By Josh King
FOMO is a term made popular by millennials like myself, because it’s fun to say and easier to hashtag on Instagram. But #FOMO isn’t something millennials invented. It certainly doesn’t belong to us. In fact it’s a feeling familiar to every generation, because it’s hardwired deep in the human heart.
“Fear of Missing Out”. If there’s something exciting happening, we want to be part of it.
Every human being wants to belong: in a relationship, in a community, in a story bigger than ourselves. That’s a God-given longing that points back to God Himself. After all, He is the ultimate relationship, the ultimate community, and ultimately the bigger Story.
We find all three in the Church. That’s the point right? To point ourselves and others to the Source of our longing and purpose in life, the Source of life itself…Jesus.
I’m not sure how COVID-19 has impacted your church’s attendance, but I know it has affected it, and probably in a big way.
Many churches, including my own, introduced online services because of COVID-19. Maybe your church was ahead of the curve, or maybe yours is still in the process. Whether you’re live streaming or pre-recording services, whether you’re using Facebook, YouTube, Church Online or any other platform…video has probably become a much bigger part of your ministry than you anticipated before the pandemic.
But can I be honest? It’s not the same—and it’s not supposed to be.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about in-person services being “more spiritual” than online video services. Video has been an incredible gift to the global Church that allows more people than ever before to connect to the message of Jesus Christ and the people of Jesus Christ. That is something to celebrate, not denigrate.
However your church may be using online services, I think we can all agree it feels different than being in-person. There’s an intangible value to worshipping in the same space with fellow believers.
Video is the most powerful media when it comes to conveying emotion and creating human connection. Boy oh boy, has that been critical this past year! As a video professional, I tell people video is the next best thing to being in the same room with someone. That’s just it, it’s the “next best”, it’s not the same thing.
We need each other, Church. We need to be together. We long to be together.
And I think there’s a way to use video to tap into that longing, and when the time is right, to draw us back together—the in-person kind of together.
Not everyone is there yet.. There are still many in our congregations who would love to attend in-person but can’t.
As we move toward the light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel, I want to encourage you (and your congregation) not to view your online services as a replacement for in-person services. Don’t view your live or pre-recorded video simply as a means to keep those who can’t come connected.
Instead, treat your video as a bridge.
Bridges connect people that would otherwise be separated. They also give us a way back.
Back to worship services.
Back to Bible studies.
Back to small groups.
Back to outreach opportunities.
The right video content can stoke a healthy case of FOMO. Instead of just capturing video of your services, think of other ways to leverage simple video content to show people, tell stories, and invite people to belong.
You don’t need fancy cameras, complicated editing or the right “face” for video. If you have a phone that can shoot video and a social media account, your church can be using video in creative and effective ways to bridge the gap between not only your in-person and online attenders, but also between your church and your community.
Your church may be in a place where in-person isn’t yet possible. Use video as a bridge to stay connected. And when the time comes, use it as a way to draw your people back.
Show them the people and places they’re missing. Give them an appropriate case of FOMO.
If you’re looking for ideas of how to use video for your church, I created a free guide with 52 ideas—one for every week of the year. Head to my website to download it.