My church recently began an effort to reach beyond its four walls and influence the community.
We decided to do it in a number of ways, including by starting a church-based video production ministry.
As the pastor and tech expert, I was responsible for putting the pieces together and training the volunteers.
Although I had no idea what video production was, I loved to learn and so I decided to get involved in the video ministry.
I learned some valuable things along the way that I believe will help you discern God’s direction regarding church video and how it can benefit your church and community.
Are you looking to start a video ministry in your church but aren’t sure where to begin? Are you looking for help preparing your sermon or creating an online presence for the church? This blog post is for you. These are the steps to get your Church Video Ministry started.
Start a Church Video Production Ministry
Answering the Why
Understanding why you are doing this ministry is important before you begin. You will likely encounter resistance to any department you create in your church.
Some people won’t ever want to be captured on camera. Some people will be skeptical about using new technology in the church. Some people have difficulty accepting any type of change.
You won’t be able to communicate your purpose effectively if you don’t know why you do it; other than that, it sounds good. Resistance will become rebellion.
What is the point of starting a video production ministry? Will it be used for evangelism or is it a tool to help people? Does it have the potential to impact your community’s values and culture? Does it allow for better communication between the church leadership and those they serve? Does it help those with special needs?
These are important questions to ask before you begin because they will influence the direction you take with the ministry.
Answering the How
Answering why you do it is just as important as answering how you will do it. This is what I mean when I say “public” and “produced” for your ministry.
Public Video Production Vs. Public Video Production Vs. Private Video Production
Public video production includes live streaming, videos from your church functions, videos from youth group activities, and other things.
Private video production includes clips of the pastor speaking to the congregation, announcements, and testimonies, where the minister has been allowed to film the persons making the statements.
The production was made public by our church. Our church uses video to live stream services on Facebook and on our website. As we grow, the ministry will expand into other areas.
Produced videos vs. Raw Videos
Next, you need to answer the question, “How produced” will your videos be? Although it may seem silly, this is an important question in today’s age of reality television.
All of us want to do our best for God’s glory. Others would argue that this means making a great video. But beauty is subjective.
A lot of people find value in seeing a real video that has not been produced. Raw footage is what I refer to. They consider it more authentic. I’m not judging, either. Both can be valid expressions of faith.
Decide how much production will be required to express the church’s values.
We chose to use the raw footage in our case rather than pay the costs and hire volunteers who would develop production-style videos. This doesn’t mean we won’t continue using this style as we grow our video ministry.
Answering the What
What is the main focus of your church’s video production ministry?
I believe in mastering a skill and then doing it well before trying to learn more. While I enjoy expanding, it is important to have a solid foundation.
It is wise to ask the question, “What are we going do with this video ministry?” This will impact the type of equipment and training required and how much you pay for it.
Are you going to make announcement clips first? Do you plan to create clips to promote your church’s message? Do you plan to use the clips to communicate your church’s mission and story on social media?
Are you planning to use your church’s video ministry to reach the elderly and shut-ins by broadcasting your church service live? Is it going to be used to help evangelize your community by providing thoughtful answers to life questions?
These factors will influence your decisions. It is important to have the right answers to see where you are going and what you need.
Collecting your Equipment
Basic Video Equipment
Once you know your goals, it’s time to gather your equipment. Here’s a list of things you will need, as I shared in my ultimate guide to streaming church live. These are…
- A video production computer
- A good camcorder
- Software for Video Production
- External Microphones
- An HDMI To USB Converter
You can also donate a few accessories. If you have any of these items, you can call your congregation to ask if they are willing to donate them or make an offering for the new ministry.
In our case, the church board supported the new ministry and allocated a budget for us to start our video ministry.
It’s all in the end
It is better to do what I have done than to do what I did. While experience can be invaluable, it is best to avoid making dumb mistakes. I made a mistake.
My first experience with a webcam was streaming live services. Use the wrong tool. Webcams can be used to take close-up shots while sitting at a computer. They are not great for long-distance shots. Before live streaming on Facebook, I didn’t test it to see how it looked. Big mistake.
All equipment, even donated equipment, should be tested. A 10-year-old video camera might not be the right tool for your job. While we all appreciate the generosity of others, it might not be the right tool for your purposes.
Dry runs are a good idea. You can then evaluate if the result looks right. You must ensure that your settings are correct in your video production software. This is a big difference.
After I tested everything, our live stream was much better.
Launching Your Church’s Video Ministry
It was a lot of work, even though getting our church ready for a video ministry was sometimes a pain. But it has been well worth it. People have used it to visit our church before they attend. It has been used to check out our services by people who were sick or locked in. This has helped us increase our influence in the community.
Fear of making a mistake is not a reason to be afraid. You will. But the grace of God is greater than your ability.
Watch God work in your church’s video production ministry. Keep faith in the small things, and God will bless your ministry beyond your wildest dreams.
Your church is one of the most important parts of your life. Video production can be a great way to share your passions with others. Video ministry can increase congregation engagement and help you reach new audiences beyond your church’s service hours. This could be a great opportunity for you and your family. Take some time to implement these steps in how you plan to establish your church’s own video production ministry. These steps will assist us in getting off to a good start and provide useful tips for future projects.