To inspire participation in congregational life this holiday season and New Year, go beyond announcements! People need more help choosing to participate.
I recommend using video to show in people's live and to be their guide and mentor BEFORE they visit or choose to re-engage. Before. You need to show up for them first. FIRST. If you're waiting for people to show up in your congregation to minister to them, time for a critical strategy update!
Here's how you can use a simple video message and optional ad campaign to help newcomers and members alike choose connection, community and meaning this season.
I explain how in today's live stream:
Listen via audio podcast: The Peter Bowden Show
In this video I use the new ethical AI system I'm developing to generate some sample scripts. These are to get you thinking! You may access them using the link below.
Google Doc with Example Scripts and Outlines
Welcome! Back from AI Sabbatical
Hello friends, it's Peter Bowden. I'm glad to see you. I'm back from my artificial intelligence sabbatical, where I delved deep into ethical issues and technology. Now, I'm here to help you get ready for the holidays with specific outreach strategies you can use right now.
Video Strategy Training Announcement
I'm excited to announce the opening of enrollment for the new year cycle of my video strategy training. This program is designed to help you engage with newcomers, members, and your community using video effectively.
Video Dominates Engagement
The internet has shifted significantly towards video. If you're not using video, you're missing a crucial element of online engagement. Video helps in decision-making, showcases leadership online, and connects all the pieces of your digital strategy.
Holiday Outreach Strategies
As we approach the holidays, I recommend recording a simple video message to invite newcomers and existing members to your holiday services. This is not just about inviting them to an event, but encouraging them to think about participation beyond the holiday season.
The Heart of Your Video Message
Imagine using your webcam or smartphone to record a video. It doesn't need high production value; what matters is authenticity. As a leader, convey why it's important to gather for the holidays and beyond.
AI-Generated Script for Congregations
I'll also share an AI-generated script to help congregations develop tools and systems for using AI ethically. This script can be a starting point for creating engaging social media content to combat social isolation and model ethical AI systems.
Boosting Engagement Through Video
For the holidays, consider the impact of sharing a meaningful video invitation on your Facebook page. Boost it to reach not only your current audience but also those who've interacted with your page before. Use Facebook Ad Campaigns to expand your reach to a lookalike audience, bringing your message to a wider community.
Utilizing AI for Script Generation
This is where AI comes in handy. I've been working on customizing a system to generate scripts for congregational outreach. The aim is to use AI for good, to combat social isolation, and to advance the development of ethical AI systems. I'll be sharing more of this as we progress.
Preparing for Post-Holiday Engagement
It's crucial to plan for post-holiday engagement. Ensure your website and social media reflect upcoming events and opportunities for newcomers right after the New Year. This helps in retaining the interest of those who visit your holiday services.
Sample Script: Warm Holiday Invitation
Let’s take a look at a sample script. It's a warm holiday invitation by a minister, inviting the community to join in holiday celebrations and emphasizing the inclusivity of the congregation. Remember, it’s easier to edit an existing script than to start from scratch.
Importance of Clear Newcomer Instructions
We must be crystal clear about the best ways for newcomers to get involved. Whether it's a welcome table, newcomer gatherings, or small group programs, explicitly instructing newcomers on how to engage is key to successful integration into the community.
Refining the AI-Generated Script
I'm working on refining the AI-generated script to make it more precise and strategic. The goal is to clearly communicate the value and meaning of holiday gatherings and what your congregation offers in the new year.
Emphasizing Clear Communication
Communication needs to be clear and appealing. Videos allow you to express emotions and connect with your audience more effectively than written text alone. It's about helping people see the alignment between their life goals and what your congregation offers.
The Role of Video in Digital Ministry
In today’s digital world, leaders need to embrace video to connect with their audience effectively. Videos are essential for helping people decide to get involved with your congregation. It's not enough to just post worship services; you need to actively engage with your community online.
Embracing Digital Tools for Connection
Digital ministry is more than just online presence; it's about being an effective leader in the digital age. This includes showing up as passionate, helpful, and inspiring leaders in people's digital lives.
Conclusion and Future Plans
As we wrap up, I'd like to highlight the potential of AI in enhancing our congregational outreach. I'm working on ways to utilize AI with intention, purpose, and integrity. Keep an eye on the video description for a link to a Google document containing all this valuable content.
Sharing the Refined Script
In the shared Google document, you'll find refined scripts with effective messaging for holiday invitations. These scripts are designed to convey warmth and a sense of community, inviting people to not just attend holiday events but to also consider deeper engagement with your congregation.
Using Video to Be a Guide
Video plays a crucial role in today's digital ministry. It's a powerful tool for connecting with people and helping them decide to get involved in congregational life. We need to show up online as real, passionate human beings, actively inviting people into our community. By using these tools effectively, we can foster deep connections and community involvement.
Competing for Attention
Remember, our congregations are competing for attention with numerous online influencers and brands. It's crucial for our leaders to be present, engaging, and authentic online. This presence helps in reaching out to those seeking community and meaning.
Priming People for New Year Engagement
In your holiday communications, prioritize vision casting for the future beyond the holidays -- New Year engagement! For this to work, plan events and gatherings for after the New Year, making sure they are visible on your website and social media. This helps in maintaining the momentum and interest generated during the holidays.
We Have the Tools!
We have the tools to reach people online, to show up, to lead, coach, mentor and be of service. If you are a leader wanting to help your congregation thrive, I look forward to assisting you on this journey. Make sure you are subscribed to my email newsletter for congregations and consider enrolling in Video Message Academy for Congregations.
AI Process: After doing this live stream, I generate captions using Adobe Premiere. I then pasted the caption and time code from theSRT file into a new chat with my custom AI. I had it generate YouTube chapters and timecode which I then added to the YouTube video with a few title edits. That took 5 minutes instead of 30 minutes. Chapters help video engagement. I then had work on an easy to scan written version of highlights.
I'm about to re-open enrollment in Video Ministry Academy for Congregations, my comprehensive video ministry strategy training for clergy, staff, and volunteer leaders. If you aren't on my email list yet, you may sign up to be notified and receive all the details as soon as enrollment opens later this week. Visit https://www.videomessageacademy.com.
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