The end of 2015 is upon us, a great time to reflect on and celebrate all that God has done in our church over the last year and to cast vision for the next. And nothing says ‘celebration’ and ‘vision’ like passing out a paper report. Am I right?
Of course not! Paper ends up in the trash. But video ends up in our memory. And on our website. And on our Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram pages where we can watch it over and over again. And share it. So video is a no-brainer. But how do we make it great? Super simple.
And when I say ‘super simple’, not only am I saying that it is a simple answer, but that the answer is to keep it simple. After all, it’s Christmas. You’ve likely got some huge production going. You almost definitely have Christmas Eve services to produce. And shopping to do. And maybe gonna take a bunch of days off. So the last thing you need on your plate is another huge creative project. And reading a super long blog post isn’t exactly something you have time for either so let’s get right to it. Here are 5 tips to making a memorable, powerful and strategic end of the year video report.
- Use existing footage – this isn’t a time to reinvent the wheel. Hopefully throughout the year you and your team are capturing and cataloging video and pictures from all your big events, conferences, special services, etc… If you’ve been doing your job all year on that front, then all you have to do is pull it up, take the best stuff, and you should have more than enough content to create a short 2-3 minute montage.
- Use a template – to add some extra pop, find a simple video or After Effects template that you can use. Simply plug in your footage and instantly take it to another level. There are a million places to find these templates super cheap or even free. Just Google it.
- Use lots of numbers – stats can be super powerful. It’s how we measure success, and it quickly encapsulates a years worth of data into a single nugget. Conversions. Baptisms. New members. Guests. Mission trips. VBS. Camp. And when the numbers are vague, improvise. If the youth pastor tells you he’s not sure how many kids were at an event, but he knows the room and he knows it was over 100, then say ‘more than 100 kids….’ or ‘over 100 kids…’ or ‘100+ kids….’. As long as you’re in the ballpark and not grossly exaggerating, you’re fine.
- Don’t wait until the last minute – because you have to gather a lot of stats, and maybe pictures and extra video from different ministries, don’t wait until the last minute to get it all done. Everyone else is just as busy as you are and the later you wait and the closer to Christmas and New Years, the crazier and harder it will get. Make it easy on them and yourself and start early.
- Reinforce vision and mission – this is a prime opportunity to remind your people what your church is all about. Make sure and connect the dots for them that all these numbers represent the fruit of all the hard work, strategy, giving and sacrifice you’ve been doing. This is why we do what we do. When you gave this happened. When we changed our schedule or added a new program or hired a new staff member, this is what happened. And then build on that success to cast vision for next year. Last year was awesome. How much more awesome can next year be if we give more, serve more, pray more, etc….
- Show it when the most people are there – a powerful video like this doesn’t do any good if nobody sees it. So be strategic about when you show it publicly. No right or wrong time, just what works best for your church. Could be Christmas Eve. Or at a New Year’s Eve Watchnight service. Or how about this – what if you waited and showed it in January of the next year at your first big service? What a great way to kick off the new year with a bang.
- Post all over your social media – after the big public showing, put it all over your social media. Put it on your website, your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Your Youtube and Vimeo pages. Email a link to your entire congregation and everyone who has visited in the last year. In short, wear it out!
Check out this awesome example from Asbury UMC in Madison, AL.