Welcoming and retaining church guests, often referred to as ‘concierge’ service, is one of the most important ways a church can grow. For many people who are shy, introverted, or uninterested in drawing attention to themselves (like me), being asked to ‘stand if you are new’ can be the worst thing a church can do to visitors. If visitors can plan their visit online via your church website, or let the pastor know they are coming–or see what the church looks like on the inside from a video sermon, or pictures on your website–visitors will be familiar with your church before they even step foot inside. Video can assist as you aim to welcome visitors and help them become familiar with your church.
Here are three reasons why video can help familiarize and retain your church guests:
#1 – Familiarity Opens the Door
Our level of familiarity and comfort can determine a great deal about our actions. The more familiar we are with something, the more comfortable we feel. When we feel comfortable, we can truly be ourselves. This is how we want our guests to feel about our church. When people feel comfortable, they let their guard down and make a better connection with the pastor, message, congregants, and the Gospel.
#2 – Video Facilitates Connection
One pastor I was consulting told me about a man who came up to him after the service. This man excitedly announced, “I really feel like I know you.” The pastor replied, “Really, how long have you been attending?” To which the man answered, “Oh, this is my first time, but I have seen all of your videos on your website. Now I feel like I am at home.”
A video ministry is more than just videos we show before the sermon or reminders about the church picnic. Video is a powerful tool to connect people to the heart, culture, and mission of your church.
#3 – Maximize the Opportunity
Could video really help attract and retain guests? The following are a few areas you can use video to help break down barriers and build familiarity before someone even visits your church.
According to Thom Rainer, 90% of unchurched people choose a church based on the primary communicator and his preaching. What if you could create a highlight reel of your pastor and some of his best one-liners that people could watch before they even walked in the door? You could even put a catalog of sermons on YouTube.
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The style of music is one reason many churchgoers decide where they will attend church. Imagine someone just moved into the community and they are seeking a church with a live band. They come across your website and see your team worshiping their hearts out. They connect with the music style right away, and now they know they want to join your church.
Youth and Children’s Ministries
When I visit a church, I want to know that my kids are going to be safe, have fun, and learn about Jesus. Why not post a video on your Facebook page that shows the caring faces of your children’s workers? You could post the kids’ huge smiles as they sing a worship song or a shot of the teacher sharing the Bible lesson (make sure you have permission from anyone appearing on camera or their parents).
So, what do you need to begin creating video that does more than just replace the guy who used to do announcement?
Your Gear List
#1 – Camera
You can start with your iPhone to get great HD video, but you may want to increase quality and usability with a camcorder.
Canon VIXIA HF R800 – $278
Canon VIXIA HF G30 2.91 – $1,099.95
#2 – Tripod
Get nice, steady shots by using your camera on a tripod.
#3 – Audio Equipment
You can plug your house mixer into the camera or use the internal or an external microphone.
Wired Lapel Sony ECMCS3 Tie Clip Style Omnidirectional Stereo Microphone – $21.69
Shotgun RODE VideoMic GO – $98
#4 – Editing Software
After you capture your footage, assemble it in your non-linear editing software. For some in-depth information on the best video editing software for your needs, check out our article: 6 Simple Online Video Editing Solutions for Your Next Church Video.
With some simple tools and a plan, you can leverage the power of video to help people get to know you and feel familiar with your church before they even step in the door.