So real we feel we are there

The growing accessibility of television, local cable channels, Internet, and mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones, provides a host of opportunities for video-based Scripture engagement. Producing video can place a high demand on resources and skills, so it’s wise to start small by using video slideshows and template videos which can be made to take on an audio track in the local language.  Creating original videos requires more advanced skills and greater resources; however, this is also a way to provide programming that is focused on specific interests and concerns of the local ethnic community.  

  • Video slideshows are the easy audio-visual presentations to create.  They use a series of still pictures relating to a particular subject, and that has been saved to video for reproducibility. The change in pictures exercises the mind and refreshes the attention span. 

When using video effects, such as the Ken Burns effect to pan across still pictures, it is best not to overuse the effect.  Visual effects should be thoughtfully designed to enhance the viewing experience rather than distract from it.  The subtle use of effects is therefore preferable to dramatic effects. 

A lot of material is available for video slideshows, such as the “Read-N-Grow” Bible Story Video Template series which has 68 stories already scripted. Vernacular Media Services (VMS) also offers templates for Luke and Genesis. 

  • Scripture video templates have been professionally produced with the expectation that their standard voice tracks will be replaced by translations in other languages.  Examples would be GenesisLukeActs and Jesus and their derivatives.  

Scripture videos are especially useful for helping people to understand the culture of people that we read about in the Bible. For example, when watching the Acts video series for the first time, Mayan pastors were amazed to find out that Silas was a man!  Viewing even just short segments of Scripture videos can create a helpful platform for further conversation with friends or in small group discussions. 

Even in highly churched areas, many people have heard only bits and pieces of the Bible and have not understood how it all fits together. Two videos that help resolve this are God’s Story ---basically a video slideshow using scripture portions for the script--- and The Hope, which is a panorama of the Bible built around common themes which go from Genesis to Revelation.  A new version of The Hope is being produced that is designed for indigenous audiences.

Bible study guides have been developed for the Luke and Acts series, and Vernacular Media Services has developed a DVD menu which enables each segment to be accessed directly for viewing.

More information on video slide shows, scripture videos and more can be found at

“Deditos”:   Scripture engagement for the world’s children

Children are one the largest and most significant demographic segments in countries where there are many ethnic groups for whom Scripture access and engagement has been limited.  Unfortunately however, little media is available that has been designed specifically for children and for audio dubbing into other languages. The Deditos video series is one solution for this that is beginning to be translated into languages all over the world.  Deditos is a series of 15 Old Testament Bible Story videos targeting children between the ages of 4 and 14.

  • The content of each Deditos video is firmly based in Scripture. 
  • The entire series is crafted to be engaging, memorable, educational and to have spiritual impact. 
  • Deditos is accompanied by carefully prepared lessons that can be easily translated, and manual activities that can be inexpensively reproduced.
  • The series uses interactive songs from the videos.
  • The video has been specifically designed for children of any language in any part of the world.

For more information, visit: and

Click here to go on to “Making a Media Plan,” or first take a moment to tell us how you think video media might help to facilitate Scripture engagement in your ethnic community.

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