A couple of years ago, a pastor friend and I were imagining the future church. Little did I know how the world would quickly change, or how powerful simple online content like sermon recap videos and short teaching snippets would become. 

That day when we were chatting about the future church, the word “pandemic” or “lockdown” or “COVID” had not yet become everyday vocabulary. 

THE WAY WE’VE “DONE” CHURCH

I grew up in church and went every Sunday. Often we were there for the Wednesday night for the family dinner, too, with those senior ladies bringing their A-game with that potluck style dinner. Amazing! 

We pontificated on the idea of worship shifting away from the Sunday morning congregational gathering and becoming more a part of our everyday lives. Now, before you get a bee in your bonnet, let me say that I think congregational worship is necessary and vital. “Where two or more are gathered,” right? There is power when we worship together, no doubt. That’s not going anywhere. But for those who are unchurched, they are going to take a lot more convincing to believe that.

USING SERMON RECAPS TO SHARE THE GOSPEL

We began talking about online services and how it’s becoming a large part of how we “do church.” But the rise of social media has taken that a step further—church doesn’t have to be a 75-minute service, or a 30-minute sermon. What if the message was divided into 30 seconds here and 2 minutes there? We can create snippets of the gospel throughout our day by creatively editing sermon recap videos and other short teachings.

It's easier than ever to reach unchurched individuals and post content throughout the day. Get creative with sermon recap videos and divide messages into 30-second snippets and 2-minute lessons. Click To Tweet

Clearly, this is not an original idea. Many mega churches have made these snippets of sermon recaps popular and for good reason. People scrolling through social media are very likely to stop for a second and hear/read what someone is saying. This is presenting the Gospel to folks in a way that has never been done. Gone are the days of knocking on doors and asking folks if you can tell them about Jesus. If that’s your jam, go for it, but for an introvert like me, I’m much more likely to hit “share” when my pastor delivers a sermon point that hits home and I want others to hear it. I’m talking about snippets like this.

COVID ACCELERATED EVERYTHING

A few weeks after that conversation, COVID hit and changed our world overnight. Churches went into a frenzy trying to figure out how to stream online services. Thank God for those who stepped up to the plate and worked countless hours to make it happen. Unsung heroes right there!

Before we jump into the ways you can create attention-grabbing sermon recap videos, I’d like to share a few tips on how to improve your online presence.

Need church-related graphics and photos? Check out Faithlife Media.

5 PROVEN TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE

#1: Make the Best of The Resources You Have

While top-notch gear is really nice, it’s not 100% necessary. Even if you did have the best gear, do you have someone with experience devoted to making it all work? For instance, if all you have is an iPhone and a lamp, then set it up and deliver a great message. I see it this way: there are a lot of huge movies that look incredible with the best effects one can buy, but if the story is awful, none of that other stuff matters. Be authentic and don’t get caught up in what the church down the road is doing. 

#2: Ask for Help

During this time, people have flocked to Facebook groups for guidance, which are packed with folks who are extremely knowledgeable and are eager to help. Share what you are doing, and ask how you can improve. Some great groups to check out are Church Communications, Pro Church Media, CRTVCHURCH, Sermon Series Design, Church Social Media Managers. Outside of Facebook, reach out to folks on your staff or congregation, or maybe the younger crowd who have a solid grasp on social media. I’m 36 and barely know what a TikTok is, so I get it. It’s hard to keep up. Utilize the younger crowd and empower them to help. 

#3: Have Access to Gear? Let’s Use It!

If you’re fortunate enough to have some cameras, lighting, editing software, etc., then learn to utilize it. Some ideas include:

  • YouTube tutorials on cameras and lighting
  • Call upon folks in your circle who have the bandwidth to do some simple editing
  • Research Adobe’s deals for non-profit organizations. (You will probably need to reach out to their customer service.) Their Creative Suite is more than you ever need to develop something great. 

Information is easily accessible. Be sure you’re using what you have to its fullest capacity.

#4: Think Outside The Box

Like we talked about earlier, over the past year, church has had a unique opportunity to reach people like never before. Think outside the walls of your church. Even if you ARE doing a full online service, a majority of the world probably won’t sit through the whole thing. So, find out what folks are responding to. Share short 1-minute thoughts, 5-min devotions, and video recap clips from your recent sermon. Other ideas to grab attention include sharing through a social media story about:

  • Your church paying for all lunches at a local restaurant for an hour
  • Grocery store giveaways
  • Food delivery giveaways

The ideas are endless, and unique to your location. 

#5. Resources Are Everywhere. Use Them!

There are loads of resources for you to use in your online presence. (And even in your live services.) Many of these resources have free content. If you’re a pastor, focus on pastoring. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Incredible resources, like graphics, videos and more are readily available. For example, I have the privilege of creating creative editable content for churches which you can find at our site, Pixel Preacher, along with lots of freebies here

Other great companies are CMG, Church Media Drop, VMC, Pro Church Media, Dan Stevers, Igniter and many more. This is a great way to maximize your time and your budget without burning yourself or others out. 

2-MINUTE CHURCH

Let’s circle back to my conversation with my friend and this idea of 2-minute church. You have probably seen folks like Elevation Church or Passion City share snippets of video from their messages. I believe this is such a unique way to share the gospel quickly and easily. (Introverts unite!) But before you go drop a clip online, let me share my insights on ways you can put your very best foot forward. 

3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Sermon Recap Video Clips

#1: Keep every sermon recap BRIEF.

For a small sermon recap clip, don’t add your entire 30-minute sermon. To begin, find a key point that’s 1 to 2 minutes max. Think about the last time that you watched a video on your phone longer than 2-minutes. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Keep it brief, people.

#2: Use CAPTIONS in your clips.

Most of us scroll through social media without sound. If you see someone talking, but can’t hear them, you’re going to keep scrolling. However, if you see words on screen, your initial reaction is to start reading it, and just maybe stick around to see what that person has to say. There are several services online that can help with this. And if you’re a fan of Adobe, Premiere’s latest update has this feature.

#3: Make every sermon recap video POP.

There are simple ways to add some color using a frame, filter, or countless other options. You must immediately catch people’s attention since you have mere nanoseconds to win them over. Make it count. 

In reality, your online presence is the new face of your church, of your culture, and of your God. How will you present it?

Between the tips to improve your online presence and simple ways to make your sermon recaps pop, you should be ready to have some fun making creative choices that will improve the quality of your content and the positive attention it grabs. 

Read more: 5 Genius Tools For Your Online Church Experience

SERMON RECAPS

Because the folks at Pixel Preacher believe this is super important, they began building templates for this very thing. Many folks call them sermon recaps, and we want you to give it a try. 

Below is a code to download a Universal Sermon Recap (you need Adobe Premiere Pro or Adobe After Effects to use them). Simply customize the look and easily add captions and export. It comes with step-by-step video tutorials to help you. 

Grab the Template Here, and use the code CHURCHTECH at checkout to get it 100% free. Offer expires 12/31/2021 at 11:59pm

Learn more about these templates here.

Friends, church has changed. We must adapt and stay relevant. Let’s begin making baby steps in order to reach the unchurched and the next generation, meeting them where they’re at. Introducing people to the Gospel through creative sermon recaps online is a great start. 

Let’s change the way people perceive “church” and bring them closer to Jesus. 

What are your tricks for creating eye-catching sermon recap videos? Leave a comment below and share your expertise!