Among the tools available to you, video announcements continue to breathe new life into your weekly services. Or, do they?
After so many years of digital content consumption, our congregations are becoming more discerning -- and even critical -- it may require you to step up your production game or simply rethink your connection strategies on a Sunday morning. What seemed as fresh and cutting edge just a few years ago, may need to be reconsidered altogether today.
Wait… - what if we actually encouraged people to check their phones?
Now that we can produce high-quality videos, it may be the time to evaluate how and when they are delivered.
Let’s face it. Producing Sunday video announcements week after week is time consuming and may not really be yielding the returns that we once enjoyed in the way that we are delivering them.
The promos of upcoming bible studies, events and outings can turn into the same type of white noise that made old-fashioned verbals notorious - regardless of the usage of awesome music, along with contemporary and tasteful templates.
One of the first rules of video announcements is still very tough to follow. It is difficult to make sure all the segments are pertinent to a majority of the congregation.
Most of the congregation simply doesn’t care enough to pay attention to a screen taking about the next special youth group worship night or business meeting - this is for the core members and can be delivered in other ways. I fear that this is one more moment for people to disconnect from the service, and maybe look at Facebook or Instagram on their phones.
Wait… - what if we actually encouraged people to check their phones? I’ll get back to this!
Let’s not throw out the video concept altogether. There are still good uses of all the production you are currently doing!
Here are a few ideas that may spark some new creative flow to your video announcements:
Idea 1: Trim your content.
In general, there is too much going on with your announcements. Try to only deliver one major event or communication that is relevant to most or all your congregation. I like to call these “Tier One” communications. This could be a sermon series promo or maybe an all-church event, like the upcoming Christmas production.
Only the big stuff!
Idea 2: Keep your welcome and connection moments going.
First, continue giving people a rundown of what they can expect from the service, with your shortened video. For example, “Welcome to our service we’re glad you’re with us. Here is what you can expect for the next hour or so…”
Then, if you are currently directing people to fill out “connect” or “communication” cards - don’t stop! These are good moments that are still showing great results.
Better still, if you use a text-in type service to gather visitor information, keep this moment within your videos on a Sunday morning. These tools still make people feel special and welcome.
Idea 3: Use your videos as a communication portal.
Again, let’s stop flooding them with information. Consider how visitors will respond to every communication moment. Consider looking at your video as a portal or a website landing page where you choose to enter in for more information. This could mean directing those in the youth ministry to Instagram for an “exciting announcement.” Or, encouraging moms to check out their FB page new play dates posted. But imagine if this was not a talking head trying to convey this but a simple split screen graphic sharing these “Tier 2” type messages? Oh no! people may look at their phones during church! Yes, they already are. It’s really OK.
Idea 4: Keep doing what you’re doing but redirect!
Maybe you’re in a good flow with your production team and talent.
Consider creating more engaging YouTube style shows that connect with people on an even more personal level. If you have a Facebook page or YouTube channel for distinct ministries, this is where to put your efforts.
Put the content where people are today - social media.
Idea 5: Ditch the green screen.
Whether you reconsider your methods, or you keep the same old standards, try one thing - get rid of your green screen! Between setup, lighting and keying, this can be a tremendous time drain on your process.
And the worst part?
It still doesn’t even look all that good! If you are using a lens system that can blur out your background, just shoot in your lobby or in the sanctuary itself. The results will speak for themselves.
In deciding what is best for your situation, there will likely be some rethinking of your original ideas. Yes, all churches are different, with varied expectations and culture. Always be sensitive to this. If you are in a time of growth and transition, though, consider not only where you are now, but where you want to be in future.