One of the most important parts of a ministry video is the script. A good script addresses the audience, anticipates their questions and invites them to take action. Depending on the type of video and its purpose, scripts will vary greatly. But in every case, we want to avoid religious jargon as much as possible. When we have to use unfamiliar words, we explain them.
Here is a video that I recently created to invite people to the parish RCIA. I created the video as a “whiteboard explainer video” using Explaindio software and then did the voice-over and production on VideoMotionPro. I used complete sentences to convey the message and call to action. I based the script on articles that appeared in the parish bulletin. Be sure your sound is on to view this video. The voice-over begins on the second screen.
In this, my newest welcome-to-our-parish video, I used short phrases, photos and graphics to convey the message and the call to action. I created and produced this video in Explaindio.
Writing the Script
Once I know the intended audience, the call to action, and all the pertinent details, I draft the script. I make the language conversational and as direct and clear as possible using an economy of words. Each script has:
- a beginning which draws the viewer in and leads him/her to continue watching,
- a middle which makes the case and
- an end which invites a response and provides whatever information the viewer needs to make it.
As I create the video, I edit the script so that the visuals and audio are all in sync.
As with written content, it is always important to proof the on-screen text and to get others to proof it as well.
These videos can be posted on websites and Facebook. They can be uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo and other video hosting sites.
Video production is work and it takes skill. We can start simply, but even to do that we need to spend the time to learn the basics and gather the necessary resources. We need to put in the effort.
To create videos that serve our audiences in upbeat, positive ways, there is a learning curve. We need software and visuals. We also need to be able to communicate positively and succinctly and know how to put all the parts together in a pleasing way. This is also ministry-we need to know pastoral practice. The good news is that if we do bring all of these elements together in an engaging video, our audiences will pay attention and respond positively.
From an evangelizing perspective, I encourage every parish to have a Welcome Video for their website. I also encourage parishes to create short invitation videos for Christmas, Ash Wednesday and Easter. These can be posted on their websites and Facebook and promoted in ads on Facebook to those in the local area. If you have resources to create videos for other events and times of the year, do it, but I believe these are the ones that most support our ministry. We are an evangelizing Church. Videos can help us reach out.
What do you think about using videos for ministry?