2 Reasons a Video Matters

“How can a video like THAT get a thousand views?!” My husband punched the next button on Youtube after growling out his protest. The video’s title indicated a subject about a trail. Little of the trail was actually shown. Most of the video was a selfie of someone talking, his face taking up the whole screen.

Lesson here? 

If you log into your own Youtube account, you’ll see the actual view time of one of your created videos. According to Cynthia Hoppe of Mobile Ministry Forum and other sources, videos need to be 2 minutes or less.

“This breaks my heart a bit, as I was in a classic literature program during my university days, and the Torrey Honor’s Institute gave me a strong respect and appreciation for dusty tomes of wisdom. I love literature. But with literature, in particular, there has been very little serious effort to translate Aristotle, Plato, Dostoyevsky, Spencer, Chesterton or Augustine into engaging popular level, 2-minutes-or-less videos. Which in turn, makes it very difficult for me to share compelling insights from those works with my peers.” 

According to Cynthia’s article from here, video is becoming more influential than text. Her article indicates that…

  • Videos mean 1200% more shares. Shares are viewed in marketing terms, but from a discipleship viewpoint, it’s great for building your own personal brand. Brand is a fancy term for, “the core of who you are.” More shares means fostering relationships and meaningful discussion.
  • Viewers, Hoppe says, retain 95% of the message compared to 10% in text.

Two minutes or less is not a lot of time, but if you follow Strunk and White’s Element of Style, whatever material you write, eliminate unnecessary words. Learn to to tell the visual story of your church, your faith, and help people come to know the hope you have within.

And this isn’t just positive talk or some New Age hype, but sharing the hope visually and meaningfully through video or photography with some words can be an effective way to share the Gospel.

The Bible Study Project

The Bible Study Project (from here) is going well. I am currently training two women to use technology to re-create the face-to-face Bible Study and build an online community that partners with the local church. How this usually works is,

  1. The interested person emails admin@cataclysmmissionsintl.com with a testimony, even a resume.
  2. The interested person schedules a time for a video chat. We proceed to discover what she or he wants to teach, learn about him or her, and talk about what video interface app he or she wishes to use. Normally, we go through Zoom.
  3. Another video interface is set up for training on the particular video app he or she wishes to use for the Bible Study.
  4. The first study is co-hosted with me as part of technology training. I help them navigate the technology. For every teacher, they are welcome to co-host on my Zoom subscription.
  5. After the first study, they are required to get their own Zoom or let me know what video app they will be using. Video must be used to be listed on this site. The whole goal is to get away from fragmented relationships by only using chat to building a face-to-face community.

After the person has begun their perpetual online video Bible Study, I still pop in once in a while to monitor their progress and give support where needed. The responsibility of the teacher is to,

  • Build their own email lists to continue connection with the leaders.
  • Add their signees to our Facebook group. The group allows all participants to engage each other and the teachers in questions, prayer, etc. This is where the leaders can remind them of upcoming studies.
  • Recordings are kept on the teacher’s own social media with occasionally using Cataclysm Missions own Youtube account when video editing becomes challenging (at least until I have trained them).

Currently, the two women I am training are doing weekly Bible Studies. This means I am attending two Bible Studies each week night. I work at a day job which blocks out 40-hours from my week, restricting when I can hold these Bible Studies. A third woman is rumored to be interested in this movement. I can’t train her until I am free from one of the Bible Studies. I can’t hold any day time studies until I am 100% funded.

The interest in this movement far outweighs my financial support. If you feel led to give $25, $35, or more per month in a tax deductible support, please click here. I would love your support in challenging Bible illiteracy and sharing the Gospel worldwide.


Book Discussion: “Craving Connection”

Join me here at 6 PM MST. We will discuss this book and end in prayer time.

You don’t have to have read the book prior to joining the book discussion. As someone with WorldVenture, it is exciting to find books that play a part in what I do with them. I haven’t finished the book yet, but chose to share my thoughts on it based on the first impression and chapter. Will you join me? I know there are many of you who crave connection, but have a hard time connecting, especially in church.


Telling Stories at Your Church

Churches and missionaries share something in common: Both depend upon donations to continue. Missionaries write support letters to report back what God is doing in the field to those who have invested in them. Churches and their ministries need to emulate this.

Gather the facts and interview the people affected by your ministry.

  • How did their lives change?
  • How did it change their thought process?
  • Change their names to protect their identity or use their real names.
  • Take pictures.

You can video this or write it. A video can be shared during service and posted on a website. Please make sure you get written permission or a media release from the person interviewed.

If you video, don’t do the dreaded white wall.

  • Choose a natural setting.
  • Don’t interview with questions. Give them a question ahead of time and tell them to tell you a story.
  • Switch action scenes with person talking to give variation. Do voice over for action scenes.
  • Use music softly in the background, if it doesn’t distract.

A missionary knows people will not give to their ministries without first knowing what is happening. The same goes for the church. If you manage a ministry at a church, see if your church will give your ministry a platform to tell the stories happening in your ministry. Your efforts will help your church grow, encourage generous stewardship, and inspire volunteerism.

What stops you from telling those stories?


When a Brother Strays

We all struggle with sin. If we treat the cross as an excuse to sin, Jesus’ sacrifice was pointless.

On that thought, I’d like to share a video from Solid Rock Christian Fellowship on what to do when a brother (or sister) strays.