PewDiePie. Jenna Marbles.The Gabbie Show.
No, those aren't programs on Nickelodeon. They're three of the most popular YouTubers alive, which might sound even less interesting to you than three new Nickelodeon shows, but trust me: these people are influencing more teenagers and young adults than any TV show on air today, without a doubt.
Video dominates social media, and online content in general, today. It's becoming more and more popular.
At a conference in London just a couple of weeks ago, Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's head of operations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, said that she expects Facebook "will be definitely mobile, it will be probably all video." in just five years.
As a manager of a number of online platforms, I can affirm her thoughts on mobile.
Almost two-thirds of the traffic to some of the websites I oversee is mobile today, and for websites that are attracting younger users, this ratio is likely even higher.
Personally, I'm not a huge fan of video content online. When it comes to consuming online content, I'd almost always prefer reading so that I can consume the content in spaces that don't allow me to listen to sound. But, Facebook's algorithm is currently set up to reward video content by giving it more attention in Facebook feeds. So, in a way, Facebook gets to fulfill its own prophecy by making video more valuable content to post.
All of that to say this: if your ministry isn't doing much with video already, you may want to consider it.
As you consider reaching the next generation, you must understand that video will likely need to be increasingly important in your ministry.
I'm not saying you need to stream sermons live or anything like that, but you may want to start exploring some serious opportunities on the video front. Video can also just make training and other such logistics more efficient.
Here are three simple ways you can start using more video in your ministry:
1. Make volunteer training more efficient.
Every ministry needs volunteers. Whether you're providing clean water to hard-to-reach tribes on remote portions of Africa or you're simply ministering to your neighborhood in suburban America, your ministry likely relies on the faithful service of people who volunteer their time for the greater cause of Christ and the service of others.
The problem is, volunteers need to be trained by ministry employees so that they are most effective in their work. This can be difficult.
Attempting to get everyone together on one night is near impossible with how busy everyone's lives are today. Why not provide volunteer training via video? Your staff can record a series of short videos to use for your nursery volunteers or the team of teenagers you're about to send to East Asian villages. The opportunity to train volunteers via video can make the on-boarding process much easier for your ministry.
2. Provide educational resources for those you serve.
Perhaps your ministry equips church planters for ministry, but you would like all of your church planters to take a course in North American missiology and hermeneutics before you send them out onto the field.
Or, maybe before you send a group of college students to dig wells in Africa, you want them to watch a six-session course explaining the cultural history of the particular region they'll be visiting.
Beyond simple volunteer training, video resources can help you equip people in your ministry for the work they're doing on behalf of the kingdom.
3. Send regular videos to donors or others involved in your ministry.
Perhaps your non-profit organization has an email list of three thousand donors with whom you maintain regular contact, updating them on the work you're doing in Central America and occasionally asking them to contribute to various projects. Almost every ministry or church has an email list of people they regularly contact with ministry news or other such content.
As the demographics of your ministry shift toward the Millennial and Gen Z generations, the more likely your audience will want to consume video content.
So, give it to them! Send video updates to your subscribers regularly instead of text updates. If you need to ask your donors to contribute to an upcoming initiative, add the personal touch of video to the email blast.
There are endless ways you may find to use videos for your ministry or church context. I've only listed three.