Level Ground wins communications award

Videos prove to be a fresh approach to annual meeting

September 28, 2011 | God at work in the Church | Number 19
By Amy Dueckman | B.C. Correspondent
Dan Loewen, worship and creative arts pastor at Level Ground Mennonite Church, Abbotsford, B.C., contemplates new ways to incorporate multi-media into church ministries.

Annual church general business meetings are not usually occasions of inspiration or excitement, but one Mennonite Church B.C. congregation found a way to make it both—and won an award for it.



Level Ground Mennonite Church recently was named the small church runner-up for the Church Juice Communications Church of the Year, an initiative of a church communications company based in Illinois.



“We had found in the past that evening meetings had low attendance and could often drag on and on with report after report,” explains Dan Loewen, worship and arts pastor, who submitted the video idea to the company he found online. “We felt this didn’t really get people excited about our church and what we had done in the last year, so we came up with a way to make it more engaging.”



The solution: Replace most reports with video presentations on the various church ministries. The June annual general meeting was set up to flow smoothly, featuring regular video reports interspersed with worship, prayer and voting on necessary items. Additionally, the congregation decided to integrate the meeting with a Sunday morning worship service to boost attendance.



Last year, Level Ground tried another unique approach to its annual meeting, presenting the reports using a news program format.



This year, it wanted to try something different again, but still creative and engaging. Loewen attended such events as the seniors banquet and youth group meetings, interviewing people on camera to ask what they like about their church, then editing them into an interesting format. Additionally, the church compiled all the written reports into one intentionally designed electronic file.



Loewen, whose passion is multimedia, admits this year’s approach was more work, but feels it was worth it, “[The congregation] loved it!” he says. “People said, ‘We love the AGM,’ and, “I love my church.’ ”



“I think it’s finding what’s effective,” Loewen adds. “If you’re printing books, are people reading them? Just because we’ve always done that, does that make it effective? If people can check a video [online], they’re probably going to do that rather than read a bunch of reports at home.”



According to its website, “the Juicys are a way to recognize and reward those

churches who have worked to improve their church communications in some way during the last year, and includes giving them a grant to jump start their next project.”



Level Ground is to receive a $250 cash award for its efforts.

Dan Loewen, worship and creative arts pastor at Level Ground Mennonite Church, Abbotsford, B.C., contemplates new ways to incorporate multi-media into church ministries.

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