Think of Jesus’ ministry, how did He do the majority of his teaching? He told parables. What is a parable? A parable is a simple story, illustrating a moral or spiritual lesson- an earthly story, with a heavenly meaning. Why did Jesus spend his time preaching in the form of stories? Because he knows we respond to storytelling. He is the one who created us that way. Man is programmed to love stories.
Now how does this apply to churches? Well, think of all the things that happen at your church- preaching, singing, worship, small groups. At the very middle of all of those great things, what is the mission? To tell the story of Jesus
The core of everything God wants us to do is to spread the gospel. Now, there is nothing that should ever replace the preaching of the Word of God. But this is the challenge in preaching- you only have one, two, maybe three times a week to present a message that is powerful and has a lasting impact on your listeners. That is where video comes in. Video is the most powerful tool you can use to enhance your message and engage your audience. Now I’m not saying to use video every single time you preach, but used at the right time on Sundays or special events can really take your message to the next level.
Here is something very interesting about American history. All of the major conflicts such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, especially WWII, the people at home were supportive of the war as a majority. Then came Vietnam which is considered by many to be the most unsupported war in American history. Why? What changed? The Vietnam War was the first American conflict that the American people saw on television. They watched it happen. You see, during Vietnam, for the first time the media was right there recording and reporting all of it. The American people saw their soldiers being killed, the battered bodies on the jungle floor, and they said, “No more, bring our boys home”. There were riots and protest. It was a whole movement. “Get out of Vietnam.” Why did they feel that way? Because they saw it. They watched a war unfold on their television set. Study it out, I promise you, it’s all there. The horrors of war became real when they could see it.
So, hopefully, by now, you realize the power of video. Now, how you can use it to enhance your message. If you don’t already, at least consider using video at some point in your church service. You can start small with something like a welcome or announcement video which serve two primary purposes.
We create welcome videos here at Must Increase to 1.) Help you streamline your service and 2.) Leave a great first impression on guests and ultimately make them feel welcome. (That’s why we like calling them “Welcome Videos.”)
Another great way for video to enhance your message is through short films. As opposed to a feature film which can be a couple hours in length, a short film is a complete story that lasts just a few minutes. You can watch a short film and it is a complete story with a plot, characters, and a message. We produce short films here at Must Increase for churches to enhance something like the story of Christmas or the story of Easter. Remember people love and connect with stories. Through short films, we are connecting the powerful effect of stories with the powerful medium of video to create a memorable experience.
For example, we recently produced a short film for Christmas entitled Nativity (watch here). In this film, an older gentleman told a younger man the story of Christmas. As he is telling the story from the Gospel of Luke chapter 2, we see footage of the actual event in Bible times. We actually went to the desert in New Mexico, and we built a small village and acted out the story of Christmas with Mary and Joseph, the angels, the whole thing. Our home church presented this around Christmas time and it was a huge success. Why? The audience which included scores of visitors on that Sunday, saw, maybe for the first time, the story of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem actually come to life through video. Many people that do not attend church regularly could probably tell you some version of the Christmas story, but they’ve never actually watched it happen. Things become real when you can see them.
Here are two takeaways from this article. First, if your church isn’t already using video in some way, consider integrating at least a short video into one of your church services over the next couple of months. Be sure to use videos that are produced with excellence. When you present videos lacking in quality, it can become a distraction rather than an enhancement to your service. Two, simply understand that video can enhance your message. When video is used the right way at the right time, you’ll begin to harness the most powerful form of media to take your church’s media to the next level.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to share it on Twitter or Facebook. You’ll also enjoy the Must Increase Podcast available on iTunes, Spotify, Google or wherever you listen to podcasts. If you have any thoughts or feedback about what we went over in this post, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you next time as we continue on our mission to increase His name through your church.