Forbes reports that in 2019, 80% of people are using the internet to watch videos. The saturation of visual media on the web today is evidence of a cultural reality: people gravitate towards videos. Churches seeking to reach out to their community through their website should recognize this cultural reality, too. One effective way to catch the attention of web visitors is to include a welcome video on the homepage of your church website. A welcome video helps your audience engage with what you’re communicating and it makes them interested in learning more. It’s also easier and less intimidating to watch a video than to read a long section of text.

What should your church welcome video include? Which platform is best to use? Let’s talk about that!

Elements to Include

Here is an example of a winning church welcome video:

Click to see the video from Pastor Crotts of First ARP church in Burlington, NC

What do you notice? What does this winning welcome video include?

For one, it lays out the vision of the congregation. It features the pastor of the church communicating what the church believes and stands for. People visiting your website are most likely looking for a church to call home, or to visit while they are in town. They want to know the core values and vision that drives your church. A welcome video that doesn’t address these elements is undoubtedly missing something.

Furthermore, you have the opportunity to share your church’s core message through this video. This church from Kalamazoo did a tremendous job articulating the Gospel message in their welcome video:

 

Winning church welcome videos also feature video footage of the congregation “in action”. This is important for a couple reasons. It helps give visitors an idea of the atmosphere and what demographics to expect from the congregation. On a practical note, the footage helps to break up the interviews with pastors and other church leaders, leading to a much more dynamic and engaging experience for the web visitor. Calvary Glenside OPC has done a fantastic job of that in their welcome video:

 

What’s the ideal length for a church welcome video? That really depends on what all you want to include, but usually three or four minutes is an optimal length. Any shorter and you won’t have room for all the things you want to communicate. Any longer and your web visitors will start to lose interest. According to recent statistics, 5% of people will stop watching a video after one minute. On the other hand, 65% of people usually watch at least three quarters of a video.

 

Which video platform should I use?

YouTube and Vimeo are the two most prominent video platforms on the web. Which one should you use to host your welcome video? There are a fair number of considerations that will contribute to that decision.

For one, are you willing to pay so your web visitors can enjoy an ad-free video experience? One big difference between YouTube and Vimeo is how they make money. YouTube makes money off of advertisements, while Vimeo is ad-free but requires a subscription fee for people to publish on their platform.

There are also differences in upload capability, audience size and privacy settings.

Vimeo is sometimes viewed as more “professional” because it does not include ads. However, YouTube is a cheaper option and often works just as well if you don’t mind occasional advertisements on your videos.

For an example of a church welcome video published on YouTube, pay attention to Grace Fellowship OPC:

Professional videographer or volunteer amateur?

Another question worth considering is whether you will hire a professional videographer to shoot, edit and produce the video. This is obviously more of an investment than simply recruiting some church members to make the video but it might be worth it in the long-term. Remember, this video will probably be responsible for many web visitors’ first impressions of your church. It should be engaging, well-shot, and well-edited.

Win at welcoming.

Your church exists to glorify God by welcoming newcomers and equipping the saints for the work of ministry. Creating an engaging welcome video is a great place to start doing just that. Five More Talents is passionate about helping churches accomplish more through their website. We’re excited about the number of churches who are already optimizing their welcome for the times we live in. We want to continue to help congregations make the most of their resources by providing them with functional, affordable websites, and equipping them with ongoing support and hosting service.