Years before the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were already noticing the impact of video. As early as 2013, global marketing agency Insivia reported, “Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text.” The method in which we share our message impacts both engagement and retention.
Ellen White also encourages us to be creative in our methods. “Let every worker in the Master’s vineyard, study, plan, devise methods, to reach the people where they are. We must do something out of the common course of things” (Evangelism, pp. 122-123). The goal remains reaching people for Christ, even if the way we do that changes over time.
Southern California Conference (SCC) leadership saw the need to invest in this area. “Our audiences and communities are used to using media as their lifestyle for everything,” said Velino A. Salazar, SCC president. “We need to be close to what their interests are.”
By 2019, all the officers’ reports for the 65th Constituency Session were presented with video for the first time. In late 2019, we began work on a small studio. In early 2020, we used that space to record the annual State of the Conference meeting, which would be via video for the first time. When COVID hit, timely messages for the SCC constituency were recorded there.
“For years, SCC had a very active print shop,” recalled John H. Cress, SCC executive secretary. “However, we are well into the digital revolution, and the print shop became a relic of the past. Technology and social media have moved us toward communicating via video. So, it makes sense to develop a studio in the place of the printing press. These considerations were the basis for our original thought of creating a studio, but COVID-19 solidified and amplified the need of moving in this direction.”
In 2021, the studio moved to a new spot behind the Glendale Adventist Book Center, across the parking lot from the conference building. In this short time, this space has served for countless videos and virtual events. The goal is for our conference departments and local churches and schools to schedule times to come use the space as well. “We built this studio to communicate better the gospel to our constituency and community— local and global—in a relevant way,” Salazar shared.
However, the space is still an ongoing work in progress. Soundproofing is our greatest need, along with electrical and more. “When the studio is finished and fully operational, I believe it will become a powerful tool to attract people to Jesus Christ and empower our churches in reaching their community,” Cress said.
As we continue building out this studio for mission, you can support this project by praying for the impact of our content and by contributing financially. Donations should be marked “SCC Studio” and can be given via check or online through https://adventistgiving.org/#/org/ANPPPP/envelope/start.