Every weekend, Saddleback Church shows a short video of what’s coming up in the life of our church. We call this part in our services Church News. It’s a two and a half minute creative way to connect with all those visual learners out there and inform them of events, outreaches, and resources. Our video team has a huge heart for crafting a Church News piece that is engaging, relevant, and creative. We want it to reach the person who’s never been to church before and help them feel welcome, accepted, in-the-know and engaged – and every decision we make is with that in mind.
I don’t know about your church, but Saddleback Church is always changing. It’s exciting to work in such a fast-pace environment, but it can also be challenging. From the time our Marketing and Communications team gets the announcement content to us, we have one week to turn around our video. That’s 5 days to dream, write, cast, shoot, and edit (in addition to our other weekly responsibilities). Because of this, Church News is a HUGE team effort that would not be possible without the different strengths and imagination of our team, hosts, and volunteers.
The heartbeat of our Church News is to uphold Saddleback Church culture by being continually mindful of the following values.
Inclusivity - Because Church News is written with the first-time guest in mind, we’re very careful to never assume anything – never assume that the audience knows anything about our church, our website, or even the Bible. We do our best to explain the heart behind everything – every ministry, every event that we talk about, and we never use “churchy” language. This may lead to longer announcements, but we’ll take that over a newcomer leaving confused, or feeling on the outside looking in any day. We also only include things that are church-wide, instead of campus specific, to help reinforce the fact that we’re one church family in many locations.
Fun - This is an area in which we’re constantly challenging ourselves to grow. It’s sometimes difficult to approach something you’re doing every week with fresh eyes and new ideas! But we never want to stop trying. We want our announcements to be fun and to foster the relaxed “come-as-you-are” atmosphere Saddleback is known for. We want to showcase different personalities and backgrounds so that everyone feels comfortable and wants to come back and bring their friends. Humor is a great means for connection and one we try to leverage as often as possible. In order to achieve this, we’ve created a safe environment to try new things. Our team, hosts, and volunteers need to know that it’s okay if they try something new and fail, or if their joke doesn’t land. It’s often through the hiccups that we grow to success.
Heart - More than anything we want our audience to know that we get it. We know life is hard and we want to make sure they know our church cares too. That’s why Saddleback Church is known for things like HIV/AIDS support, Celebrate Recovery and Mental Health. This is a place of second, third, fourth, and even five hundredth chances. This is a place where people can be honest about the ugliness in their hearts and still find love and community. We want nothing more than for everyone who has yet to meet Jesus, to know Him and be saved. That’s the number one driving force behind everything we do. We don’t have space to give all the details in church news, but if the audience leaves with the heart of what and why we’re doing what we’re doing, we’ve accomplished our goal.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hope SchoenChurch News Producer and Reporter
Hope serves as the Church News Producer and Reporter here at Saddleback Church - which is a fancy way of saying she gets to serve alongside her awesome team members and help make videos. She has a huge passion for people and the power of film, literature, and music to shape and transform culture. She considers it a great blessing to be a part of the video team here at Saddleback and what God's doing around the world at every given moment.