Missionary Presentations: Photo Montagues

In this post I take missionary presentations from Youtube.com and comment on them.

(Note click on the “YouTube” icon in the bottom right hand corner of any video to see it full size on youtube.com)

In this page, I will be adding youtube.com missionary presentations. In this post, I am looking at basic Photo Montagues. A photo montague is a series of photos and some video clips to let the people back home see what their missionary is doing. Note that I will be adding notes and observations to these videos, and basically, what I want to do is to expose you the good, the bad, the ugly out there (I am supposing you are a missionary visiting my website wanting to be taught or informed on how to do things as a missionary). I mean no harm to any missionary presentation that I criticize, but I do make statements that “to me” points out bad elements in a presentation. Since I have been at this almost 30 years, I have done myself in my own presentations about everything I criticize, so I am not trying to be better than these brethren, I am just pointing out so that we can do better what we are doing.

I will also make a comment here, these missionary presentations are what the workers are presenting to their supporters (I am presuming). (1) I do not know what went before. (2) I do not know the extenuating circumstances of each minister. When a missionary is barely finishing his first term on the field, everything is fresh. After he has come back 3-6 times to give reports, he wants to try new stuff that his people haven’t seen/heard before, so he might go away from the typical presentation. At times, a missionary has extenuating circumstances (short time, other concerns while preparing his presentation, pastors that specifically DON’T WANT SOME ELEMENT, or even just tired of the same old elements in their presentations. Sometimes these presentations are for a mission’s conference/training session with their board/fellow missionaries, and sometimes it is for a Christian School. When we see these presentations, we have to take them with a grain of salt, because maybe in the missionary’s perspective, he is doing just what he wants to do with the presentation. So take my comments with a grain of salt too.

The strongest missionary presentation that pulls people to pray and support that missionary is very simply to show what you are doing, reaching people and changing their lives. New missionaries that haven’t yet gone to the field have none of that, so they go to the “fall back” position of talking about the need, most often the culture and spiritual need. For new missionaries, this is about the only way to work their first presentation, but this is a poor presentation for a veteran missionary if they have been on the field for any time.

The central focus of any good missionary presentation is what you are doing for the Lord in that field.

Ken Baker – Haiti

This ministry is basically a church-Bible institute.

Good – Lot’s of photos of people. Note that the poverty that he shows would justify his methods (students work at least memorizing verses for Bibles and hymnals). This is a good way to work with poor people (in my estimation). It shows a lot of wisdom on the minister’s part.

Bad – Some repeated images/videos. A little too much of the details of the seminary curriculum. With the number of students that show in these images, some of the graduates’ works would have been a great addition to this good presentation.

Tim Speers – Ghana FMBI

This presentation is a more professionally composed presentation with a song and flip threw images at the beginning (very well done).

Good – Lots of good pictures of his people on the field. The entire presentation has a missionary song. Excellent song. Over all, this presentation is very impressive. Lots and lots of pictures of his people and work. If this is an example of five years of work, it impresses.

Bad – To me, there seems to be some confusion in his presentation. Is all this his work in the first “term”? or what? As a veteran missionary, I have a hard time believing what it appears to be. Are all these people and settings in somebody else’s church? The title of the presentation is “5 Years in Ghana.” Must be in his church. The first images are leaving Chicago for Ghana, but did he arrive and in no time now has a church of this many people? I am left with the question in my mind. The church building is very large for what a missionary can do in such a short time period. At one point, he has a video of a march “We are Moving, First Baptist Church of Kumasi”. Looks to be some 300+ people there in ties and good Sunday clothes. It would seem much for a short 5 years of work. For example, there is a tent with probably 500 people under it in a crusade type service. While this would be a great achievement if Brother Speers did have this kind of success in only 5 years, but at the same time, the question comes in my mind as in “how he did it”.

See my post on Success is a Two Edged Sword.

Also he has several pictures of he and his wife and family. One would suffice. What are their names? You really need to link images and words to make people remember you.


Ed Bauman – Puerto Rico

Good – This presentation has a very good quality overview of Puerto Rico (about 1/3 of the presentation). This is one of its best motivators, because it gives you feeling for the country. The production of this video is excellent. The filming of this presentation obviously used two cameras, and in editing it, they switched between views while somebody was talking. Excellent presentation element. Another good element in presentations is to first show a need, and then fill that need somehow (even theoretically, like sending me there to work with those people). My own ministry has been in a Roman Catholic country (Mexico), and I find his presentation of Catholicism excellent! Another good element I find in this presentation is that it alternates between Ed speaking, and other narrators speaking. This is very good. A separate narrator speaking gives an impersonal view of what is said, i.e. it is not just the missionary’s point of view, but others also “endorsing him”, even though they are anonymous in the presentation.

Bad – Really couldn’t find anything negative in this presentation. Where do I sign up to send support? 🙂


Bryan Johnson – Brazil

Good – Excellent photos of Brazil’s natural wonders. Nice images of the country. He has a nice professionally edited presentation. Bryan takes a person he won to the Lord in the church, and shows how through that individual, many of their family members also were saved. Although it is not the purpose of this webpage to talk about missionary methods, but this is the way God builds his church. People are at the center of it. People get saved, and they reach out for the same great remedy to sin as they received, and that is extremely forceful and powerful. I would take Bryan’s tactic here as being extremely well aimed at pastors. Pastors know this, even if on a subconscious level. Church people don’t know it so much. Bryan’s presentation is a definite “have-to-see” to analyze it. He takes individual personal cases and presents them as “his work”. This is an excellent method of getting the audience in churches into his ministry. They hear these short clippings of people’s situations and life, and how they came OUT OF SIN and FOUND THE LORD. This process is a highly recommended strategy among top persuasion speech teachers. You present a problem or need, and then fill it or resolve it. To do this over and over again is actually an extremely strong way of persuading people to your point of view.

See Duarte’s  The Secret Structure of Great Talks Watch Durte’s video and then this video by Bryan Johnson. What you will notice is the same sing-song effect that Duarte points out in Steve Job’s keynote speech and Martin Luther King’s We have a Vision Speech, both landmark speechs. There is a problem, there is a solution. There is problem, there is a solution. This going back and forth several or a half dozen times is what works the audience into the favorable position of agreeing and supporting the person.

Bad – The natural wonders of Brazil is also a bad point because the presentation seems to be of Brazil, not the missionary nor his ministry. I wish Bryan would have gotten some get photo software and taken the red eyes out of his pictures. That would have helped greatly the pictures.

See What to put in and keep out of a Missionary Presentation, Section A Tourist View of the Country.


McKendrees Honduras BIMI (Deputation)


Good – This is a good example of a first time, first deputation presentation. They gave a background on their own life and testimony of salvation. For me it is a little too long on that personal part, but they are trying to make a presentation without having been to the field, so I guess I can forgive that. They made good use of title slides. Their section on the “unrest in Honduras” (to me as living in the “peaceful city of Mexico City”) would indicate that they are genuinely troubled about what they are going into, and that they are presenting this as a valid and vital concern for their own welfare and well-being, “please pray for me”. I find that a very sincere and valid appeal that is extremely strong in generating empathy and support towards them.

See my post 7 Ways to Identify your Calling, Sections We feel great resistence towards our calling, and You are not yet who you need to be. This McKendrees video (1:30-2:11) in the section about this unrest illustrates how this causes empathy and support from the audience towards the missionary’s cause. The fact that the wife explains this in a meek small voice makes it even better. Excellent usage of this principle.

Bad – At 2:34, he cites a pastor about sheep being scattered. His picture is of goats for those who know the difference, seems like a wrong choice of pictures. Better to grab a sheep picture off the Internet and use that if you are going to talk about sheep.