Can You Show Videos During Church?
Video production is one of the most interesting kinds of media art. Modern technology has helped that to become even more accessible and common. Now, our churches can use digital video technologies in their communication with congregations or other interested parties. It seems to be a very effective way for communication since it has been shown by statistical data from Unisys that in the USA there is a 5% increase of activity when video messages are sent.
Is it okay to show videos during church service? It is important to consider your message, audience, cost, and time before showing a video to your church in a Sunday service. It can be an effective and engaging way to share your message. Because of this, it is okay to show videos during your church service as long as it doesn’t distract or offend your congregation.
I have read perspectives from members of churches elders to see their perspective on if it is okay and what steps to follow to show videos during church services. Keep reading to learn more!
Elder Perspective on Videos in Church
Many churches or individuals try to avoid using videos in their Sunday sermons. They think that it will be distracting to the congregation. However, some are starting to change their minds on this issue due to technological advancements.
But are video presentations acceptable in church? I’ve noticed over the past couple of years more and more churches are changing their mind about presenting videos in worship. I’ve been to churches that have a very active video ministry and the results are amazing.
I know from experience that it can be hard to get up on stage and speak to a group of people who really couldn’t care less about what you’re saying. So why not read a passage from your notes? Perhaps you should check your voice. Does it sound like you’re shouting? What about light and sound – do they look good on stage?
I know that if I chose to speak from notes, I’d probably just read them and forget what was written. Reading a passage doesn’t seem to connect with the audience either. When people watch TV or a computer screen, they’re not going to shut it off just because a pastor is giving a sermon in front of them.
I have seen a big difference in my church when we began presenting videos. It’s not distracting, and I think it makes the sermon more effective by showing dramatic pictures or readings of scripture from the Bible.
At the same time, you have to be sure that the videos aren’t too distracting and only present what you want them to present. If they do distract, then it’s best not to use them at all. So whatever your decision is, make sure it will benefit your congregation and make God happy. He deserves the very best!
Factors When Showing Videos
- Use only the best quality video. This will probably mean spending some extra money on professional equipment and programs. If this means renting, so be it.
- Get a storyline that includes scripture and a message that is uplifting and encouraging to your congregation. The video should be fast-paced enough to keep viewers’ attention but not too distracting.
- Make sure you practice using the equipment before the first time you use it on Sunday morning (seriously).
- Be sure that your video is showing what you want it to show.
- Be sure that the audio is working (this should be done during practice time).
- Don’t get fancy with PowerPoint presentations; stick to videos. PowerPoint slides need to be simple, but effective. And they don’t look good on a movie screen.
- Clean up any glitches or mistakes before putting the presentation on for your congregation.
- Be sure to include scripture and a message that is uplifting and encouraging to your congregation in the video itself. Keep it fast-paced but not too distracting.
- Have someone else practice with you if possible. This will help things go smoothly on Sunday morning.
- Don’t get discouraged if your first video doesn’t go over perfectly. It’ll get better with practice.
Audience Size & Video Cost
Though it would be nice to see the video during service, your church size will determine whether or not using video clips during your service is financially possible for you.
Questions to Consider
- Who is your target audience? (Is your Church age mixed or elderly?) How will the video be introduced? Will it fit into your message? Or will you pick a video that does not correlate with anything to share for the sake of sharing it because you like the music/graphics etc…
- Is this video clip going to become a part of your normal service or is it for that particular day only? (If you plan on using the videos again then make sure you consider editing costs and production costs.
- What type of equipment do you need to show the video? (Projectors, HD Proyector, Monitors)
- How much time will you be showing the video during your service? (Will it make a difference if it’s a weekend or weekday?) For example, if its a weekday and you show a 30-second video clip of yourself talking about what is coming up next week – that might not be as effective as showing this same video on a Sunday when the kids/teens are there and will be excited for what is coming next.
- How will our volunteers feel about this? (Be considerate to your volunteer staff and know that it is overwhelming when you introduce something new in service with little notice.)
- Who will run the video? (You need someone who knows how to run the video equipment properly so that it looks good and is not cutting out. If you are showing live video clips, you need someone who knows how to work your cameras.)
- What type of message do you want to convey? (Is this for worship or evangelism?)
- What will our members think about this?
- How will you handle the cost to show a video during services? (Do you have a budget set aside for this?) If not, I would encourage you to plan carefully before making any decisions.
- What’s your mission?
You can use video clips, graphics, etc… but if your church is not ready to do something like that, don’t.
If you think about these things and prepare in advance and talk with your church leadership and staff before just jumping into video clips in the middle of a service, I believe you will be blessed by God for your obedience in seeking Him first.
Options To Use Video In Church Using Production
The service can also be used as a support for evangelization, missionary work, or teaching purposes. This way, congregations can learn about news from other churches in their countries or around the world.
Video production isn’t easier than other kinds of services, but it is an effective tool that can be used to express emotions and tell stories through images.
Of course, you need a good script for this kind of communication. Sometimes the most important concepts are shown in one image (for example, when showing people praying or worshipping, you can use the image of someone kneeling).
Know Your Objectives
Before starting to shoot, you must know your objectives. You might want to tell a story or explain some concepts. In both cases, it’s good to be clear on what message you’re trying to transmit.
Video production cannot be improvised. Everything should have been previously worked out. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to communicate, the final product will likely be incoherent and people won’t be able to understand it as you wanted.
Get Professional Help
It’s always better to ask for help from professional video producers or experts in this area, they can give you some good advice about the technical and artistic aspects of the production.
The way you present your content is also important if you want to convey a clear message, so some techniques can be used in video productions:
Music has a fundamental role in video production. You might ask for help from professional musicians who have worked on this kind of project before and they can give you some proper recommendations.
It’s always good to use subtle music that doesn’t take attention from the video production itself. Therefore, it’s not recommended to use very loud and strong sounds (for example, fast and rhythmical rock music).
The lighting is important as well. You’ll need good lighting if you want to produce videos of good quality. Sometimes this might be very tricky, especially in churches where it’s difficult to control the lightning. Therefore, ask for professional help if you don’t know how to do it yourself.
It’s also important that both audio and video are synchronized. Otherwise, there’s no coherence between them. It’s always better if the people who will produce and edit the video take care of this aspect and you can ask for help from professionals if you want to.
Before starting a public production, it’s always recommended to ask for some advice from other churches that have made similar productions before. They may give you some good pieces of advice about how to do it and how to avoid mistakes.
When the shooting and editing are finished, don’t forget to ask for some feedback from other people and especially from those who will be watching it (for example, your congregation).
Also, you can place the video productions on internet sites like YouTube so that they can be watched by other users all around the world. Also, you can make a video presentation to show the members of your congregation to announce events or activities that are going to take place.