(This post first appeared at churchtechtoday.com)
I am an introvert. There, I said it. So, going over to dinner at someone’s house, whom I have never met before, ranks right up there with a root canal or standardize testing. C’mon my fellow introverts, you know exactly what I mean. You have to smile constantly for 2+ hours, keep up some semblance of conversation, and maybe even play charades. Somebody push the eject button, please.
On the other hand, we have no problem spending hours over at a good friend’s house. We can be the best refrigerator friends money can buy. The million-dollar question is, “What is the difference?” The answer: familiarity.
#1 Familiarity Opens The Door
Our level of familiarity and comfort can determine a great deal about our actions. The more familiar we are with something, the more comfortable we can feel. When we feel comfortable, we can truly be ourselves. It’s a truly great place to be, especially when a guest can feel this way about our church. When people begin to feel comfortable they can let their guard down and, consequently, they can make a better connection with the pastor, message, congregants, and especially the Gospel.
#2 Video Facilitates Connection
One pastor I was consulting told me about a man who came up to him after the service. This man excitedly announced, “I really feel like I know you.” The pastor replied, “Really, how long have you been attending.” To which the man answered, “Oh, this is my first time, but I have seen all your videos on your website and now I feel like I am at home.”
A video ministry is more than just some funny videos we show before the sermon or some reminders about the church picnic. Video is a powerful tool to connect people to the heart, culture, and mission of your church.
#3 Maximize The Opportunity
Could video really help attract and retain guests? The following are a few areas you can use video to help break down barriers and build familiarity before someone even visits your church.
The Pastor – According to Thom Rainer (Surprising Insights of the Unchurched, p. 18), 90% of unchurched people choose a church based on the primary communicator and his preaching. What if you could create a highlight reel of your pastor and some of his best one liners that people could watch before they even walked in the door? Maybe even a catalog of sermons on YouTube?
Worship Style – The style of music is one reason many churchgoers decide where they will attend church. Imagine someone just moved into the community and they are seeking a church with a rockin’ band. They come across your website and see your team worshiping their hearts out. They connect with the music style right away.
Children’s/Kids Ministry – When I visit a church, I want to know that my kids are going to be safe, have fun and learn about Jesus. Why not post a video on your facebook page that shows the caring faces of your children’s workers, the kids’ huge smiles as they sing a worship song, and a shot of the teacher sharing the Bible lesson (make sure you have permission from anyone appearing on camera or their parents)?
So, what do you need to begin creating video that does more than just replace the guy who used to do announcement?
Your Gear List
Camera – You can start with your iPhone to get great HD video, but you may want to increase quality and usability with a camcorder.
Canon VIXIA HF R52 – $399
Canon VIXIA HF G30 – $1,199
Sony NEX-EA50M – $2,499
Tripod – Get nice, steady shots by using your camera on a tripod.
$50-150 for a starter tripod
Audio – You can plug your house mixer into the camera or use the internal or an external microphone.
Wired Lapel – Sony ECM-44B – $159, great for interviews
Shotgun – RODE VideoMic GO – $85
Editing Software – After you capture your footage, assemble it in your non-linear editing software.
iMovie – $14.99
Final Cut X – $299
Adobe Premier – $19.99-$49.99/month
With some simple tools and a plan, you can leverage the power of video to help people get to know you and feel familiar with your church before they even step in the door.