Why Media Ministry Matters

A well-executed media ministry can help churches and ministries to connect with their community and spread the message of faith to a wider audience. Here are 5 things to consider before starting a media ministry.

Susanna Fleming

Digital giving apps and tools

“What has been the most important technological innovation of your lifetime?” 

I recently asked my father this question over a delicious dinner at a Chinese food restaurant. He thought for a moment and then responded: “I remember the 8-track being revolutionary.” 

Though I’ve never seen an 8-track myself, I listened as my dad recounted what it was like to hear music in his car for the first time. “I had just become a Christian in the Jesus movement,” he said. “I loved listening to worship music on that 8-track.”

Technology has increased exponentially since then. Years later, we listen to sermons, worship albums, and other inspirational Christian media on small, portable devices. A Bluetooth signal sends music to our earbuds like magic. And this innovation goes far beyond audio media. We’re also able to upload Christian content to YouTube in seconds and share it with people across the world. We’re able to send out email communication to thousands of people at once. And through a simple social media post, we can communicate the story of God to people who may never enter a church building.

This is nothing new, of course. The Church has been using various forms of media to preach the gospel for millennia, and media has also been a key part of Christian spiritual formation. Why? Because media makes the gospel accessible. 

Technology and the Church

Think about it. Long before we had YouTube live streams and TikTok preachers, there were radio broadcasts of sermons. Long before we published devotionals on the Bible App, the Bible was printed for the masses via a new form of technology: the printing press. And long, long before that, Paul wrote handwritten letters to churches that he transported via the Roman roads. 

Let’s talk about that for a second. Back in Jesus’ day, the Roman empire attempted to use their road systems to diffuse the Roman way of life into all of the world. 

Ultimately, this very road system was the means by which Paul’s New Testament letters were sent to countless churches throughout the Roman empire. This means that the same roads that Rome used to try to push their agenda on the world - to disciple people into becoming Romans - became the very means by which the gospel was sent out to the ends of the earth.

In the same way, the internet and social media are a complex system of roads that culture uses to tell its own story and push its own agenda forward. But if the Church takes advantage of this opportunity, this is yet another opportunity for the gospel to go viral.

The Value of Media Ministry

For those who feel concerned by the digital age, history suggests that Christianity has been consistently shaped by the changing landscape of emerging technologies and novel communication methods.

This, my friends, is why media ministry matters. Sure, we can turn our nose up at social media and avoid building an internet presence, but ultimately we are just ignoring communication tools — or modern roadways — that can help the gospel go out to the ends of the earth! We are also potentially missing out on an opportunity to edify the existing members of our congregations through Christian education and transformative, inspirational content. 

This does not mean that every church necessarily needs to spend all its time and energy investing in YouTube or Instagram. I firmly believe that different churches have different areas of missional influence, and church leadership is ultimately accountable to God — not the latest media trend — for how they steward their resources and attention. 

Even so, I do believe that new technological mediums can be incredibly valuable and worth our attention. And if you haven’t considered starting a media ministry at your church, this is a great time to begin thinking about it! 

How to Start a Media Ministry

If you are considering starting a media ministry at your church, here are a few steps to get started. 

Identify Your Goals:

Before starting a media ministry, you first need to identify your goals. What do you hope to achieve through your ministry? Who do you want to reach? Consider the demographics of the people your church feels called to serve. What is the average age of your congregation? Does extreme weather often cause people to miss the Sunday service? Do you have a heart for any particular demographic (Gen Z, people with refugee status, young professionals, etc.?) The answers to these questions will help you determine which kinds of media you should target.

Narrow Your Focus:

Now that you have a better idea of your audience, it’s time to start narrowing down your focus. While it might be tempting to try to cover every form of media, this is an easy way to get spread too thin. It’s best to focus on a few forms of media and do them well! 

If your church has a large youth group, you’ll definitely want to focus on YouTube “shorts” and Instagram/TikTok reels. If your congregation tends to miss church because of adverse weather patterns, it would be a good idea to focus on a live stream of your service. Do you have a heart for a demographic that doesn’t have access to newer technology? Print media can also be a powerful communication tool, and it is still under the umbrella of media ministry. 

Build a Team:

Once you know what types of media you want to focus on, now it’s time to build your team. Start by making an announcement at your church to see if there are any people who already know photography, videography, graphic design, or copywriting! You can also search through your church management software system to see if anyone has indicated an interest in these areas. If your budget permits, you may want to consider hiring a staff member to oversee the ministry. 

Get the Right Equipment:

Depending on the types of content you plan to create, you may need to invest in equipment. This might include cameras, lighting equipment, editing software, or microphones. You don’t necessarily need to purchase new equipment, however! Look for deals on used equipment, or consider renting gear until your ministry is established.

Host a Vision Night:

Finally, host a creative media night in which you cast vision for why media matters! This is my number one recommendation for anyone hoping to start a new ministry at their church. Doing so will help team members feel valued and excited about their role in the ministry and create synergy amongst team members for future creative projects. Once everyone is on board, it’s time to start creating.

In Conclusion 

As technology has advanced and media has taken on new forms, the Church has been afforded more and more communication tools to better reach the world with the good news of Jesus. Technology is a gift to the Church, and the various media platforms we have access to can be mediums for sharing the gospel and edifying believers. 

Speaking of technology, a church management system is a powerful form of technology that can help you manage your church’s operations and free up the time and resources you need to build a media ministry team! Learn more by checking out Breeze’s comprehensive ChMS here.

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