225px-kniselyWho Is Matt Knisely?
I first met Matt at ChurchTechCamp:.Dallas after we had spent some time chatting back and forth via Twitter, later getting the chance to connect again at TrainFriday, and then just a few weeks ago we had the opportunity to reconnect in Dallas and go out to dinner together with our families.

Over the last couple of months I have really come to appreciate his friendship, as well as the wisdom and insight that he has to share. I have also found his passion for storytelling, especially through film and photography to be inspiring, also giving me hope that there are those thinking differently and creatively about how to tell more effective and powerful stories through that medium in the church.

Matt is currently the Director of Communications and Media for Lawton First Assembly in Oklahoma.

Check out Matt’s blog (which is currently undergoing some awesomeness), his Twitter, and his wikipedia page. And by the way, I don’t know anyone with more Emmy awards.

In Their Own Words
What are you really passionate about?

I’m passionate about community and global awareness. I believe everyone was created to DO something genuine and to help their community and world. I have been charged with using my talents and passion of “visual storytelling” for non-profits. In this day and age with over-saturated non-profits, new media, and communication mediums a non-profits message and brand must stick out; the power of a story can make a huge difference. Visual storytelling is the key, whether video or still images bear witness to compassion, to the undying hope which persists in the face of suffering, and to the universal beauty of humanity, created in the image of a loving god.

How does what you are doing vocationally or volunteer wise serve that passion?

Just over a year ago I left the streets of Minneapolis for the great plains of Oklahoma as the Director of Communications for Lawton First Assembly. I’d made my living for years in television news as a Director of Photography and Executive and for the most part living selfishly, thoughtlessly. For 7 years I ignored call to use my talents to help Non-profits deepen there reach and communication.

And after attending a Willow Creek Summit I felt driven to desperately change in my life and help. I set up a company, youvisionmedia, in early part of 2000 to help non-profits produce: documentary features, branded entertainment, new media, and other mediums to help their cause and spur support. Meaningful stories need to be told. And told well. That’s what my company does well.

This has led me to working on developing a collaborative of indivuals which is strategically focused on furthering the gospel through creative mediums and platforms. Were not out to change the message, but bring a renewed and fresh approach. Additionally this collective is helping missionaries and evangelists tell there story and further their work in the field

How can those around you (friends, online community, etc.) best support you?

I need to piggy back off of Tony Steward on this one. Ideas, Feedback and Prayer are always in need. Additionally letting others know there is group that is committed to helping non-profits, missionaries, and evangelists with top quality communication platforms: web design, graphic lay out, branding, marketing, video production and much much more.

If you want to help with this project I would love to partner with other individuals who are passionate about the broadening the message through new media and legacy media – so getting connected and working together is always a big help and thrill.

Anything else we should know about this passion?

I’m passionate about the local church and reinventing and innovating it’s culture. One thing that doesn’t need reinvented or innovated is the gospel. In many ways I believe the Church should be setting the culture instead of the world setting the culture for us. In this day in age It is easier to be a member of the local country club than it is to be a member of the local church. Why is that? It shouldn’t be that way! Hundreds of years of human study has shown that people need to belong before they will believe. We need to break down and eliminate the barriers that say you have to be Holy first before you enter our churches. Jesus said come all who are weary, not those who are holy.