Create an effective sermon recap video by creatively archiving powerful moments from the speaker’s message.
Once upon a time, on a cloud storage server or YouTube channel far, far away… was a collection of carefully tucked away video clips of your pastor’s heartfelt sermons.
Ok, I’ll stop right there before you decide not to take me seriously.
But in reality, it’s no fantasy or stretch of the imagination to say that most church video teams are overwhelmed by the sheer number of projects that constitute the weekly content creation list for Sunday services. From story interviews to video announcements, ministry support videos, location shoots, etc. — all to create a beautiful Sunday church experience.
However, not much was being done to repackage those efforts to reach those outside of the church building. This is where sermon recaps come in — a unique way to reach people beyond the walls of the church to invite them into the message of hope.
Seriously, learning from my own experience working with media teams at churches large and small, sermon recaps is the last thing any team member wants on their already overflowing plate.
Yes, I said it because you’re probably afraid to, but I empathize with you. Creating weekly recaps on any scale can be very overwhelming, but it’s the one thing most pastors desire and a very effective tool to re-engage the church and invite the lost.
What is a Sermon Recap?
In its simplest form, a sermon recap is like a trailer for a movie. It’s a concise clip that highlights the main message of a sermon. Like Cliff’s notes, recap videos summarize the key points or themes of a sermon and invite viewers to watch the full message.
Those short video clips are then paired with compelling design and animation to attract and engage the viewers wherever they see it, especially on social media.
An effective sermon recap video goes beyond simply sharing it on the internet. It takes into consideration the habits of users on the platform on which it is placed. Since millions of people consume content on various social media platforms it makes sense to show recaps there. However, this space is saturated with people vying for your attention.
To gain more visibility, an effective sermon recap must use creative design and animation techniques to arrest attention. In other words, it needs to stop the user in the middle of their scroll and invite them into the message.
So, how do we do that?
5 Tips to Create an Effective Sermon Recap Video
Here are a few essential things that we have seen working wonders with our clients in creating effective sermon recap videos. These methods came from trial and error in my own company, sermonrecaps.com, and have essentially created the framework through which our team produces every sermon recap video clip. We call it the 5 C’s.
1. Catchy Clippable Moment
This is usually the best part(s) of the sermon where the speaker gets most excited or animated. These moments are marked by high energy, emotion and volume — tools that most speakers use when they want us to pay attention.
Pro Tip: Since most messages are about 30 – 45 mins long, simply scrub through your video at 2X speed then look for drastic facial changes, laughter, or hand gestures that appear to emphasize a point. Those areas may hold mini messages and are ideal clippable moments.Want an easy way to find clippable recorded moments for sermon recap videos? Scrub through your original video at 2X speed, looking for facial changes or excitement. These animated moments are usually a flag for great content. Click To Tweet
2. Clear Takeaway Point
Clarity is king! Our brains often take away one thing from any experience. So, make that one thing stand out. Highlight the main takeaway from your clippable moment.
Inspiration and a recommended read for more on this come from the book The Power of Moments by best-selling authors Chip Heath and Dan Heath.
3. Captions that are Mobile Friendly
Since most content is consumed on mobile devices, the video content is often muted by default. Engage viewers by adding easy-to-read captions that give a preview of what the video is about.
This one element alone will increase the success of your recap videos and expand your audience beyond the hearing to those who may be deaf and hard of hearing, also.
Wondering how to create captions? You can create captions manually in editing or video design applications such as Adobe Premiere or Adobe After Effects (or use third-party services like Temi to automatically generate captions for you).
4. Cool Design
Leveraging eye-catching design or motion design is a powerful tool that can help videos stand out and engage viewers, especially on mediums that are so saturated with content.
Pro Tip – Make keywords a different color, full screen or animated to engage the senses for a deeper level of engagement. Without getting too nerdy with this point, research shows how visual treats, or the element of surprise stimulates and releases the ‘feel good’ dopamine hormone in our brains. Using motion design in particular not only grabs attention but also keeps attention.
5. Call to Action
Now that you have your audiences’ attention, what do you want them to do after the message? Where do you want them to go? Make that clear at the end of the video. We’ve found that using a thoughtful call to action can be directly linked to the success of your social media goals.
Pro Tip: If you need to build your YouTube following, have a simple call to action like “Subscribe to our YouTube channel”. If you want to direct traffic to your church’s website, simply say “Visit (website) for more.”Build your following with your sermon recaps. Ask viewers to subscribe to your channel or, if you're looking to drive traffic to your website, direct them there instead. Use every opportunity to keep viewers engaged in your content. Click To Tweet
There you have it! Our 5C’s to creating an effective sermon recap video. But here’s the bonus – every time you create a sermon recap video you essentially create evergreen content that remains relevant regardless of the season, series, or time frame. You can create a library of all the videos and repost them as part of your future social media strategy as well. The message of hope will always be relevant and never get old!