How churches can embrace video

For many centuries, church leaders have dealt with the harsh reality of having to take something as traditional as religion and to make it exciting to a modern audience. With so many distractions at hand, it's harder and harder every day to lure people in. It's something publishers and businesses grapple with daily, and it's also something top of mind for church leaders. Since we live in such a fast-moving and constantly-evolving world, it's crucial for pastors to innovate and master the latest technological gadget.

If you pay attention to what marketers, online and offline, are predicting for the future, they're squarely focused on video as a way to attract and keep audiences. People love to see and hear a good story, strategies that pastors have the advantage of already employing in their public sermons and private conversations. But video offers an audio.visual version to delight churchgoers. Here are three ways that video can be worked into regular church programming to help fill the pews:

History of the church

Start from the beginning by telling the story of how you got here. Open it up to include the history of your city and how people of the past flocked to religion. With the aid of a little stock video, you can fill in the gaps and give a larger worldview. The beauty of many churches stems from the hundreds of years they carry with them. In a video, these can provoke both attention and emotion, leaving the viewer with feelings of connection to both religion and its rich history. If your church puts together a short video as part of its marketing materials on the website and beyond, you can stand out as a church in the 21st century with a deep appreciation of what's come before.

Inside text

For a younger generation of patrons, who have grown up with video in all aspects of their lives, the use of video inside of sermons themselves can be refreshing. By incorporating different video accompaniment like clips sprinkled alongside the sermon, pastors will show they've taken a lesson from thought leaders who travel the world amazing audiences with their stage presence and presentation skills. Like with everything else, sermons are worth investigation and reinvention. Video can provide something to look at while churchgoers listen on intently.

Promotional video

In addition to working to better deliver the message at church, church marketers must consider how to best represent their congregations externally. Most advertisements, whether on television or in publications, are pretty unremarkable and not very memorable. If your church is the one in your area that embraces social media and digital marketing, you can really make a splash and get people excited even before they step foot inside. Your staff can treat it as a challenge to come up with a video that will honor the church while also offering viral possibilities. Get the word out.

Danny Groner is the manager of blogger partnerships and outreach for Shutterstock