We host an event called Family Birthday Celebration where kids share their faith story and get baptized.
It can be challenging to help our kids create a great video. We’ve done this for many years and have learned a few things along the way. Here are the top tips in no particular order from our directors who work with kids and baptism videos.
Top Baptism Video Tips:
I come stocked with kid jokes from a joke book to get them to laugh during cutaway shots…
“How do you cut the sea in half? – With a SEA-saw!”
1. Set them up for success, and tell them what to talk through and practice at home with mom and/or dad beforehand! We give them a card with questions to think through and be ready to answer! Examples: Name, age, when they asked Jesus in their heart, and whom they were with? Why they want to get baptized? Is there anyone they want to thank?
2. When the arrive get them loosened up and comfortable with you first! Chit chat and talk to them about anything fun other than what they are about to do first! How was school today? Is your teacher nice? What’s your favorite thing at school? Or can you not wait to get out until summer? Etc.
3. Tell them they can mess up and start over as many times as they want until they say it like they want to! No pressure situation is key!
4. Keep parents out! Kids always seem to be more comfortable in telling their story when they don’t feel like everyone is watching in on them, and they have to remember it EXACTLY like they practiced. Also, in the end, it’s more fun for it to be a surprise for mom and dad on the special day!
Send home cards, and have kids practice at home before they come. After kids check in, have them go in a separate room with a staff member who is good with kids, and have them practice and get comfortable with you.
We let them say it about two times. When they get in front of the camera, they nail it for the most part. We had 10 great videos. It was a lot less work on Steve, the kids were not as nervous, and we had heard their story a couple times so we could help them even better.
Make sure you have steps in place – like a way to present the gospel, an interview to make sure children have made a decision to trust Christ, and that they can articulate that decision in a video.
PREPARE kids beforehand by giving them guidelines to follow as they put together what they want to say. Ask them to write out what they want to say and actually practice saying it so that when they come in, they’re confident in what they want to communicate.
As the kids enter the room, introduce the children to the person behind the camera and any other staff that are in the room. Make jokes about the size of the microphone or let them check out the camera and monitor (keeping time in mind) – and anything else you can do to put the kids at ease and make them feel comfortable in front of the camera.
Ask kids to bring in pictures of their family and small group to hold up as they tell their story and thank the people who’ve led them to Jesus.
Film B-Roll of the kids laughing, holding up pictures, walking in and out of the shot, etc so that you have lots of options when you edit the video. This will not only make the final product more fun to watch, it will also help with transitions and allow kids to say each part of their testimony one section at a time, rather than having to memorize something from beginning to end.
Make sure a staff member is in the room to listen as the kids are being filmed. Sometimes kids will get their words mixed up and say things that are incorrect or confusing. For instance, instead of saying “I want to be baptized to show everyone that I have Jesus in my heart”, they might get tripped up and say, “I want to be baptized because I want to accept Jesus in my heart.” If there is a trip up in their testimony, ask questions of the child to make sure they understand what they’ve communicated and how to clean it up to make it clear. Always remember that on the day of the service, you will have family and friends in the audience that do not have a relationship with Jesus, and you want the message of the gospel to be as clear as possible.
1. Take a few minutes to allow the kids to feel comfortable with YOU. Ask them fun personal questions about school, sports, etc.
2. Take some time to make them laugh – tell a good joke
3. Tell them there’s not a right or wrong thing to say – you just want to hear THEIR story.
4. Remind them they can do it as many times as they like to say everything they want to say
5. Allow them to say their story in segments – this way they don’t have to repeat everything
6. Praise them for doing such a GREAT job! Remind them EVERYONE is going to love to hear what they have to say.