Of the estimated 5,000+ multisite churches in North America only half of them deliver their sermons by way of video and the other half utilize live-in person teaching. Here are some helpful guidelines to keep in mind when speaking in a multisite church that utilizes video to deliver the sermon:
1. The most difficult thing is to remove all references to time of day, day of the week, and the weather. Avoid “tonight” or “Saturday.” Better to use words like “today” or “weekend”.
2. Position the camera where it is the easiest and most natural for the speaker to look into.
3. Look directly into the camera near the beginning and end of each message. This makes a video audience feel included.
4. When speaking, it’s very powerful to look directly into the camera periodically throughout the message; especially when addressing the off-site campuses and at drive-it-home moments, eyeball the camera.
5. Use camera lights in a way so that the speaker will know which camera is the live camera.
6. When praying or making applications, include references to the people in the off-site campuses. Once in a message is all that’s needed to make hundreds of people sitting in an auditorium miles away to feel included in their own church.
7. Avoid words like “satellite” and “main” campus. They connote in-equality.
8. References in the message to worship leaders or vocalists by name can be awkward or meaningless because they are different at the other campuses.
9. Avoid camera shots that remind viewers that they’re not there such as audience reactions, audience cut-away shots, or side-shots of the speaker.
10. Stay with continual close-up head shots (video needs to feel larger-than-life), minimizing the number of full-stage and full-body shots.
11. Make sure the backdrop behind the speaker is not a distraction.
12. Make sure the videocast includes anything the speaker references (“That’s her picture you’re now seeing on the screen”).
13. Be sure to give these guidelines to any guest speakers.
14. Smile a lot!
Remember as you prepare your messages to be mindful that you’re teaching a multisite flock that encompasses more than those in the room with you. They see you as their pastor and spiritual leader. They feel connected to you, they love you. They come because of the spiritual teaching they receive from you.
Preach the Word!
Got any additional guidelines to add to the list?