Its no great secret, but the power of story is massive and in youth ministry and getting students to articulate their experiences and testimony is key. For years we’ve done our best to share students stories, but its been something we have nearly always done live. When students stand in front of one another and testify to the impact that Jesus has had in their life I get chills but it often ends there. We don’t record our services as of yet, and after that night many of the finite but important details of a students story or experience are lost or forgotten
It is for this reason that as the end of last year we made a conscious switch to doing all story via video. The motivations for this move were 5-fold:
1 – When the video is posted online, it can be shared or watched again by students who were impacted by it.
2 – Students tend to rehearse a bit more and have come more prepared for filming because we don’t allow them to read off a sheet of paper. Because they are prepared they also tend to be more concise and clear.
3 – It allows our creative type people to use their skills and passions to serve in the production and editing process.
4 – We are able to share some stories without using any words.
5 – Students connect well to media (no surprise there)
The benefits have been huge already and the reaction so far to our “Journey Stories” have been very positive with leaders providing names of students whose testimony we need to hear. Students are drawn to media, so leveraging that into a vehicle to share the Gospel is a must do and something that there is great potential in for those that aren’t doing it already. My disclaimer is that it does take a lot more work. I like many of you am a bit of a Youth Ministry generalist, and wear a lot of different hats week in and week out so adding filming and editing video to my job description has been challenging, but the time invested is still more than worth it to me. I will be the first to admit that there are nights when a students testimony is more applicable, and communicates more effectively the life changing power of Christ than any sermon I could preach.
So with that, here is out latest project which is an overview of our trip to Uganda this summer. The goal was to tell the story of our missions trip in a way that could be shared over social media. The response from our students has been overwhelming and the next missions trip might fill up very fast now and I am thrilled that, that could be a reality.