Equipping You to Communicate Effectively
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I've been trying to engage the youth in my church in developing a few concepts for a short evangelical video production and just haven't been able to hit the mark where they seemed inspired by what I thought might be inspiring, so I'm thinking of stepping back a little and making thing a little simpler to start out with. Instead of just plowing forward with what I thought might be my brilliant idea, I figured it might be time to seek a little input from those here who might have been through this before as well. Or even from those who just haven't had the chance yet.
So here goes. Any input is most welcome, and of course anyone is welcome to steal the idea if they can use it to bring more souls to Jesus.
I'll ask the broader congregation to write down what they pray for, and for an example of how their prayers have been answered in the past. For the first half I'd select the most interesting responses from them and just film their hands as they pray and get a voiceover of what they're praying for. For the second half I'd film their hands as they talk about how God has answered their prayers with the expectation that their body language would provide a dramatic counterpoint. Put a little soundtrack underneath, and that's it.
The whole thing would probably run about three minutes.
Any input, alternative ideas, or recriminations for bringing up something so stupid are entirely welcome. I'd rather a great idea help move the ministry I'm engaged with move ahead than anything I could call my idea get produced. We have such great abilities in our Church to make things happen, and I am just a hankerin' to put them to good use doing whatever the Lord calls us to do.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
To inspire the youth, you have to show interest in the things that interest them. If it's a secular music artist, you have to have some degree of familiarity with them and/or allow the youth to teach you about that artist. And it should be the type of dialogue that is fun and interactive.
Understandably we shouldn't exalt these secular idols and images, however, we can use this as a means to get their attention and get them engaged into subject matter at hand. Recently we had a youth meeting about relationships and the difference between constructive and destructive situations. If we simply said "A friend that helps you is good.. but a friend that hurts you is bad..." it wouldn't have inspired them as much as the discussion that was started about the famous singer who was all over the news after beating up his girlfriend.
It inspired them to pay attention because everyone had something that they wanted to say about it but it then opened the door for many of the youth to talk about the good and/or abusive relationships that they witnessed or were involved in themselves. And I am sure that if the idea came up to create a video about it, then there would have been many interested participants.
Likewise in your situation, you want to create a video about prayer and you want to encourage them to know that God answers prayers, then the way that you inspire them is to find a situation or circumstance in the pop culture where people could benefit from prayer. It could be a good event, bad event, or otherwise.. But anything that gets the youth talking will inspire them.
AVOID VIDEO THEFT! Convert over to Betamax!
Are those same youth the target audience for the video?
And when you say youth, are we talking about ages 6-18? 13-18? 6-12?
Just want to narrow it down some, because that will help define the approach.
If it is teens, we've done it two ways.
First, we've had a pre-planned video event and made sure they were "sold" on engaging in it. One example is a teen ministry project; the teen groups had to hit a certain goal. The teen pastor had promised to shave his head if they made the goal. As a result, they were highly motivated. We made a video piece out of the head-shaving event. That was a big hit in both adult and teen services.
Second, invite them to participate in a creative team. This is the tougher option, because 20 of them will say they will be there and 6 will show up. That's just the way it is with teens and their lives, isn't it? They're still learning about over-committing.
But if you get enough to actually show up, then you have a core to develop ideas. Make them work at it. Let them present their ideas. Then teach them to build the idea into a full-fledged production. Let them wrestle with how many people are needed, how many speaking parts, how many locations, how much time. Give them ownership.
Of course that means you get to shepherd them through that process. It won't be fast. So if you need concepts that are supposed to appear on screens in three weeks, you're just going to have to package it for them. They might not be thrilled with that - and that's your opportunity to say, "What WOULD thrill you?". Then you get to start that engaging process, fleshing out one of their ideas into something that delivers the desired message.
I always think in terms of longer timelines for in-house projects. We all have lives, families and (usually) full-time jobs. So in-house is just gonna take longer to get done right.
When folks want something on short notice, I encourage a visit to BlueFishTV.com or SermonSpice.com.
For in-house stuff, let's do it once and do it right. Especially with teens, who devour huge amounts of media, I have to deliver high levels of quality content. They've seen all the producing stunts, styles and tricks before, more than likely. Content they can relate directly too, that speaks to their lives and issues, is what will pull them in.
I seem to have had another typing fit here. Sorry for going on. Obviously time for my medication! ;~)