The phrase “church media” is so ubiquitous, vague, and broad. There may be a lot that you don’t know, want to know, and don’t exactly understand about church media. Here are ten of the little-understood, seldom-thought-about, and perhaps important-to-know facts about church media. Consider your own church’s media use in light of these ten features.
Ten Things You May Not Know about Church Media
- Church media costs money, but doesn’t have to cost much. Sharefaith recently conducted a large-scale research project on local church’s use of media. During the survey, we discovered that the average church media budget is just $300. (That’s not much.) We also discovered that many churches are spending way too much on church media. Like the fact that the average church website costs $3,000. (That’s too much.) Churches are either budgeting too little or spending too much on church media. Or both. The good news is, church media doesn’t need to blow the budget. That’s why Sharefaith is priced at only $149/year. And, yes, that includes a church website.
- Church media can save money. Although church media costs money, it also saves a ton of it. Just one feature of church media, like projecting lyrics instead of using hymnbooks, can save a new church over $4,000. What can you do with an extra four grand in the church budget? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Church media has an astonishing number of money-saving benefits.
- Church media connects to the culture. No questions asked, we live in a media-saturated culture. If you don’t believe me, reach out and touch the screen in front of you. If our culture is media-drenched (and it is), the church has a role to play in connecting with our culture—reaching the culture and making disciples. Church media paves the way for this kind of disciple-making activity.
- Church media enhances clarity. Have you ever wished that your preaching could be more powerful, impacting, clear, or insightful? Besides the essential ingredients of prayer, Holy-Spirit dependence, thorough study, and the right tools, media can also help. A video illustration, a diagram, a picture…church media provides greater clarity.
- Church media improves attention. One of the reasons for media’s widespread appeal is the effect that it has in capturing attention Media, properly done, grabs the attention, making the message of the church more memorable. From announcement slides to Scripture on the screen, you can improve the memorability of your message by using church media.
- Church media is essential for effective church marketing. Despite the baggage associated with the term “church marketing,” there is a need for good church marketing—proclaiming the message of the church to those who need to hear it. The means to do this is church media. Ever heard of a church website? It’s that information source about your church that should come up when locals do a Google search for “[city name] church.” (Sorry, but people aren’t checking out churches in the Yellow Pages anymore.)
- Church media takes time, but not much. Graphic designers are great people, but not every church can employ a graphic designer to make stunning stuff for the church. That’s where a site like Sharefaith comes in. A small army of uber-talented graphic designers already spend their time designing jaw-dropping stuff so you don’t have to. Forget enrolling your church secretary in Photoshop classes. Just get a Sharefaith subscription. Do a little comparison. You can either spend six hours designing a new PowerPoint for pastor’s new preaching series, or you can take twenty minutes and drop his outline into an already-designed PowerPoint template. Is that a no-brainer or what?
- Church media has pitfalls. Keep in mind that for all its benefits, church media has pitfalls. It’s easy to depend on it, to invest too much time or money into it, to try to mimic the world’s use of it, to be distracted by it, etc. Use media prayerfully and carefully, recognizing that it does have pitfalls. But by all means, use it!
- Church media is compatible with relevance. Relevance (the right kind) is important. However, relevance isn’t about rocking better church media. No. Instead, properly using media to deliver the message maintains the inherent relevance of the Christian message to our culture. Media neither detracts from nor enhances the message. Rather, media is a tool—kind of like a speaker or an amplification system—for proclaiming the message.
- Church media can improve worship. Nothing can actually improve the essence of worship, but some things can improve what we do in worship. For example, projecting the lyrics on the screen can improve the congregational singing during worship. Printing a church bulletin can help to keep people informed about church events, or can enable them to follow a Scripture lesson. A church website can provide news, encouragement, and information about the church. What the church is—a worshipping community—is defined by what the church does. Media helps that happen.
Church media is a lot. It can even be pretty complicated. At its most fundamental level, however, church media is about glorifying God. Sharefaith is an organization rooted in the commitment to help the local church. The media we provide gives you the tools you need to proclaim your message—to glorify God better.