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Flip camera: an ideal tool for ministry

SUMMARY:Thanks to the Flip camcorder, sharing a viewpoint or short piece of news is now as easy as recording a video clip and downloading it online via a USB port. Simple and inexpensive, the Flip camera is an ideal tool for ministry at any level of the church. Check out www.theflip.com for photographs and price ranges. Continue reading for ideas and tips on using the Flip camera.

Part One: Possibilities for Ministry

Local congregations can easily use the Flip to provide content to their church Web sites and Facebook pages. Possibilities include:

  • A greeting from the pastor to visitors on the Web site.

  • A clip of the church’s youth group engaged in an interesting activity. The clip could conclude with the young people inviting other young people to join them or check them out.

  • A musical highlight from one of the worship services or other church setting. Music is one of the most powerful resources that churches have for reaching people and keeping them coming back. The Flip camera can be used to convey that power and energy. Congregations are advised to be mindful of copyright restrictions with regard to the music used.

  • Testimonials from individuals about the church’s importance in their lives and what they get out of it. Flip video also would be a good way for church members to share their experiences from mission trips or other interesting activities. This could be particularly effective for the young people in the church.

  • Important information that people might need to know, such as a demonstration of how to assemble a flood bucket for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, or a demonstration of how to interact with a street person or other person in need who might approach you.

  • A Bible study message from a Sunday school leader.

  • Invitations from the women’s and men’s groups, as well as from Scouts and other groups.

  • Special church plays or other productions, particularly those staged by children. They will be well watched! Again, as with recording church music, congregations should adhere to copyright guidelines on the play or piece of work involved.

  • A riveting sermon or special guest presentation that is worth sharing with a wider audience.

  • A special message about an upcoming initiative at the church, such as the Souper Bowl of Caring, the One Great Hour of Sharing, Room In The Inn or the annual ice-cream churn.

Annual conferences can use the Flip camera to:

  • Tell visitors to the conference site about the 10,000 doors that the denomination offers for connecting, doing good works and transforming lives.

  • Record a greeting from the bishop for posting on the Web site. Important messages from the bishop also can be recorded in response to natural disasters, special conference needs or campaigns, etc.

  • Share footage from conference Volunteers In Mission trips to areas such as the U.S. Gulf Coast, Africa, Indonesia.

  • Share messages from young people in the conference about their faith journeys and their hope and dreams for the church, and what excites or concerns them.