Let’s face it: Videos are a becoming must for every church, ministry, and Christian organization around the world today. We must communicate visually through videos in our church services, in our promotional efforts, and in our training programs. Without excellent video resources, your ministry is at a disadvantage in our modern world today.
While there are many technical tips and tricks that you should glean from a trained video professional, here are a few things even lay people can consider when beginning any video production project.
1) Make it as short as possible. We all have a lot to say. Our ministry is important to us, and we want to ensure that everyone who sees our video understands fully who we are and what we’re doing in the Kingdom of God. However, most people do not have the capacity to take in such a large amount of unfamiliar information, nor do they have the attention span required to explain absolutely everything in full. Therefore, when working on your ministry video, develop goals and then choose the most important things to feature that will help you to achieve the goals for that particular video. Most people prefer videos that are around 2 minutes in length. Keep your videos short and to the point. If needed, develop peripheral materials to support your video. Or develop more short videos in the future. Keeping your videos short will be more effective in the long run and will help your intended audience to remember the important things you’re trying to communicate.
2) Know your target audience. Before recording one frame of video and before you write one word of your script, determine the audience to whom you will be appealing. Know their likes and dislikes, know their background, and know their demographics. Learn what will appeal to them, how they process information, and what is likely to move them to action. Only after this is done can you put together a ministry video that they will remember and that they will recommend to others with confidence. Remember that you are most likely not a member of your target audience. Talk to people. Get their opinions. Show them a preview of the video and get their feedback. Put target audience members on a small committee to help develop the video. Take the time required to prepare, and it will pay off for your end product.
3) Tell a story. While facts and figures are a necessary component of any video or promotional item, they certainly should not be the focal point. People relate to people. The human condition is the same around the world. The audience for your video wants to hear the story of someone who faced adversity and overcame. Your audience wants to be inspired by the real-life account of someone whose life was transformed by your ministry. They want to be able to relate to someone who faces the same joys and challenges that they face. Telling a story with detail and emotion will reach through the screen and into the hearts and minds of those whom you seek to influence. Tell a story. Make it personal. Make it real. Profiling change in the life of an individual will certainly create change in the lives of many in the future.
4) Make it timeless. You put a lot of time, effort, and money into producing a video for your ministry. Obviously you want it to last. Make it timeless. Avoid including dates and times that will quickly outdate your video. Ensure that any people in your video are wearing classic clothing that will not go out of fashion. Avoid using jargon or buzz words that will make future showings of the video irrelevant. Most of all, make sure that you maintain the carefully crafted vision and mission of your organization or ministry, the things that will pass the test of time and will allow you to use the video as a resource for years to come.
Videos can help connect people to your goals, vision, story, and so much more. It’s important that your ministry takes the time to properly learn how to make and use videos to further your purpose in building the Kingdom, but as with any successful initiative, it’s also important to know where to start.