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Here is a simple and effective way for your church to reach more people – create and share videos.
There has been a tremendous growth in the number of videos on the web. Did you know that YouTube is the 3rd most popular website n the world and the 2nd largest search engine? Guess who is 2nd? Facebook and Facebook has a ton of videos. Yes people are watching a lot of videos.
Did you know your church can use videos to spread the Gospel and grow your church? With today’s technology it is simple but most churches are not using videos to reach people either in their own community or around the world. In this post we are going to give you the basics of how to create a video and some ideas on what they could be about.
First know this, they don’t have to be professionally created. Many videos that go viral with millions of views are shot with a smart phone and have not been edited. Some of the most popular videos include children, so why not let the children of your church make a few videos. It is easy and can be done even if you have just a few children.
In a separate video I’ll be covering how to upload the video to YouTube for maximum exposure along with a few ways to promote the video on various social media channels, but today I’m going to cover ideas for your video and what you’ll need.
What should your video be about?
There are lots of great topics that can be used in a video. Here are a few:
- Christmas video – What does Christmas mean to you. A few questions that you could ask kids include: What is Christmas all about? What is your favorite part of Christmas? Why do we celebrate Christmas? What is the best present you have received? Why did Jesus come to earth.
- Valentine video – What is Valentine’s day? Why do we celebrate it? What is your favorite thing about Valentine’s day? You could include facts that show how the origins of Valentine’s day were Christian. Other questions to include: What is love? What does the Bible say about love?
- Easter – Ask similar questions: What is Easter? What is your favorite part of Easter? Why do we celebrate Easter.
- Mother’s and Father’s Day – What is the funniest thing you remember about your mom (or dad). What is your favorite thing to do together. What makes your mom or dad special? Is there something you want to say to your mom? If you are creating this video early enough you should include information about your Mother’s day or Father’s day events along with a link to the church website.
- VBS or summer events like a mission trip. I recommend creating two videos. The first one would be used to promote the event. Ask kids questions like: How many times have you been to VBS. What is your favorite thing about VBS and the second one I would do at the end of VBS where you get the kids reactions to the event. You can either use those clips to create a new video or use them the following year. If you are creating one for a mission trip you should get some powerful responses from the kids who just returned.
- End of summer, back to Sunday School – Most churches have a fall kick off and a video could be a powerful way to promote it. The video would be similar to the VBS one in that you are using it to promote Sunday School and let the kids talk about how Sunday School has had an impact in their lives.
- Who is Jesus – A few questions to ask could include: When did Jesus live? Who was Jesus’ mother and father? What books of the Bible tell about Jesus? Who was Jesus? Why did he come to earth? Why is having a relationship with Jesus important? This video could go in two directions; first you could use it to let people know about your church and what it offers for children. Second you could use it as an evangelism tool. If you are using it to let people know about your church you’ll want to include information about your church along with an invitation to come visit. If you want to create it to share the Gospel you should link it to a site that gives more information about knowing Jesus. One that I recommend is Steps to Peace with God by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Another one is NeedHim and finally we created one on Memory Cross.
Here are two videos that will give you some idea of how they might look. The second one was created with Animoto. It allows you to create professionally designed videos without any knowledge of video editing and with very little work. There is a cost but it is as little as $8 a month at the time of this writing for a personal plan.
What you will need
Making good videos has become so much simpler over the last 5 years. All smart phones can now take very good videos. A few things to keep in mind are:
- Lighting – make sure you have enough light and be aware of natural light coming in from windows. Shoot a quick video of the room to see if you have anything that is going to be causing you a problem.
- Sound – Be aware of any background noise since it will be picked up by your phone and can ruin the video. Stay 3-5 feet from the person you are videotaping. If you want to back up further consider a inexpensive corded mic. I bought one from Amazon which was under $20 and works great. You might want to pick up the extension cable also.
- You can either pause the video between kids or stop it and then put it together with a video editing program or Animoto or any of the video editing software programs available. If you don’t have someone who can edit the video and don’t have $96 for Animoto then pause the video between shots. You can still get a pretty nice video without any editing. There are also a number of apps available for Android and Apple products (Apple: iMovie, Video shop, Fast Edits)
- Finally keep the sections short. I find under 15 seconds per “scene” works best. You want to keep the video moving.
Give it a try. Most of your kids will really enjoy making the video. Next blog post will cover where to upload and how to tag it so the video gets found. Comments? Leave them in the box below.
Creative Christian Christmas Cards by Memory Cross
Memory Cross has a new series of creative Christian Christmas cards featuring our four panel design that never stops folding. Your friends and family will enjoy this creative Christmas card. This year we are carrying six cards which includes:
- And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.
- Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
- And there were shepherds living out in the fields
- Christmas – a time for families
- The people walking in darkness have seen a great light
- And a customer appreciation card for businesses
Here is a video we put together that shows how it folds.
Besides Christmas cards we also have developed a Christmas Story coloring card that helps children remember the Christmas story. Designed for use in Sunday School, Children’s church, home and after school and daycare. The Christmas story coloring card makes a fun craft project for children ages four and up. We put together a little video showcasing this Sunday School craft project that I’ve included below.
Christmas Gospel Tract
To round out our Christmas offerings we’ve created a Christmas Gospel tract and a set of Christmas Scripture memory cards along with various stickers. Each Memory Cross card is carefully created to share the Gospel in some way. Our second goal is to package it in a fun, creative design. There is a saying that says: “If it doesn’t get read then it won’t change a life.” We work to create tracts that are so different that people are excited to receive them. Sharing the Gospel should be part of our life. Jesus promises are something to get excited about, but sometimes people are hesitant to share. Memory Cross helps break the ice through its innovative design. Here is what a few people have said:
- Opened the samples with two other church members, and we were so impressed with them we are planning to give each family one at our Christmas Eve service this year. The other larger sizes were interesting and fun to fold and refold , and well done. – Sharon Smith
- Love the memory cross concept, though I had no clue how to fold it! Until my daughter showed me!!! I head up CRCkids, the childrens ministry of CRC Christian Churches, a group of 40 odd churches situated mainly in South Africa, but also in other African countries, UK, Australia and Pakistan. I came across the Memory Cross through another church and am so impressed with the idea and would like to know details of whether you ship to South Africa and whether you design according to our requirements.
- The memory crosses helped my 3rd-6th graders learn quickly and in a fun effective way for all ages. They really enjoyed them in our Sunday School Class – Barry
We would love to send you a free sample. All you have to do is give us your name and address in the form to the side of the post and we will get one right out to you. If you live in the United States it is totally free. If you live outside the United States click here to request a sample. We would love to send you a sample of our creative Christian Christmas cards.