Video Storytelling


Video StoryTelling - A Whole New Way share the Love of god

At Synod Assembly in 2019 our Director for Evangelical Mission, Rev. Norma Malfatti, kicked off a new synod initiative and ministry: Video Storytelling. Similar to StoryCorps from NPR, this ministry is about telling the stories of our synod, creating more connections between congregations, ministries in our synod and the whole church. These stories could also inspire new ways of evangelism and outreach in your community. In these first videos you’ll hear about a food pantry, community dinner, the candidacy committee and from one of the synod staff! New videos will be published regularly, at first bi-weekly and then weekly as we gather more stories from around the synod.

Anyone, and we mean anyone, can be a video storyteller - all it takes is a smartphone/camera and a story to tell. The guidelines for submissions are:

  • Two minutes or less — marketing researchers tell us videos under two minutes get the most engagement. In fact, about a third of viewers stop watching videos after 30 seconds and two thirds after two minutes. So shorter is always better.

  • Tells the story of a congregational ministry, including it’s impact in the community OR tells the story of where you’ve met Jesus in your life or community.

How to submit your video:

  • E-mail it to Pr. Norma Malfatti our Director for Evangelical Mission

  • Upload it to YouTube and then share the link with Pr. Norma Malfatti

  • Use - the steps are fairly easy to follow and it’s free! You may need to compress, or zip, your file. A quick Google search can teach you how to do this

Some tips for first time videographers:

  • Use the rule of thirds - this quick guide of video storytelling from Atomic Learning is a great place to start learning

  • Use landscape orientation - this will fill the screen rather than have blurry side bars that fill out the space of a typical video screen. Often this just takes turning your phone sideways.

  • Its helpful to leave a few seconds at the beginning and end of your video to allow for some editing

  • Tell the story you want to tell — however your edited video turns out it will communicate something. The trick is to communicate what you set out to communicate. You'd like the response from your audience to be something other than what was that supposed to be? Effective storytelling takes practice — writing your script, thinking about the background and/or images you use and being intentional with your words — are intentional steps you may want to take as you get started. Don’t worry if your first video or two (or any of them) aren’t Oscar worthy, video storytelling is something that you learn and get better at. Besides, this isn’t about winning awards, its about sharing Jesus and telling the stories of what God is up to in your neighborhood.

  • Watch this video from Pr. Norma and Will Nunnally, the videographer of the ELCA and filmed by Bishop Macholz on his phone. This was our very first video we created — not perfect, certainly a few umms and ahhs but the more you practice the better you get!