November 2016
Tools for Evangelism

Your Church Needs a Welcome Video

Editor’s Note: Welcome videos can be an effective tool for evangelism – inviting people in and sharing the joy that a church brings to a community through a short video. Sounds expensive to produce? This article provides a low cost solution.

When you’re lost and you don’t know where to turn, where do you look? Maybe you’re searching for connection. How do you cope? If you need a powerful, but invisible force to come into your life with all of the answers, what do you seek out?

The Internet, right? Oh, did you think I was talking about God? Well, people are looking for divine mysteries online too. They turn to Google whether they’re searching for a place to drink coffee or a place to share Eucharist. Either way, the locations that communicate a clear identity build the largest following. We live in a time when people want to know about their destination before they make their visit.

So—can you describe your church’s character? More importantly, would someone who found your website say the same things? It’s a tough question.

You need a welcome video.

This is where the Episcopal Video Network (ECN) can help. The Episcopal Video Network Guide is a step-by-step walkthrough on writing, filming, and editing a church welcome video on a tight budget.

The Guide is the brainchild of two Episcopalians with backgrounds in film and technology. Christian Anderson and Trevor Black have worked behind the scenes in film and television production, and want to share their knowledge with the Church. Thanks to a grant from the Episcopal Evangelical Society, the duo was able to build The EVN Guide. Thanks to some daring Head Rectors, they were able to beta-test it in congregations in New York and Washington DC.

The EVN Guide is an online resource for Churches of all sizes and skill levels. Are you already tech-savvy? Use The Guide to fill in the gaps as you work. Are you intimidated by the idea of a welcome video? The Guide will hold your hand through every step. Readers will find detailed instructions for recruiting teams, identifying their Church’s “brand,” choosing equipment, script-writing, filming, and even editing and uploading. You’ll use worksheets, discussion questions, and thought-exercises to identify a message and create a video from the ground up.

Below, you can see two videos that were made using the EVN Guide. The first introduces Trinity Wall Street’s Summer Camp, and was shot entirely on an iPhone. The second uses a DSLR camera, and was directed by two middle school students who read the Guide.

Trinity Wall Street Summer Camp

Middle School Students

In addition to education, EVN is also working on building a community of church leaders who recognize the power of the Internet to help spread the Gospel. The site includes pages to share videos produced with EVN’s guidance, and its creators want to see what you’ve done with their resource. Click over to the “contact” page to suggest an edit, ask a question, or share your project!

The point is this: the community outside your church deserves to know about your good works, and a quality welcome video is within your reach.

Try This:

Click over to Pt. 3 of the Guide, and set up a mock episode of “Shark Tank.” How would you communicate what makes your Church great in only 90 seconds? Christian Anderson - Former actor, network host, and producer in Los Angeles that now finds himself in on the other coast serving as an assistant rector at St Mary’s Church in Stuart, Florida. Christian Anderson created the content of The Guide with a grant through the Episcopal Evangelism Society.

Trevor Black - Media junkie, film music creator, and minister, Trevor Black studied technology and music, and now uses his experience in applying The Guide to congregations and creating the EVN site itself.


Don't miss an issue of Vestry Papers! Sign up for your free subscription here.

This article is part of the November 2016 Vestry Papers issue on Tools for Evangelism