digg/YouTube/forum flamers. Here’s the video:

This makes me wonder how churches can do a better job at doing the same thing. Churches have notoriously been behind the times and are considered by many to be irrelevant with what’s going on in the surrounding culture (when did we stop using felt boards for teaching?). I hope we can change that.

While face-to-face and in person conversations are the most important things we can do, the church should be involved where people are. Thankfully the cost of doing things like this, in terms of both dollars and time, has come way, way down in the past few years.

Greg Simmons posted some thoughts along these same lines today over at Church Tech Matters. He wrote:

I’m trying to let go of the worry about the “How to…” and focus on the “Why to…”  God has still been able to use the tech/media and the operators – with all their imperfections – to reach people in need.

That kind of reminds me of what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:22-23:

“I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

The task of the church is reach people with the Gospel using whatever means necessary. We live in such exciting times with the tools and resources available that allow us to connect in new and compelling ways. Let’s not squander the opportunity God has given us.

[Thanks to Mashable for posting the link to the video.]

Video Issues With My Blog

I’ve been perplexed by an issue with my blog. Every time that I’ve embedded a clip from YouTube, Vimeo, ESPN, or another similar site it hasn’t shown up in my RSS feed. If you read my blog by going to my domain in a web browser this is not a big deal because you’ll see the video with no problems (most of the time). If you’re like me, however, and you prefer to read blogs with a service like Google Reader or Bloglines (or if you read my “notes” on Facebook, which is just an RSS feed of my blog in reality) it is a big deal because the clips don’t show up. The videos can show up in RSS feeds, I’ve seen it on other blogs in my Google Reader, they just don’t using the default embed coded that YouTube spits out.

I’m not the only person who has had this problem, though, so it’s not just me and my lack of technical know-how. Bernie Zimmerman wrote about this on his blog:

However, when YouTube videos (or other videos from services like Viddler, Vimeo, etc.) are embedded in this way, they are ignored by Google Reader and simply do not show up in the Google Reader interface.

I found a WordPress (the software that runs my blog) plugin that MIGHT fix this problem called VideoWarrior. Below is my first attempt at posting a YouTube video using it. If it shows up for you in an RSS reader/Facebook let me know and we’ll rejoice together. If not, I’ll keep searching for an answer.

[UPDATE: It didn’t work.]

Here it is: