I’ve been involved in media ministry for over 15 years, and I’ve seen media ministry evolve from managing audio boards, to running PowerPoint slides, to running full scale video productions. Media ministries are now more important than ever. They help amplify the church’s message.
Your members and guests are over-saturated with media, and the multi-millions of messages that are being streamed over the various airwaves daily. There are more channels on cable than you can remember, and more websites than you can track. Nevertheless, many people are accustomed to attending churches that have sub-par media ministry.
Pastors who understand and leverage quality media will reach far beyond their walls.
I want to help make sure that your message, our message, HIS message gets across clearly. So here are ten things every media ministry should do:
1. Recruitment: I know from experience, media ministry has a high burn-out rate. This is because most volunteers have technical jobs during the week and come on the weekend to work with the media ministry. It’s up to the director with assistance from the pastor to help recruit people for the team.
2. Training: This goes without saying, but it is one of the hardest things to schedule. When you have a weekly service and rarely have an “off week” trainings must take place during service. I know some churches have two services and utilizes one for media training.
3. Fellowship: This is so important and one that I’m trying to improve on as a Media Director. Media ministry is a stressful job and sometimes the only time you get kudos is when things don’t go wrong. Fellowship says, “I want to get to know you, and I want to know you outside of the technical realm.” When a team plays and prays together, it stays together.
4. Promotional Videos: The church is full of ideas. Some of the best programs need to be promoted. Video is a great way to make that happen. They can be scripted videos, animated shorts or just slides with voice-over. Your congregation is used to seeing videos like this, so it will be normal for them.
5. Equipment Maintenance: This is really very important. We all know every piece of technical equipment has a sunrise and a sunset date. But if you take care of it well its lifespan can be longer.
6. Needs Assessment: I’m a firm believer that every two years cameras, laptops and technical equipment should be assessed. Especially those pieces of equipment that are used weekly like cameras and microphones. You should also take a yearly inventory of equipment and have some type of asset tag associated with it. That way you know who has what equipment and where it is.
7. Visiting Other Media Ministries: This is vital! I remember I took a small media team of three members to a megachurch to get a behind the scenes look at how they work. The funny thing is they were using the same software and much of the same equipment, but they had a larger audience. The key takeaway was to do quality work in your church and have equipment that can grow with the church.
8. Researching: A good media team always has someone on the team who has done the latest research on technical equipment. He or she may not be an expert, but they have seen reviews, read product sheets, or have been to conferences. Then, they are able to report back best practices and latest trends.
9. Mentoring: This is my passion! I enjoy mentoring young people who want to be involved in media ministry. Many people may find ways to make extra money by learning video editing, audio recording and more. You have to make a choice to be intentional.
10. Supporting Pastoral Leadership: This is important! The Senior Pastor has the 360 degree view and a compelling vision. Find out how the vision works with media and how it will include your department. I remember early in my media ministry career the vision was to just have a church website. Now every church has a web site, but it’s time to have a site and make it better.
It’s all about creating an experience for the congregation through media. It should enhance the service and not take away from it.
Chip Dizzard is the Media Director for the Community Praise Center Church in Alexandria, Virginia