Get involved with the Instagram challenge.

One of the initial steps in getting this project off the ground is the essential element of branding. I’ve been encouraged over the past few weeks in people who are engaging with the ideas I’ve brought forth but there needs to be a wider audience involved.

This isn’t me looking for self promotion but the reason behind it is that people can come with ideas and stories to share. There’s loads of ideas flowing through my mind of how to do this. The power of social media can be so effective but it takes people to “share” so that a wider audience is reached and a better documentary can come out of it.

We are in the midst of coming up with an appropriate website name that will explain simply what the project is about. Also I’m planning on making a logo/animated sequence for the documentary and any video blogs I post up. This is where you come in.

The idea is simple- take one photo and tag me in it. I want to use instagram photos from you guys to make a montage for the project’s logo. The theme of the photos is also quite simple. What defines culture for you? Where you live right now, the lives you live, the activities you take part in clearly define your interests and what you love. In doing so this would define a collective feeling of what culture is.

“All objects, all phases of culture are alive. They have voices. They speak of their history and interrelatedness. And they are all talking at once! ” Camille Paglia

The reason for using Instagram as a format for doing that has a certain relation to the culture we live in. Instagram is a contemporary form of how culture seems to work. We want to capture moments in life and share it with others. Visually I also find it fascinating how people take a picture and make it personal.

So here we go! Are you ready to embark on the Instagram Challenge? The best way in connecting your photo with me is to tag @aarondingbell when posting the photo. Just to keep things simple.

What should I take photos of? Anything and everything. It could be objects, events, scenery, buildings- something that means something to you. There is no real limitations, except one. I’d prefer not to have photos of people posing, maybe innovative group poses but thats the height of it.

Right, less reading and lets get into action! Get Instagraming and sharing this blog. Be a part of this journey with me and your name will be on the credits of the documentary. Love ya’ll.

An example of an Instagram montage I already created for a CU Event.


Vision within a Community

1 Cor. 13:26

When you come together each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. 1 Corinthians 13:26

I believe this verse will form the fundamental reason for making this documentary. “What On Earth Are We Doing Here” is about enabling the church from a community to form a vision in what needs to be done to impact an increasingly secularised culture.

The church NEEDS to be countercultural. Some may view this by being completely separate from the world. In essence this is true but we need to be IN it. Above all we need to show love. So how do we go about doing that? I’m reading a book called Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller at the moment. In one chapter where he writes about greed  I was reminded the love Jesus showed to Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was one of the most wealthiest but most hated members in Jericho yet Jesus wanted to build a relationship with him. Could we do that? Where are our priorities lying? Are we like Zacchaeus and striving after personal successes or are we striving towards spiritual ones?

I was at The Prodigy Conference in Londonderry/Derry where the focus was put upon sparing Christians on to step out and be an effective presence in our churches and communities. In a seminar by Barry Weir (Green Pastures) I sat there realising I’m not doing enough. Barry wasn’t putting on the guilt but inspiring those in the room. God is working through Barry and his team to impact the Ballymena community, there’s a lot we can learn from them and his ideas may feature in the documentary.

This documentary journey is as big a challenge to me as I hope it will be to the church. Two words from last week that really stood out was “Community” and “Vision”. Can we say that in our church there is a great sense of community? Our churches may be filled with such a variation of generations. Are those generations communicating, building one another up to be greater disciples? In my own experience this is not a natural thing to do but I think its important for us to realise the need for this sense of community. If we aren’t able to get on with our community in the church, how then are we supposed to be able to impact a community outside its doors?

Barry Weir posed the question;

“If you asked your church what it’s vision was, would they be able to give an answer?”

If a church doesn’t have a vision, where is it going? I’ve been challenged by this in my own personal life. I believe if we don’t live with purpose, then it seems we fall into a form of contentment where we are happy to go through the motions of life and not think any more of it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but would you say church can be like this too? Do we asess what purpose of our church has in our community or are we content with just turning up every Sunday for a meeting?

This documentary will probably ask more questions than answer but hopefully we can come to some conclusion in our own lives. I guess the only way of showing my reasoning for this all is that I share the vision for “What On Earth Are We Doing Here”. Essentially, documentary is about amazing stories and interesting characters. Over the next few months my aim is to find such stories that can encourage and invigorate the church into action. I’ve already came across an amazing story of a church in Northern Ireland, I’ll not go into details but basically within two days I heard the same story from two very different people who are unconnected. Some may call it coincidence, I call it God. There’s exciting times ahead people!

Dave Holden gives great insight into how a church should disciple in a purpose driven journey.

If you want to be part of the journey get in contact. I’m wanting to hear meaningful stories of churches and people willing to make a difference in our wee country!

The journey begins…


If there’s anything more fitting with the concept behind my intentions, its this:

“You can collect little bits of reality- voices, actions, landscapes, images, people talking- weave them artfully into a story and audiences will watch and wonder. If you are really skillful, they will laugh, be spellbound, or even weep. Your reward? Moving hearts and changing minds.”

Michael Rabiger, Directing the Documentary.

To make such a statement on people’s lives is going to be a hard task, but one I feel is worthwhile. As a young and aspiring filmmaker I’m ready to impact the lives of today’s church and reveal a fierce reality of the culture we live in through the form of a documentary.

Is the Irish church doing enough? Some may be content with church life; some may not. One thing is for sure, its a question worth asking. The reality is, we are living in a society where Christianity is becoming less and less important. Is that because people are more open to other influences or is there a greater underlying problem within the church’s effectiveness to engage?

This blog is set up to take you along the creative journey as I firstly look into our church’s history and doctrine. From then I’ll be able to approach today’s Christians to get a general consensus of what the church is doing. This won’t be focusing predominantly on one denomination; these questions need to asked to the Irish church as a whole.

As one may surmise this will test the church’s belief in what it’s doing. That’s a good thing.

As for now this is a solo effort but one that I have been pondering and praying about for numerous months. I’m willing to use what God has given me as a means of impacting people’s lives for the greater good.

If you want to be involved in any way I’d be very grateful. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.