Later today I have the privilege of helping two more people tell their stories of how they came to faith in Christ. On July 1st Church Requel will baptize at least 3 folks who want to publicly affirm their new Christian lives. Though it is not a requirement for baptism, I have found that many people like to record their video story to be shown to our congregation before their baptism. These baptism services are some of our most popular worship services at Church Requel. Here are 4 reasons why baptism video stories work so well for us.
- People love to hear the real stories of real people told in their own words. Pastors, you may be eloquent, but let's face it: our congregations hear from us all the time. There's something powerful about the authentic story coming from the story teller's own lips.
- People love to tell their own stories. The story people know best is their own. Give them the chance to tell their story and most of the time they will take you up on it.
- Video recording works well. Once people get over the presence of the cameras and microphones, they relax and just talk. The advantage to them is that they don't have to talk in front of a lot of people. And they always have the chance for a redo if they don't say want they want to the first time. The advantage to the pastor is the magic of editing - you can cut to the time frame you have available. And knowing the length of these video stories really helps when planning the service.
- Video stories fit well in the spirit of 21st century baptisms. The whole idea behind historic baptisms was to publicly affirm a person's decision to follow Christ. Showing a video interview puts words and pictures and story behind the baptism. After we show the video story, the person who told his story walks out to the baptismal in the front of our church. There is even more meaning attached to the baptism for those watching; they feel like they really know the person being baptized.
Here is one example of a baptism we had last year. Frank Rutkowski came to faith in Christ during a home visit I shared with him in January 2011. He told his story on video one week later and was baptized a week after that. Sadly Frank passed away six months later, but his story is preserved for his family and friends. Frank also gave me permission to share his story with anyone who could be helped by it before his death. Below are two videos. The first is Frank's video story. The second is his and Theresa 's baptism at Church Requel.