I’ve been inspired by Peter Bowden’s posts on the UU Growth Blog encouraging congregations to produce videos. “Not having video content in the 21st century is like not having a sign on your building,” Peter writes. “It is now standard operating procedure.”

In another post, Peter makes the point, “You don’t have to go crazy with a complex production. Instead, focus on capturing compelling stories.”

Peter has highlighted this video, from the First Unitarian Church of Providence, Rhode Island, as an example of how congregation’s ministers can introduce themselves to newcomers online:

I’m not a video expert, but I notice many things that as a viewer I find appealing about this video:

  • The video is only a minute-and-a-half long. (Because the length of a video is displayed clearly in the YouTube player, it is one of the things that a viewer sees before deciding whether or not to hit the play button).
  • James and Kathy start speaking immediately; there’s no lead-in.
  • James and Kathy speak clearly, slowly, and with expression. They exude friendliness and warmth.
  • They look at the camera.
  • The video is not shaky; the camera was on a tripod or some other stable surface.

And the video has all of these wonderful qualities without being a “complex production.” It’s filmed in one single, beautiful location. There’s no image slideshow, background music, or special effects.

Now, on to the  “complex production” options, for those congregations that have the resources and need. Below are a few more congregational videos that I enjoy, and that I hope will inspire you to find an approach to video that works for your congregation!

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Shelby Meyerhoff

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