What kind of video needs does your church have? You probably didn't even realize you had any. Video capability can enhance the churchgoing experience, allowing you to reach out to thousands of people online, some of whom may decide to attend your church in person, and others who will take what they need from the online sermons. Live streaming video of your sermons is a powerful tool, allowing you to expand your congregation without having to knock down any walls or even hire a contractor. Regular members will also be able to watch even when they are sick or out of town. These live streaming videos can be posted on your site later as on-demand videos, archived by date for parishioners to access at their leisure.
Other types of church activities can be filmed as well, from church picnics, fundraising activities, charity drives, sporting events and pageants to community outreach messages and public service announcements. Consider cutting apart and editing some of these videos into short clips, which will be more watchable than the long version. Show highlights of events, or create a sort of video montage, so that viewers don't have to sit through the whole thing.
Videos can be posted on YouTube and embedded into your site for easier loading and to reduce space requirements. Start a YouTube account for your church, where parishioners can go and watch all of the various clips you have uploaded, and be sure to advertise it on your site. And don't forget about social media sites like Facebook, where you can post or embed videos as well.
Where Do I Get All These Videos? You should invest in a good digital video camera for your church. With today's technology, these are not terribly expensive. Make sure you get a tripod for recording sermons. The camera will come with its own software for editing and saving videos in one or more of several popular video formats:
• MP4 - a common format with good compression for internet streaming and digital distribution; • MOV - similar to MP4 but not as common and does not compress as well; • M4V - used mostly by Apple, similar to MP4 with good compression for smaller file sizes; • WMV - Microsoft's version for Windows; it has very good compression, high quality audio and video with small file sizes, but does not play on Macs without conversion software.
Once you have the camera and the software, start filming, and then play around with the editing software. You'll be delighted at how much fun it can actually be!
For more information on this and other topics, get your copy of "The iChurch Method Volume 1: How to Advance Your Ministry Online." or The iChurch Method Volume 2: Changing the World When You Login or even sign up for the iChurch Method Online School.