By: Faith Hoyt, Pacific Union Recorder
In this age of the internet, churches are looking for ways to bring the gospel into homes via modern communication. At the Bishop Seventh-day Adventist Church in Bishop, California, United States, Phil Vecchiarelli uses YouTube to accomplish this task. Last September, Vecchiarelli started a YouTube channel called Seventh-day Adventists in 60. Every week, he posts two 60-second videos that explain Adventist beliefs.
“Not many people will take the time to watch a 40-minute sermon about the Sabbath on their phone,” Vecchiarelli said. “But if we break it into one-minute segments, they are more likely to.”His first series of episodes, titled Sabbath in 60, includes 20 of these one-minute videos.
The channel is already making an impact.Trevor Braget, a man Vecchiarelli has known for about 15 years, said, “As a non-Christian, I must say these are very enjoyable. You're not preaching; you’re mostly informing.” Braget also praised the locations where the videos are filmed.
“Not many people will take the time to watch a 40-minute sermon about the Sabbath on their phone”
Vecchiarelli chooses scenic locations all over California’sEastern Sierra Nevadas because he wants viewers to connect nature with God. “I have gone hiking a lot since I moved to Bishop, and every trip has been such a spiritual time,” Vecchiarelli said. It was while hiking that he had the idea to start filming devotions out in the mountains.
Because some of his film locations are quite remote, Vecchiarelli needed to keep the filming process simple. When he films at remote locations up in the mountains, he uses a GoPro camera and tripod to record his videos. At locations where he can drive, he uses a Sony Professional Compact Camcorder.
He edits the video using Adobe Premiere and then uploads the final product to his YouTube channel. Not including the time to hike to these scenic spots, it takes Vecchiarelli an hour and a half to produce a video.
While researching camera equipment and video-editing software and trying to pull together funds for the purchase of equipment, Vecchiarelli got a call from an Adventist couple who lives several hours away. The couple offered to make a large donation for anything he needed. He presented the idea of Seventh-day Adventists in 60 to them, and they agreed to finance the purchase of the necessary equipment.
Vecchiarelli says his entire church is involved in the project. “Everyone is sharing the videos on Facebook,” he said.Since the premiere of the first series of Seventh-day Adventists in 60 last October, the channel has seen almost 3,000 views. Vecchiarelli plans to discuss topics such as salvation, the state of the dead, and the sanctuary. All three congregations Vecchiarelli pastors—Tonopah, Bishop, and Lone Pine—are united in the venture. As a result of church members sharing the videos, Seventh-day Adventists in 60 has been seen in Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Belgium, Latvia, Brazil, and other countries. If you’d like to see the videos, just search Seventh-day Adventists in 60 on YouTube.
“It is invigorating to our small rural churches to realize that they are sharing the gospel around the world,” Vecchiarelli said.
An original version of this story appeared in the Pacific Union Recorder.