We recently shared some tools and options for pastors to utilize video to save time in ministry. Today, we’re going to take a look at using video specifically in ministry to encourage, connect, and inspire your congregation as well as assist your worship team in learning their music. Video is a pretty amazing tool – the sky’s the limit in terms of all its many uses, in many different ‘zones’ of ministry.

As it relates to worship, video is perhaps one of the very best tools to share new music and inspire people in and beyond your church. So many of us regularly watch and listen to YouTube playlists as another option for entertainment. YouTube is also a great help to us worship leaders (CTT even has a free ebook on using YouTube in ministry).

Below, we’ll dive into two areas of using video to encourage worship participation:

Using Video for Worship Leading

A dialed-in worship team, with members who are personally inspired by the music the leader has selected, has a way of becoming infectious and filled with the joy of the Lord. Many worship leaders and music directors use Planning Center Online, a scheduling tool that enables the leader to link to MP4s and YouTube videos as well charts and lead sheets. The leader sends an invite via email through the system, the team members accept, then have access to download or follow the links to the tracks to practice.

To harness the power of video and take it a step further, the leader can easily create a public YouTube playlist and publish this on the church’s YouTube channel like this church. This playlist can then be shared via social media to either promote the upcoming Sunday service’s music, or share just after the service to help people continue to connect with the message and reflect throughout the week.

Creating Unique Worship Videos

C4 Church in Canada has taken worship ministry a step further by writing their own worship songs and producing their own videos to teach and share this music with their congregation. C4’s worship leader, Chris Vacher, recently wrote an article for CTT on the most beneficial apps for worship leaders, then shared this great new video with us. It sparked this article on how to use video to encourage worship participation.

I spent a few minutes interviewing Chris (who is a great worship leader and blogger as well) so that I could share what the production of a video like this would look like:

Did you record this video live – looks like the lobby of your church? 

Yes to both. We did a quick demo of the song after a writing retreat in January to teach it to our bands. Then this is recorded live at the video shoot over five or six takes. We also did two or three takes with the singers to get the choir/vocal parts. And yes, it’s the lobby of our church. The first time we played the song was on the stage.
How do you train your worship leaders before filming? Obviously, there are some awkward components to recording a worship song live, in a circle, while video cameras are going.
Yes, we used three cameras. Training is really around remembering that the video is meant to teach the song to our congregation so worship in this song the way you want to see our church worship when we sing it. Technical stuff: don’t look at the camera, do kind of the same thing at each part of the song over each take, etc.
How much practice time with your team of 15 or 20  leaders?
The band did a rehearsal on Sunday afternoon for maybe a couple hours. We all arrived at 5:00 pm, started shooting at 6:00, finished by 7:30.
What percentage of people do you think watch the video who attend your church (to get the teaching element)?
It’s hard to tell. But enough that when we sang this song for the first time (the video went live the Monday before) people sang it as loud as any other song we sang that day.
Once you introduce a new song, how often do you include it in a service?
Three weeks in a  row.
How much total manpower and time did it take roughly to put this whole video together?
Hard to say but we do have a video guy on staff and we also paid one of our guys to do all the audio production because that’s above volunteer caliber skill. So one video director with two other camera crew, two audio production crew, the band and singers you see. The video was recorded on a Monday and was ready to go by Friday, but we didn’t post until the following Monday.

If I was a small church worship leader and wanted to introduce a song this way, with a video, what tips would you have for a small potatoes production that would still have a good impact?

Do whatever your version of “acoustic setup” would be. Normally on a Sunday, we would have a much bigger sound with tracks, two electrics, full drums, etc. So do the acoustic version but do something more than an acoustic guitar and a vocal.
Above everything, clarify purpose. 100% of our focus is on teaching the song to our congregation. Every decision we made around location, who to include, calibre of video, etc. is driven by purpose. This isn’t a music video, it’s a way to serve our church.

Overall, I believe a production like this has lots of staying power, from showing people what your church is like to those who might see the video but not attend, to teaching people new songs. Whether you have a larger budget for video production like C4 Church, or a smaller budget, video can be used to teach new music and encourage worship participation. Lastly, the video can be used in many different ways via social media to enhance your church’s online presence and build your church’s brand.

How has your church used video or how does your church plan to use video in the future to encourage worship?