The CarePortal platform exists to create connections of many kinds. Most of these connections will inevitably involve families and children who are in extremely delicate and sensitive circumstances, making the way church responders use media and share the stories of their experience and relationship to the families extremely important. This article explains some standard guidelines and best practices that will help churches protect the dignity and safety of the families and kids they serve while also stewarding these powerful stories well.
Church Leaders, Network Ambassadors, Regional Managers
Included in This Article
Media Sharing and Storytelling Best Practices
There are some general rules for the road that will set you and your teams up to make respectful connections with families that will leave them feeling glad they invited your church into their home.
- Leave the cameras at home or in the car (in the section below, we provide some examples of how to collect and share photos and videos in a way that protects and honors the family)
- Listen intently and ask respectful questions that will help you learn their story
- If speaking about your experience and telling their story, speak as if they are in the room listening to what you're saying
- Don't ask the family to participate in on-camera or written interviews until a trust-based relationship has been established over multiple interactions (asking permission for a photo or an interview of some kind during your first interaction with the family will likely lead to them feeling as if they can't say no without disrespecting your team)
Using Video Effectively
The following text is an example of storytelling best practices:
A church team has responded to a CarePortal request. They hope to let this be used as an element of recruiting more members of their church to join a response team and serve in the community. Video storytelling is a strength of this particular church, but they want to honor the family they serve. So they come up with a production plan that aims to accomplish both of these goals effectively.
1. Introduction Footage
The video begins by interviewing the person who responded to the request email. This section of the video answers questions like:
- Why this request?
- What did the caseworker say?
- How did you find the items/resources?
- Who are you inviting to serve with you and why?
2. Preparation Footage
Video footage is taken of the team as they prepare the items. This could include shots of the team loading the items into a truck, talking with community partners, making phone calls, etc. Additional footage could be collected from the passenger seat of the car as the team leader is driving to the family. Interviews during this section could answer questions like:
- How has it impacted you to learn of this need of a family nearby?
- What have you learned from the caseworker?
- What have you discovered in the community?
The video team represents this part of the story with a black screen and some simple text:
"To protect and honor the family, no video footage was
collected from the team's interactions with them."
To conclude the video and invite other people at the church to get involved, final interviews are collected after the team leaves the family's home. They respond to questions like:
- What did you learn from the family?
- How is God moving in your own heart?
- How does this help you see your community differently?