Welcome Videos

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Does your church website have a welcome video? I read this Church Juice blog entry and was intrigued by the idea. It seems that, if the video is well done, this could be a very effective tool for your church.

I did a search looking for examples of church welcome videos in addition to the two referenced in the Church Juice blog. I found quite a few that did not include the attributes that Jerod listed in his blog. In fact, I had a hard time finding any that did live up to that standard!

Take a couple minutes to watch the videos in the Church Juice blog. I think you’ll agree that they are excellent examples. Jerod, the blog’s author, lists what makes a good welcome video. I summarize the list below:

  • A virtual tour - The video shows the entrances and the physical layout of the church, using scenes as the narrator speaks.
  • Beliefs - The church’s beliefs are mentioned in the video, informally. It’s not a list of all the church’s doctrines, but the speaker talks about the people trying to serve God together, or something similar.
  • Answer basic questions - The video shows what people wear, what the experience will be for adults and children, and gives a good impression of what a the worship style is like.
  • Welcoming - As Jerod wrote, “Both of these videos are inviting in a non-pressure filled, casual way.”
  • Short - As I was looking for other welcome videos, I found myself stopping them after just a minute or so if they went any longer than that. When people are on your church website, they usually want to quickly gather information, not sit and watch a long movie.
  • Action - The videos are not just talking heads. They show people doing things, with a good variety of scenes from a typical Sunday morning, from walking into the door to socializing over coffee afterward.

You may be wondering, as I did, what it would cost to have a professional make a welcome video for your church website. I asked a friend who makes videos for businesses and also a video production company my employer is working with for a ballpark estimate. My friend said that he charges around $2500 for a video similar to the two examples on Church Juice. The company, Micro-Documentaries, said that they charge $4-9000. My friend asked this question, “Would your church think it was worth paying me $2500 to create an intro video for them? My hunch is they would consider that to be too much even though that's about 1/2 to 1/4 what it would cost to do it in corporate land on what one would consider a small budget.” (He also noted that production costs vary by location, and the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the highest.)

If using a professional service is not possible, there may be people in your church who could create a video, or you might be able to do it yourself (or even connect with someone here on The Network who could give you some tips). Computers come with some tools for video editing - Windows Movie Maker on PCs and iMovie on Macs - and there are many other tools available. With a decent amount of computer savvy, these tools do a good job of video editing. You would definitely want the video to be professional quality, though, as it will represent your church on the web.

Does your church website have a video? What do you think of it? What do you think of the idea of having one?

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