Where Do You Get Your Videos? Part 6: Editing Video

This post is the sixth in a series in which I try to answer the question I’m asked most frequently when I preach, other than questions about the actual content, of course:

Where do you get your videos?

Part 3, was an interview with Brad Huddleston, an international expert on the use of technology in ministry.

Part 4, began the discussion of some of the technical and mechanical issues of downloading and editing video, which continued in Part 5.

In Part 6, you’ll get information on video editing software.


The basic process consists of:

  • Deciding what video to use
  • Getting that raw video content onto your hard drive
  • Preparing that video for use in your presentation software by using a video editing application

Early on as I was learning, I realized that the most important investment of my time would be to learn how to edit video. That turned out to be true. Since I use a Mac, the software I use is Final Cut Pro. There is also a kind of entry-level version called Final Cut Express. Finally, for the Mac, there is even a more user-friendly application called iMovie, which won’t do as much as the more advanced applications, but is a wonderful place to start.

If you use a PC rather than a Mac, Sony Vegas Movie Studio comes highly-recommended. You might also choose Adobe Premiere.

As mentioned, I knew I couldn’t grow in my use of video in my teaching unless I got comfortable with editing software. So I purchased a “Dummies” book, browsed YouTube tutorials, and then just started playing around. At first, what I could do with a clip was limited, but I eventually learned to edit clips, add effects, remove bad language, mix different video, etc. In short, you don’t need to become a professional video editor to use and manipulate video effectively for your teaching.

Once you have video content on your hard drive, you will import that video content into the video editor, use the video editor to improve the clip for your use, and then export the clip so that you can use it in your presentation software, whether that’s PowerPoint, Keynote, ProPresenter, Prezi, etc.

And that’s one reason to use a video editor even if you are not planning actually to edit the clip. Taking a clip through a video editor and then exporting it so you can use it in your presentation gives you the opportunity to make sure the file format is correct for your presentation.

Yes, this all will take some time, trial and error. But I have found the investment to be more than worth it because of the power it will give  you to select, control and use video content in support of your message. I had one pastor write to say that he enrolled in a Final Cut Pro course based on this series and it was well worth the time. If you believe the agile use of video can help your messages, I think the process I’ve laid out in this series can be of benefit to you.

The following links may be helpful to you.

Intro to Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro Basics

Using iMovie

Sony Vegas Pro Intro

Adobe Premier Tips

Running Video from PowerPoint

Running Video from Keynote

With all of this established as a backdrop, I suppose you could go back to my suggestion in Part 1 – find a friendly computer geek to do all of the video work for you. And that can work just fine. However, here are the reasons I’m glad I took the time to learn the process.

  1. It saves time. Once you invest the time in learning the process, going from video idea to using video in my sermons is a much quicker process since I don’t have to use an intermediary.
  2. Knowing how the video editing process works gives me an understanding of what can work and what can’t.
  3. It gives me a better understanding of how video works to illustrate Biblical principles.
  4. I have more control over the actual content of the clip.
  5. I can give the clip a certain “feel” that my geek friend may not understand.

In Part 7, I’ll talk about the legal right to use copyrighted video in your teaching and the concept of Fair Use, although I’m certainly not an attorney. (Although I did once play one on television – seriously.)

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