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How to do video announcements: 5 questions to ask

By Jeremy Steele

Video announcements may seem daunting, but creating them is a great introduction to basic video editing and could really breathe new life into all areas of your ministry. What starts off as people making announcements in front of a camera could blossom into beautiful ministry spotlights such as a video or photo slideshow from your latest outreach event. You might get inspired to start a vlog (i.e blog in video format). With a little practice, it'll be like kindergarten all over again. You do some cutting, some pasting and before long — voila! Masterpiece. Programs like iMovie (for Mac only) make it seem that simple, but there are several iMovie alternatives for other operating systems.

How much time does producing video announcements take? According to people in churches who produce video announcements regularly, once you have produced your first few, it should take an hour or less to shoot and edit a five-minute video of your lay leader giving the announcements — even with adding extra graphics and text.

If you don't have the wherewithal to take on this endeavor, then seek out your church's aspiring film makers and ask your leaders the following five questions to help determine if your church is ready for video marketing:

1. Do we need more time?

Whether it is committee members taking more than their two-minute slots or the sheer volume, many churches find that the announcement time can get out of control.

Moving to video announcements may help in two ways. First, it gives a hard deadline for providing announcements, cutting down the hoards of last minute add-ons. Second, video announcements can be edited, shortened and tightened to a specific length.

2. Do we need more engagement?

There is a limit to how engaging most in-person announcements are. Video lets you add pictures from last year’s vacation Bible school, a clip of the bishop’s address at annual conference and a wealth of other things. You might even decide to feature one of the great videos starring the people of The United Methodist Church.

3. Do we need to emphasize dates and web addresses?

Say a date or web address once or twice and it can be easily missed. Video allows you to have this information on the screen for the entire time an announcement is being delivered. This gives those seeing it time to write it down or memorize it. Add these most important details at the bottom of the screen (commonly called the “lower third”).

4. Do we want to share them online?

One of the greatest benefits to creating video announcements is the ability to share videos online through Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels. Now, the people who miss attending your service in person can still get the week’s announcements! If your members are excited about an event, they can easily help get the word out by sharing the announcement on their own profiles and feeds.

5. Do we have the time and expertise?

You don’t need a Steven Spielberg to produce them, but there are a few tips to help your video shine. Follow these five tips to shoot compelling video. Once you understand the basics, dive into these 12 production tips for video marketing.

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Now for the biggest question. Are you ready to take your church's announcements to the medium screen? Let us know in the comment section below.

Jeremy Steele

When Jeremy and his wife are not playing with their four children, he oversees youth and college ministries and leads the evening worship service at Christ UMC in Mobile, Al. Jeremy is an author of several books and resources that you can find at JeremyWords.com or follow him on Twitter!