It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Today, moving pictures in various forms are worth more than innumerable words. Many people today, even in our churches, see more films in various forms than read books. How can churches produce videos that maximally engage, edify, and educate, while even entertaining audiences?

Visual Storytelling

Church videos didn’t exist at the time of Jesus, but He was still a engaging storyteller. What can we learn from our Lord Jesus Christ as the master storyteller who taught the most profound truths with stories with strong visual elements? What are the marks of Jesus’ stories, those of the gospel storytellers, and the stories of the of the Bible? How is Jesus the model storyteller?

Our Lord Jesus Christ was a strong oral, visual storyteller. He told stories with descriptive language that invoked visual images that His followers could relate to and understand. With the use of references to vivid, visual images, He told stories with great eternal, universal themes.

Because videos need to tell stories, we can learn much from how our Lord Jesus Christ, the Gospel storytellers, and other Biblical storytellers told their great, enduring stories.

Tips for Great Visual Storytelling

Like the great stories of the Biblical storytellers, the stories in our church videos should convey eternally significant themes and lessons. Our video stories should be vivid visually with captivating action. Captivating, compelling videos need stories with a fascinating beginning; engaging middle with rising action, climax and falling action; as well as compelling, memorable endings.

Videographers can start with an outline of a good story for their church videos. They can even create storyboards. Often in documentary filming, videographers find unexpected stories with the characteristics of captivating, compelling elements of good stories as they film. Editors work with videographers to tell the strongest stories with all the elements of best stories as they edit.

Some technical tips for capturing good video stories are:

  • Use high-quality camera, and experienced camera operators
  • Background music can help engage the target audience and bring extra power to your church video
  • Prepare the on-camera people with natural make-up and clothing colors that enhance their skin
  • Focus on filming more action than words
  • Have an experienced video editor to put together the piece in its final form

Conclusion

Effective church videos should show heart and heart-felt ministries. Videos should tell stories of how God’s love and knowing Jesus Christ changes lives. Good videos should inspire, motivate, and compel viewers to also be involved in stories and ministries like what the videos reveal.

An effective church video tells a memorable, captivating and compelling story. It has a beginning, rising action, climax, and falling action. The beginning of the video and its story is particularly important. The attention of the audience must be captivated but then sustained in the rising action, crisis or climax, and turning point; leaving the viewers with a memorable, motivating impact.

Diane Howard

Author: Diane Howard

Dr. Diane Howard is a frontline journalist known for exclusive interviews with leading figures in artistic, redemptive media. She has been involved in decades of qualitative and quantitative research on the verifiable power of role models. She also serves as talent and as a dialogue, dialect, voice-over coach. A former Professor of Performance, Media, and Film Studies with a Ph.D. in Performance Studies (College of Communication, University of Texas, Austin), she has been involved in multiple aspects of artistic, redemptive communication media, regionally to internationally. She can be found online at dianehoward.com.