If you work in your church’s tech ministry department there is a good chance you have seen, worked with or created a sermon series bumper.  Most churches use them as an introduction to a particular sermon topic and even more strategically to help with stage transitions.

Sermon bumpers should be used to promote the sermon topic but the most effective bumpers are also very creative.  Unfortunately, this type of production can be costly so you want to make sure the bumpers are effective.  Below are some of the best practices I believe will help you get more bang for your buck when it comes to your sermon bumpers.

Draw Audience In
  • Who Is Your Audience? – If you are using these videos in church and online that means you will probably have a number of strangers watching them.  So, be careful not to include too much negative or over-churched content.
  • Create Anticipation – Your sermon bumper should create anticipation and excitement.  Excitement for something leads to sharing with friends and hopefully some new faces to your church.
  • Try Not To Give Too Much Away – Leave people wanting more of the story.  You want them to come to church to get the whole story.  A while ago, we had a series that lead up to Easter, it was about the path to the cross. We used the the image of a crosswalk as a vague metaphor for the series.  We tried to keep this sense of mystery in the bumper below.
Makes Sense Socially
  • 10 Seconds – Grab their attention early, so make sure that you use the best and most compelling footage within the first 10 seconds.  We want these videos to be easily shared on social media.
  • The Story Without Sound – You may wonder why……well because both Instagram and Facebook start playing videos without sound.  So make sure to craft a story that is very visual when muted.  Here is an example…
Focus on Storytelling
  • Connecting Over Multiple Views – This video will be seen more than once. We need it to be intriguing enough to hold the attention of someone who has seen it a few times.
  • Complimentary Style – The way you shoot your sermon bumper should compliment your sermon content.  There is nothing worse than a bumper that fights message content.  We had a series called RTD – Religiously Transmitted Diseases. It was a bold look at sins that prevail inside a church like hypocrisy. Below is the bumper that showcases how we complimented the video to match the substance of the message.
  • Change It Up – If you are doing the same visual language (cinematic, stop motion, testimonial, kinetic typography, etc) your congregation will become bored of seeing the same style over and over.  So change it up a bit.
  • Don’t Forget the Audio – Video quality is definitely important but so is the audio.  A great soundtrack to the video will seal the deal.  Images will attract the heart, the sound will pull on the heartstrings. We did a series that looked into how each of us are uniquely wired to connect with God. The music in the bumper below was used to highlight this tender aspect of God.
Additional Content
  • Photos – Along with the footage you will use for the sermon bumper, make sure you are grabbing some photos too.  It is a small price to pay but it can have a big benefit.  The photos you capture could be used to create invitational postcards for the series, during the message they could be incorporated into the sermon slides and after they can be used for message soundbites.  
  • Capture Loops – Consider worship loops that might incorporate some of the sermon bumper subject matter.  Capturing b-roll, like nature scenes, while on location could add some great content.
  • Capture Long Takes – In addition to capturing a loop is to grab a long take.  Using some type of stabilization is best when capturing this footage.  In addition, shooting at 60 or 120 fps and then slowing down the footage can make for great material.  Below is a good example.

I hope these tips will give you some great inspiration and ideas that you can incorporate in your sermon bumpers at your church.  As always we love to get any feedback from so please feel free to share some of your ideas and creations.

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