When a parish is ready to start incorporating video footage into their homepage, it seems like their first instinct is to record the Sunday homily, post it to YouTube, and embed the video on their site. Personally I’m not a huge fan of this, I’d rather see videos that urge viewers to come to Mass—to be a part of the faith community that is listening to the homily.
Here are a few other ways to incorporate video:
- Many websites have a written “Welcome Message” from their priest or deacon, but something I would love to see on every parish website is a video form of this. Not only can the priest explain the culture of the community and their mission, the video shows the extra effort to introduce the parish and its members so visitors will come celebrate with them.
- A lot of Archdioceses have jumped on the video bandwagon as well. If you don’t have the time to create a video right now, check your Archdiocese’s website to see what videos they have already made, and embed them within your site accordingly. For example, if they have produced an annual Stewardship Appeal video, you could place that on your Stewardship or Online Giving page.
- Video testimonials can be extremely powerful. Record parishioners talking about your faith community, how it’s affected their family life and strengthened their relationship with God.
- Get creative! Hold a contest for your parishioners or school children to create a video introducing your parish, where the winning video will appear on the website.
- Finally, just a reminder to keep it short and sweet. 1-3 minutes is ideal.
A great example of a parish video is below. Not only does it show images of the community, include testimonials and a message from the priest, but invites the viewer to, “Come, Join Us.”
I think the key word here is inviting. There’s a lot of hype right now about the need for the Catholic Church to be “more engaging,” but we can’t engage our parishioners until they meet us at Mass! Your website can be a great tool to let them know they have an open invitation.