Hidden Lesson for Pastors: Consider Using Video

This Sunday, Cross Point Church may be protested by the infamous congregation of Westboro Baptist.

To prepare his flock for the coming wrath, Cross Point’s Senior Pastor, Pete Wilson, put out a short video this week:

Watching this, I thought: Why don’t priests do this every week? I’d love seeing a short video from my pastor every week to either remind me how to live the Gospel message, or to prepare me for the coming Sunday’s readings. Maybe even discuss something big happening in our community.

What do you think?



  1. I\’m totally with you. I\’ve been encouraging pastors for a while to buy a cheap FlipCAM, set it up in your office, and record two minutes of video each week. It doesn\’t have to be as professional as Pete Wilson\’s film. It can just be some off-the-cuff thoughts, a reflection on the week\’s Gospel, a review of a book you\’ve recently read, or an announcement about a big event at the parish.

    I\’m planning a post next week on this exact topic–will link back to you!

  2. I’m with you, Angela! Put fifteen minutes to an hour into getting the camera or just setting it up or figuring out when you’re going to do it, and Bam! New media lands in your parish. In the time it takes to have an off the cuff conversation in the hall of the parish office, you’re done. In fact, you’re probably done more quickly than that bulletin edit! (Side note: when are we going to shift away from bulletin-only communication?)

  3. I’ve sought to get as many pastors that I’ve worked with over the past two years doing video, but only one has with any consistency. The theme over and again is (a) implicit fear of the new medium (b) they have no experience with video and are bad at it (c) they have no place to offer them real professional support or training to excel with it (d) they’re busy, and ultimately don’t want to connect with their people in new ways.

    This sounds harsh, and it could be more a description of priests in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia than elsewhere for sure, but the takeaway seems to be that we need real new media training for priests as part of their ongoing formation.

    • All great points, Tom. Thanks for contributing.
      I’ve also seen those reasons in several priests I’ve spoken with about this. The first step towards progress, from what I’ve seen, is demonstrating the power and effectiveness of a particular medium – video in this case – so that the clergy member (or whomever) is convinced in that regard. Then, bring in a staff member or other volunteer who is more comfortable with the video camera and have that individual physically operate it. A *KEY* in every case is to speak the clergy member’s language – “reaching souls”, “answering questions” – get rid of the jargon and speak as accessibly as possible.

      Anyway, those are just some thoughts. 🙂

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