Several months ago, the senior pastor of one of our church clients began to tell me how busy they had been. They had been ministering to people in the inner city; delivering truckloads of food to needy families; and staying deeply involved in a discipleship program that was deepening the faith of the congregation and winning people to Christ.
Then I asked him a simple question — “How much of this have you been sharing with the congregation?” How many stories have you told them? How many testimonies of changed lives have they heard?” So we began to create roll-ins that tell a different story every week about someone who was impacted by the work of the ministry. The impact on the congregation was incredible!
Kingdom work is all about people. Too often we get caught up in the details of what we are doing. We fail to realize that people care about people. For example, when you give your congregation an update on the building program, are you showing them footage of work crews, half-built walls, and building supplies — or are you showing them the impact their investment will have on the lives of people? Are you letting them know how your church is making a difference? If not, you are missing a powerful communication opportunity.
Creating a weekly video roll-in may seem more than you can handle. Well, there are some very simple and effective ways to tell a story …
One of the most effective presentations I’ve ever been part of was very simply done as a combination of video and live presentations in five 60-second segments. It was for an orphanage in Thailand that rescued orphaned young girls from a life of prostitution and gave them a home and education until they were 18. The story took five minutes and had the entire audience in tears.
- Segment 1 — a 60-second video showing the harsh reality of life in Thailand for children in the streets.
- Segment 2 — a 60-second live presentation of a few statistics about the problem.
- Segment 3 — a 60-second video of a black screen with a digital time in one corner. The audio track recounted two phone conversations: The first was about the need to rescue two little girls in spite of the fact they had no more room. The second call was the response to go get them.
- Segment 4 — a 60-second heartfelt live commentary by the two people on the phone.
- Segment 5 — a 60-second video of life at the orphanage and the joy on children’s faces — in stark contrast to the first video.
Now all of your stories may not be as dramatic as this. However, some basic principles can be used to tell your congregation’s stories quickly and effectively. Here are the steps:
- Tell the story of one person — most people cannot relate to global hunger, but they can relate to a hungry child.
- Visualize the problem — validate with a few (very few) statistics.
- Provide the solution — tell what you are doing about the problem.
- Visualize the impact of the solution — show the contrast.
As communicators in a media-centric world, we have the ability to tell a story in a unique and compelling way. By combining video footage, reenactments, and photos with a compelling script and music, you can touch people very deeply in their hearts. Once the congregation becomes more aware of all the great things God is doing through your church, don’t be surprised to see that giving will increase as well.
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