church communications

Creating a Welcome Video for Your Church Website – Part 1

church-welcome-video
Written by Paul Steinbrueck

The people who are searching for a church and visit to your church website want to get to know you.  They want to know who the lead pastor is, what worship services are like, what the people are like, what they would experience if they visit in person.

It’s difficult to communicate that on your church website with text.  Adding vibrant images can help a great deal.  But nothing gives people a look inside your church, your people and your heart like video.

My church is in the process of creating a welcome video that will go on our website and be used in other ways to introduce people to our church.  This is the first church welcome video I’ve been a part of creating.  So, I’m watching lots of videos, doing lots of research, and asking questions of those who have done this before.

If your church doesn’t have a welcome video or has an old one, we can make this journey together.

It’s a great time to create a church welcome video because summer will be over in a month or two, and fall is a time of new beginnings.  Families will be back from vacations, kids will be going back to school, people who have moved into the area during the summer will be looking for places to connect.  Wouldn’t it be great to have a welcome video to help them connect with your church?

What do you say?

Start by Learning from Others

Robin Sharma said, “Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.”  So, the first step towards creating our welcome video is to get a mental picture of what we want our video to be like.  There’s no better way to do that than to watch other welcome videos.

I asked my friends in the Church Communications Facebook Group to post links to their church’s welcome videos and for any advice they have.  So far 4 people responded.  Here are their churches’ welcome videos.

While you watch the videos make notes about what you like about each one, what you don’t like, what you would want to do in your welcome video.  Even better – do this together with other leaders of your church.

Welcome Video Observations

  • Compelling – All of the videos helped me understand more about the church and the lead pastor. I’d love to visit these churches! After watching the videos, I’m more convinced than ever about the benefits of have a welcome video on our church website.
  • Keep it short – All these videos range in length from 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
  • Write a script – It didn’t look like any of the videos were ad-libbed.
  • Lead pastor – All of the videos were narrated by the lead pastor.  If you’re not the lead pastor, you’re going to need his buy in, both to be in the video and on its content.
  • Video footage – All of the videos started by showing the lead pastor introducing himself and the church.  As the video progressed, most showed video footage of the things they described as the pastor continued to narrate.  Prepare to capture other video footage and do a little editing.
  • Outro image – All of the videos finished with an image showing the church name and logo.  I would want to include the church web address as well in case the video is found on YouTube or shown some place other than the website.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million. -Troy Olson

Next week, in Creating a Welcome Video for Your Church Website – Part 2, we’re going to look at what I think may be the most challenging part of creating a church welcome video – writing the script.  Who should do it, how to do it, what should be in it.

In the mean time, here are some action steps:

  • Gather your church leaders and watch these welcome videos.  Discuss what you like and don’t like about each.  If you can’t get everyone together physically, do it on a Skype or Ooovoo video call, or email links and ask everyone to reply back with their comments.
  • Get buy in from your lead pastor.
  • Post your observations from the videos in a comment.  (Also feel free to post links to other church welcome videos you
  • Subscribe – Go to the top right corner and subscribe to our email list so you get the next post in this series.

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

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