Cheap and Easy Video Ideas to Replicate

Video is an incredibly important tool to engage people online and a great way to tell stories. Videos are also easy to share, meaning your video could be shared much further than a simple text post could.

But you may think it’s hard to create good quality videos for your church, or that you need expensive equipment and editing skills. There are some simple ways, however, that you can incorporate video into your social media strategy.

Here are some ideas that need next to no editing at all:

  • Update people with what’s happening in the church over the next few weeks. It could be service themes, regular events such as messy church or special events like a quiz night or a party. All you need is someone from the leadership team who is enthusiastic and charismatic who can give people a quick rundown of what they can look forward to.
  • Set up a camera somewhere quiet and let people record their testimonies. Hearing stories of how people came to faith can be incredibly inspiring and can be shared on social media and in church services.
  • Film the best bits of a service or an event: an amazing musical performance, a baptism or a part of an inspiring sermon. These kinds of films don’t need to be long at all and can even be filmed on a mobile phone.
  • Try something more creative such as stop-motion or timelapse (see below videos for examples of these) You don’t even need a film camera for stop motion, a regular camera will do the job. Just take a photo every second or two and edit all the photos together to create an interesting effect. Here’s more information on creating stop motion. 

For the more advanced:

  • Create a welcome video which shows all that your church has to offer (a basic version of this can be done with just someone talking to the camera) Here’s a good example

Some things to think about when making your videos:

  • Keep the videos short, around 2-5 minutes
  • Make sure you check that everyone in the church is happy to be in any video you shoot. Make a simple announcement that you’re filming and if anyone doesn’t want to be in it to let you know so you can keep them out of shot
  • Don’t forget to check which licenses you need to use any music with your video
  • Try and write a storyboard or a plan of the shots you need and what it’ll look like, this will save you time when you come to filming and will keep the filming process focused and on track
  • Sometimes words aren’t needed, use the actions and emotions in a video to tell a story
  • Keep all the footage you take saved somewhere, it may come in handy for videos later on
  • Don’t take yourselves too seriously. If you haven’t seen this video from a church advertising for a new vicar, you should! 

Here are some other creative videos that you could try yourself – Or just be inspired!

Telling stories on pieces of cardboard

Using time lapse and illustrations on a whiteboard to explain the Bible

A stop motion announcements video

A short stop motion Christmas video

A Good Friday video (also includes an effect called tilt-shift)

Another time lapse video, an easy idea where you can get the whole church involved

A simple, beautifully shot, baptism video

A “Day in the Life” of one church in London

For other ideas – have a look at some of the videos The Church of England has pinned to their Pinterest account

Have you discovered any interesting and creative videos or just have ideas for one? Share them in the comments!

5 Ideas for Regular Features

Along with regular day to day posts, it’s good to have a regular feature: something you post on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Not only can it become something people look forward to and come back for, it shows a lot more planning and strategy for your account. It’s also something you can schedule in over the next few weeks or even months, leaving you more time for the day to day posts.

Here are some ideas for your church account:

1. A monthly video
Why not get your vicar or someone else from the leadership team talking about what’s to come in the services for the next four weeks? Keep it short and snappy and finish it with an invite to come and join in. It can be done in one shot using a phone or tablet and uploaded straight to Facebook. Not only is this a great way of reminding your congregation what’s to come, but it’s a friendly introduction to those visiting you for the first time.
If you’ve got someone with advanced editing skills, try filming bits during each service and putting it all together in a video that looks back over the last few weeks.

2. Weekly/Monthly quiz
Maybe it’s a cropped photo from around the parish that people have to guess where it’s from, or maybe it’s a missing word from the lyrics of a hymn. Give people something fun to do on your page.

3. Photos Galore
Images and photos always have more engagement on social media than text alone. There are a few ways you can take advantage of this: Why not post an an unusual photo of your church each week or photos of different church members? It’ll be less intimidating for the person coming to your church for the first time if they can recognise faces from your twitter account. It also makes your just appear a lot more open, honest and welcoming.
Alternatively, create a feature where church members send in photos from services, events giving them a turn to be in the limelight.

4. Fun Facts
People love a fact or a statistic on social media. It’s a bite-size piece of information which leaves them with a little bit more knowledge. Think about having a regular ‘did you know…’ section. It could be about the church building, about the staff team or how many cups and tea and coffee served at the last service. If you want to go one step further: turn the fact into a colourful graphic

5. Quotes/Verses
You may have spotted corporate accounts posting graphics featuring quotes from famous thinkers. These kinds of posts are really well received but why not make yours a little different? Use thought provoking quotes pulled from sermons, or comments people have made about your church. It’s also really easy to pull out verses from the Bible and add it to a nice background. You could find verses that match the service topics or go for broader topics. For those that don’t have someone with design skills, try a website such as Recitethis.com where it does all the hard work for you.

Quick tip: always post your regular feature on the same day of the week, that way people will know when to look for it. 

If you have any questions or have any other regular feature suggestions, let me know in the comments below