Film in the Church

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

For many of us, growing up in a Baptist home or in a home where you were always in church, our church services have maintained a level of consistency. We know the order of service by heart and could quote the pastor’s jokes verbatim. Our churches have their ways of outreach that draw in lost people as well as current members of the church that have not been present in some time. When the lost people come to a service, many if not all are not aware of the order of a service. Their mindset is not on the order, but on the presentation of what they hear and see.

It can be difficult and hard, but also rewarding when a church works to draw their current members back in service that have not been in for quite some time. These members know how the service flows and understand there is an order in that church. The order of service may have come down through the generations of the church or may have come in the last few years as a new idea from the church leadership. The order of service is an important part of the church’s identity and some may see it as an unchangeable aspect while others like to change it often during the year to see what areas need growth.

When it comes to the order of service, churches will add in videos to watch. These videos will range from inviting others to holiday services, special events, recognitions and announcements. Video is one of the biggest art form used in churches with many benefits. It is a visual art form that takes away the live aspect of speaking. Video allows the speaker to communicate with themselves instead of public speaking in the church service.

Another art form that’s closely related to video is film. Film is on the rise in our culture. California and New York are no longer the only states that have a thriving film industry. We see film throughout our lives, from commercials, live streaming and Facetime. Churches can and should use film to their advantage. There are an abundance of resources to help your church. With many churches live streaming their services on television or Facebook Live, film can project your church into the future.

Having film as a resource in your church will help with more than just the services. With the widespread use of film, larger churches have a staff person designated for film in the church. For the churches that are not able to afford this person, having lay members who are knowledgeable in the area is a must for success. These members will have a strong pull on others in the film industry in your area in inviting them to your church.

There are numerous ways to incorporate film in the church. Churches can start by recording their services. The recordings of the service could be given to those who could not make it, but also the recordings are great for the senior pastor to watch for his sermons and for the worship pastor, choir and praise bands to watch and listen for sound quality. Whenever there is going to be baptisms in the service, recording the testimony of the person being baptized is a great way to use film. The congregation gets to listen to the baptized person speak about their moment of coming to salvation and the church can put a name to the face of the person being baptized. This would be a great trend to start for the services and incorporate it in other areas of the service. Another way to use film is recording testimonies to be used in the service, either at special times of the year or for each service.

If your church has lay members that are involved in the film industry, they would be a great tool in reaching others in the industry to come to your church. With their help, these members can work with the church staff on creating events for the film industry. One great way to start off is having a day or afternoon of local industry professionals teaching church members what they do in film. It would be like a seminar, with break-out classes, demonstrations and Q&A sessions. The church could draw in a younger crowd if there was an event that was catered to teenagers and college students who had aspirations of going into the industry. With the help and vision of the church staff, these students could learn the skills and use them in the services. It would be an excellent opportunity for a college student studying film to use their skills for God in the church on a regular basis, whether as a paid person or volunteer on a team.