Pastor Andrew Canavan in Corona, CA has been doing short, daily videos for his congregation for a few weeks. The videos are no frills, about 3-4 minutes, and covering a wide range of topics. Andrew just uses his smartphone, no lighting or mics and talks about good books, movies, music and hymns, church history and many other topics (see 2 examples below).
Andrew has gotten encouraging feedback from his congregation that enjoy the consistency of daily encouragement and direction from their pastor. He knows that others outside the congregation, mostly Christians, have benefitted as well. The response has already convinced Andrew that he will probably continue this in some form once things are back to normal.
Andrew and his wife work on all 5 of the daily videos at the start of the week. He says it takes him about 30-40 minutes to plan the content—most days have a theme. It takes another 45 minutes to shoot the videos, including multiple takes for a mistake or forgetting something or the emergence of kid noise! And then he uses Facebook Page Manager to upload and schedule them for the week. 5 daily videos in under 2 hours.
Andrew noted two things he’s learned from this experience so far. First, he says that it has made him more comfortable with technology and social media as outreach tools. Second, it has helped his preaching. These videos force him to speak extemporaneously for just a couple minutes. He notes, “It’s hard to be long-winded and boring when you limit yourself to 3 or 4 minutes.” On that point, he encourages others who may try this idea to not read a script. He says make a rough plan and then just start talking. It may take 3 or 4 takes but that’s fine. You will be more engaging to those watching and get more comfortable the more you do it.
There are a couple of things that caught our eye with Andrew’s videos. He’s natural and relatable, just seems like he’s talking to you. He brings his kids in and has fun with it. Second, his topics and recommendations reach a broad range of ideas and a broad cross section of people. He recommends short and accessible things for those who may be unfamiliar or new and some things for the “hardcore.” He talks about the hymnal and singing at home in family worship, and talks about good movies, acknowledging the fear that many Christian movies are “cheesy.” We appreciated how relatable and thoughtful he was in the videos we watched.
Here are a couple of examples of recent videos…..Note: Andrew is quick to point out that videos with his kids get far more views than when he is on his own!