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One of the greatest advances in curriculum in the last decade was that of video curriculum or at least video components to supplement curriculum. We minister to a sight and sound generation and most churches don’t have the resources to pull off a compelling production that captures the imagination of every child or gifted and skilled communicator where kids hang on their every work. The video stuff helps and every year it gets better and better.

Actually, the early pioneers of this was Church on the Move with their Kids on The Move curriculum. You could get very high quality video curriculum on VHS to show on Sunday mornings. After 2000, curriculum began showing up on DVD’s and the idea was, “it’s so simple to operate. Put it in the DVD player, press play and you’re good to go. If you can operate a DVD player, you can use this curriculum.” This is great! So many churches highly appreciate this. However, technology has moved forward and most curriculum publishers are still stuck in the last decade.

Many churches have moved toward using software like Sunday Plus, Pro Presenter and other presentation software like this. Some are still using using PowerPoint. If you haven’t noticed, Blockbuster is failing. People are streaming their media online. Web savvy customers are purchasing movies and television over iTunes and Amazon and downloading directly to their computers. The DVD era is coming to an end and it’s time to move on.

Those of us who don’t use a DVD player in our churches are very frustrated with your DVD curriculum. We are forced to rip the video off the DVD’s, which is a gray area of legality. It takes a lot of time and the quality is often significantly lowered because we can only get the video in a format that’s quickly becoming “old school.” There are some publishers that offer video curriculum in video files, but you’ve only provided it in one file format… either a mac friendly format or a PC friendly format. I’ve wasted HOURS of my life converting the files to the format I needed. It was a great guesture to provide the files, but short-sighted and narrow-minded. In the end, hours were wasted and quality often suffers.

Here’s all I’m asking. When you burn your curriculum DVD’s, you’ve already got the original video files. Just give us those. Put them on a separate “data” DVD and send that as well as the actual DVD. Or better yet, put the files on your website and give us access to download. Shoot, don’t even send a DVD. Put an .iso file on the site and let us download it and burn our own DVD. I know. There’s that chance that a church is going to burn 5 DVD’s and if you were going to send them physical DVD’s, you’d sell each DVD for additional money. I believe that if you find a price point that’s fair, we’ll pay for it. If someone’s going to lie and cheat, they’re likely just buying one DVD anyway and making copies.

So, what we’re asking for isn’t much at all. It’s not a total retooling of the way you produce videos. It’s just supplying the video files before you put them all on a DVD. It’s more options and it serves the church well.