You have had a great experience on a mission trip, and now you are excited to tell people about it. If you went with your church youth group, you probably need to share the story of the trip with the congregation, especially since they most likely paid for much of it. And if they did not help with the trip, perhaps by letting them know about the experience, in the future they will want to help!
The two best ways to tell people about your mission or service experience are by telling them stories about it or by showing them a video with your pictures (You did take lots of pictures, right?) Since you have all of these pictures, and hopefully some video clips, you can combine them into an interesting and engaging video by making a movie set to music. What sort of music should you use in a mission trip presentation?
A fantastic music source is anything that you actually did on the trip. For instance, did your group work with kids in a VBS? Use video clips from that. Children singing are always cute (at least for a little bit). If you want to use professional "radio" quality songs, look for songs that have a message that is relevant to your trip. If you had a specific Bible verse used as a message for the trip, look for songs related to that passage. Or there are lots of songs about mission or service to use in your presentations. Another idea is to use recordings of worship songs familiar to your church's congregation members.
If you are using recorded songs, remember that you do not have to use the entire song! It is easy in any good video editing software, such as Apple's iMovie or Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker, to split up the song and use just the relevant verse or chorus if you want to do so. If you split a song, make sure you fade between the songs. Do pay attention to volume levels as well, particularly over segments with people talking.
Remember, the music sets the tone for the entire video. By using songs with different tempos, you can make the video into a journey that takes your audience or congregation with you through your experience. Using a slow, meditative song might put your audience to sleep, but using a passionate, emotional song could work well if you have lingering images of poverty, homelessness, or similar themes that you want the audience to respond to. Be careful when going for this effect to not slide into cheesiness though. Uptempo songs with a clear beat work well also if you want to put your audience in a good mood, sharing the fun and exciting parts of your journey. Again, a word of caution here: Make sure that the words are still understandable to the audience. If they can not understand what the lyrics are, they will not get the meaning you hope for them to receive.
Daniel Flucke is an MDiv student at Wartburg Theological Seminary with passion for effectively using technology in ministry. Visit www.danielflucke.com to learn more.