Last week I shared 5 ways how video can enhance your youth ministry, but there’s one very important aspect I left that that warrants it’s own post: using highlight videos to build momentum at youth group.
Highlight videos are essentially a lot of short video clips, typically set to music, that summarize a special youth group trip or event. To see a couple examples, check out some recent videos from my own youth group this summer: jr high retreat, sr. high conference, and Wake ‘n Ski.
Highlight videos have tremendous potential to build momentum for your ministry if you leverage them in a couple key ways.
1. Show highlight videos in church services, online, and at youth group.
When people see the energy, excitement, and value of the youth ministry in a very tangible way on the screen, they tend to become excited and talk about what’s going on in the youth ministry. You’d be amazed how much support you can generate from the church body after showing them a couple highlight videos of your group in action.
2. It serves as a video scrapbook of memories together.
Sometimes I’ll put all the highlight videos from the year together on one DVD and give it away or even sell them to the teens for $5. The students love having the visual reminders of some of their fondest memories with each other, especially years later after they’ve graduated.
3. Upload the videos to Facebook and tag kids.
Perhaps the best way to use highlight videos is to add them to your youth group Facebook page and tag every kid in the video. Not only does this notify each teen that a video of them is online, but it also makes it more likely to be featured on Facebook’s home page news feed when their friends login. They see, “5 of your friends have been tagged in a video by Way Cool Youth Group.” Their friends watch the video and immediately form a positive image of your group. They see the faces, what you do together and think, “Hey, that’s something I’d like to be a part of.”
4. It helps disconnected kid want to connect.
Whether the disconnected kids see it on Facebook, in a church service, on your youth group website, or looping at the youth kiosk at church (as in our case), it somewhat makes them feel that they’re missing out on something great (because they are!). Just this past weekend a girl who is not involved in our group had no motivation to connect with us until she saw our Wake ‘n Ski video from earlier this summer. Now she can’t wait to plug in and attend our last Wake ‘n Ski for the summer this coming Sunday.
5. It’s great accountability to the church.
Especially if donors contributed funds to help make the event possible. They can see exactly how their money worked because, short of witnessing it first-hand, nothing can tell a story as well as a video can. I’ve found that after donors see the video of the trip or event they helped sponsor, they are much more likely to donate again in the future.
6. It reminds kids where they were spiritually.
Sometimes it’s appropriate to sit down with individual teens or even the whole group and record a debriefing time at the end of a missions trip or camp. A couple years later, show them the confessions they made on video and ask them, “Look at where you were in 9th grade. Now you’re a senior. How is your walk with God going since then?”
As my church continues to experience the power of sharing our community’s stories through video, we’re now doing some for our entire church body, as well, like this highlight video of our baptismal service two weeks ago. We showed it during the offering last Sunday as a way to extend the celebration of what God’s doing in the lives of people in our church body.
Posted on August 25, 2009