Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has become the source for sharing video across a multitude of online platforms. Though it began mainly as a means of watching music clips, businesses have recently discovered it’s potential for reaching new customers. This usefulness also extends to religious ministries and social causes. Ministers and counselors can now reach a potential audience of millions world-wide to spread the word of God and provide comfort, guidance and inspiration.
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These are some of the most potent uses for YouTube with regard to ministerial outreach opportunities.
There are many uses for video clips. Pastors can create their own YouTube channel and post video of sermons, uplifting music, and instructional resource material. Videos are also great as an accompaniment to sermons, for classroom instruction, and they’re very effective to use for testimonials. They can be used by youth groups, Christian bands and animators to display their talents. Dramatizations of Biblical texts also help bring scripture to life.
If you’re making your own video to upload, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t preach, instead use powerful visuals to draw the audience in and get your message across
- Keep it simple, with one powerful message per video
- Infuse your message with a little humor
- Music is also a great way to engage the audience and deliver a message that’s memorable
- Keep it short; a well-planned video of 3 – 4 minutes can have more impact than a long video that rambles
Reaching Out to Young People:
YouTube is a great way to reach out, educate and minister to young believers. Video can teach important moral lessons and supplement Christian teachings in a way that truly engages young viewers and increases their understanding of their faith.
Mobile devices are an increasingly popular way for people to access the Internet. Currently there are 1.5 billion mobile phones sold each year, and it’s expected that by the year 2020 mobile devices will be the predominate means of connecting with people and accessing the Internet.
Mobile phones are helpful to Christian outreach in several ways. Mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets are highly portable, which makes them great to use for retreats. They’re also handy for downloading scripture and apps, for on-the-spot mini presentations, for immediate uploading of video and still photos and for street outreach and emergency interventions.
Print media that is available electronically via Internet for downloading to tablets, eBook readers and PCs is a great way to disseminate literature across a multitude of platforms. This capability, along with the use of other mobile devices, is good for ministries that are located in remote areas and for inspirational study during travel.
The Ed Young Jr YouTube channel is a good example of the use of this medium for ministry. YouTube is the second most searched database after Google, so finding anything from inspirational meditation clips to movies to music is as easy as typing and clicking. Television and real-world ministries are also reaching new audiences in record numbers. Even obscure and hard to find videos and old television series are now available, either as user uploads or through the many video distribution companies that have sprung up on the web.