Leveraging YouTube to Tell The Story of Your Church Mission Outreach

YouTube and social media websites like Facebook and Twitter offer incredible opportunities for Christian mission outreach ministries to “tell their story” and share with communities both local and international about the work God is doing through their volunteers. For several years I’ve felt God is calling me to use my knowledge and skills with digital media technologies to further the gospel and support the ends of His church on earth… and tonight I had another long awaited opportunity to answer that call in a small way.

Upendo Kids International is a mission outreach non-profit based in Edmond, Oklahoma, which sends teams each summer to Kenya to show God’s love and kindness through a variety of activities. This evening, I had an opportunity to show the nineteen members of the June 2012 Upendo Kids mission team how to use the iPad application “Explain Everything” to briefly narrate five photos from their trip. All together, mission team members brought home thousands of digital photos. Until this evening, however, I don’t think any of them had recorded their voices alongside selected photos and published them as videos on YouTube. Here are the two narrated slideshows we created at the end of their meeting tonight.

Kids Touched by God in Kenya by Kelly Ewing (2.5 min)

Selfless Faith in Kenya by Carly Murray (3 min, 48 sec)

I challenged each of the mission team members present at the meeting tonight, who are mostly high school students, to create a narrated slideshow like these before school starts for them on August 19th. I told them “the devil would do a happy dance” if they stop talking about their mission trip experiences and the ways they saw God at work in Kenya after school starts in August. I dearly hope each one of them will accept my challenge and create a short narrated slideshow about their experiences in Kenya this summer, and publish it on YouTube. Some of the students and parents reported they were providing their trip sponsors / supporters with CDs including hundreds of photos from their trip. I really think a two or three minute narrated slideshow with five key photos from the mission trip would be worth MUCH more to a person or family who donated to make their trip possible.

People say “pictures are worth a thousand words,” but I agree with Margaret Nan Harkey who created the video for Celebrate Oklahoma Voices, “What’s Your Story? The Importance of Telling the Stories of Your Photos.” Photographs can become MUCH more meaningful and powerful when we put our words with them.

Find more videos like this on Celebrate Oklahoma Voices!

I applaud both Kelly and Carly for their courage in sharing part of their stories and experiences in Kenya this year. To check out more Kenya Mission Trip stories from June 2012 and Upendo Kids International, subscribe to UpendoKids on YouTube.

If you’re interested in leveraging the power of YouTube and digital storytelling to “tell the story” of your non-profit, I encourage you to attend an upcoming “iPad Media Camp” workshop on creating narrated slideshows. I’ll be offering this workshop again in Oklahoma City on August 31, 2012, and again on December 18th. Please check the registration page on iPadMediaCamp.com for other dates and registration links.

Also, be sure to check out the YouTube Nonprofit Program and also read the PDF, “Playbook Guide: YouTube for Good.” The price is right: YouTube video hosting is FREE. To create videos like Kelly and Carly’s, you’ll just need an iPad with the app “Explain Everything” along with photos and your voice!

Cooks Night Out in Edmond, Oklahoma

Cooks Night Out is an outreach ministry of churches in Edmond, Oklahoma. In this interview from August 28, 2011′ Sarah Montgomery explains the regular dinner is somewhere between a soup kitchen and a church potluck. It is for needy families in the Edmond community, but also for anyone seeking fellowship and a shared meal together.


First Presbyterian Church of Edmond is one congregation which supports Cooks Night Out, and anyone is welcome to join in the work and service!


Sent from my iPad

Phil Tappert sharing about University Fellowship in Montpellier, France

Phil Tappert is a Christian missionary serving college students with his family in Montpellier, France. This morning he addressed our Friday men’s group and shared for about twenty minutes. Phil is a good storyteller and mainly related excerpts from testimonies college students wrote at the end of the year about the impact of the ministry on their lives. Phil, his wife and son (who will actually start school at Hardin Simmons in Abilene, Texas, this September) use their home for worship services, meals, and times of fellowship with students. They distribute 10,000 invitational flyers to students at the university in Montpellier which has over 80,000 students. Phil gave me permission to share this no-edit audio recording of his message today, which I recorded on my iPhone using Cinch. Phil’s presentation actually begins 1 min and 28 seconds into this recording.

Phil used a slide projector and the fan noise is a bit distracting in this recording, but Phil projected his voice well and you can still hear him.

It's old school today, baby! Remember slide projectors? ... on Twitpic

Missionaries in Nicaragua

A week ago when I was in Lubbock, Texas, I learned about the Rogers family from Westminster Presbyterian Church. They are serving as a missionary family in Nicaragua, and maintain the website www.hopefornica.com to document their work there. The following are some photos on a bulletin board at WPC about their family and mission work.





One of the church elders told me that Keith Rogers is an entrepreneur who has successfully started several businesses, but felt called to go to Nicaragua as a missionary with his family. The amount of faith it took for the Rogers family to go “out on a limb” like this and serve God in another country is just incredible. I encourage you to check out their website as well as Teethsavers International, Inc., which is the dental mission the Rogers are working to support in Nicaragua.

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Solar Under the Sun Ministries

On December 17, 2010, a representative of “Solar Under the Sun” ministry spoke with our men’s group in Edmond, Oklahoma. I obtained permission to record and share the six minute presentation.

This is the description I used for the video on YouTube:

This presentation was shared on December 17, 2010, at the men’s group meeting at First Presbyterian Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. Solar Under the Sun is a ministry outreach program of the Synod of the Sun, bringing solar energy as well as clean water to developing nations through a variety of partnerships. Training programs are available too. Learn more on http://www.solarunderthesun.org/

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Upendo Kids International: Sharing Christ’s Love in Kenya

On December 16, 2010, our family attended a mission dinner to support Upendo Kids International at our church in Edmond, Oklahoma. UKI is an outreach ministry to Kenya led by Eunice and Robert Menja.

Kenya Mission Dinner

This 5 min, 41 second video was a part of a presentation by Eunice Menja, founder of Upendo Kids International (UKI,) during our program that evening. Eunice told about the summer 2010 mission trip to Kenya and the work of UKI in bringing educational materials and the love of Christ to children in Kenya.

Learn more on the UKI website: http://upendokidsinternational.org

Kenya Mission Dinner

Kenya Mission Dinner

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