Whether you’re sending midweek announcements, sharing a testimony or introducing a new series on social media, video can be a powerful communication tool.

Videos increasingly drive social media engagement and content consumption. If leaders and pastors want to reach people where they are, they should consider how to wisely and efficiently steward resources to produce impactful videos.

N.C. Baptist churches may vary on the resources they have available to create and edit videos. Whether you record on a smartphone or have a complete studio, there are three key components to producing something that makes an impact: quality audio, quality video and content worth sharing.

Consider your church’s talent, time and financial resources allocated to video production. Based on what is available, here are steps you can take to best utilize what you have.

If you have a limited or no budget for video production, maximize free and low-cost tools.

  • Film with a smartphone. Most people in your church have a video camera in their pocket.
  • Capture quality audio by keeping the subject within 3-4 feet of the phone. Ask the subject to speak loudly without shouting. 
  • Film in a quiet location.
  • Capture quality video by utilizing available light to brighten your subject. Avoid bright lights behind the subject. Have them stand or sit across from windows, lamps and other light sources.
  • Use the “rule of thirds” to frame your subject according to what viewers are naturally drawn to.
  • Film horizontally unless you are shooting specifically for vertical social media content (Instagram stories, Facebook stories or Instagram reels).
  • Edit with free software like iMovie.

If you have some budget for video production, use available equipment and additional necessities.

  • Capture quality audio with hidden lavalier microphones or a boom mic. 
  • Always film in a quiet location. 
  • Capture quality video with digital cameras and tripods. DSLR cameras are relatively affordable and provide good aesthetics.
  • Shoot b-roll, which is supplemental footage that enhances a story. B-roll consists of close-up and wide shots that don’t include subjects speaking to each other or to the camera.
  • Use soft light for interviews. Keep light across from subjects, not behind them.

Edit with Adobe products such as Premiere. Nonprofit organizations are eligible for discounts.

No matter what tools you have on hand, stories on video should be focused and succinct. Know your audience — trim videos to 15-90 seconds for social media, but show longer videos during services and meetings. 

By identifying and making the most of what you already have, volunteers or staff can create videos that members will want to and can easily share. These stories encourage people to celebrate what God is doing among N.C. Baptists, pray for needs, and give or go to missions opportunities.

by N.C. Baptist Communications