Warning: sacred cows will be sacrificed in this article. I’ll explain. Everyone has an opinion about what a missionary video should be. I’ve been through deputation as a MK, on staff at one of our great missions giving churches, and am now the media manager at the Mission Office. I have seen a lot of rough videos, and have my own opinion, but it doesn’t matter what we think. What matters is how the audience receives it.

The days of ten-minute missionary videos are over.  Your time is precious and limited. The attention span of Congregations have shortened and so has the time pastors are willing to give during a service to a missionary video. You must identify what is the most important elements of your video. Right now, four minutes seems to be the sweet spot for missionaries and pastors on how long a video should be, so use that time wisely. There is a huge message to share in four minutes.

For some, it may not be the time to talk about your personal testimony, your family, your call to missions, or your resume in ministry. Identify your audience and understand what elements of your story should be told during different opportunities throughout your time visiting a church. Some elements need to come from you live during events, a Sunday School Class, a small group meeting or any other opportunity to speak. You’ll get a chance to say different things instead of repeating your videos content over and over. A pastor may really want to know your ministry experience but that information may not always be as relevant to your average church member.

What do you want someone to walk away with if you only had four minutes? What is the overall purpose of your video? Hopefully, it is to impress on the viewers a burden and urgency to reach that nation with the Gospel.  In upcoming articles, I’ll walk you through how and what to video to help drive home your message. But for now, nail down the “why”.

Big Tip: Write down the most important thing you want to communicate, and from that, develop a script that has a three-act narrative with setup, conflict, and resolution.