If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the coronavirus pandemic – and frankly, we should have learned a lot – it’s that we need other people in our lives. Even introverts are finding it difficult to happily observe lockdown rules and stay at home orders, especially if they were once part of a thriving church community.
We are social creatures and need that human interaction to keep us sane, but I’m starting to wonder if video sermons might be better than regular sermons.
Hear me out – I’m not talking about live streaming; I’m talking about a video that you can view over the internet but also live and in-person.
Why We Don’t Go To Church
There are hundreds of reasons that people decide against attending church. They might not be Christians, or have any faith at all – and that’s a good reason to decide against going. But for those who do want to go to church theoretically, sometimes going to church in practice isn’t something they enjoy.
Most churches share the preaching duties. While there may be one main or lead speaker, there are special occasions when somebody else gets a turn. There might be a weekly rota, or it may seem to happen randomly.
But here’s the thing – there’s always that one guy (or gal) you want to avoid when they are preaching. They repeat themselves. They stutter. They reiterate points over and over. They forget what they are saying, lose their way, get side-tracked. They start at 9am and finish on Wednesday. Worse, they spit when they speak, and the front row isn’t allowed umbrellas.
When your speaker is passionate and have a point to make, that’s all fine and dandy. But when they just keep talking for the sake of it, you’ve got a problem. Churches have created many solutions for this issue, ranging from a countdown clock facing the preacher to having someone waving there arms for them to “wrap it up”, even getting people to start singing in the hope they’ll take the hint.
It usually doesn’t work.
Don’t get me wrong – there are hundreds and thousands of excellent speakers all around the world. Everyone knows one speaker who shouldn’t be allowed to start, never mind finish.
So how do video sermons help?
Creating a Replicable Success
We all know live TV shows have great opportunity for bloopers to happen, but edited shows are polished and ready for action. With a video sermon, you can edit it to cut out the parts where it all went wrong – you can simply show the best side of the speaker.
You can edit it to be the correct length, and nobody is left wondering how long it will take. You can stream it and project it in the church building at the same time, and everyone gets a great message.
Worried that you’ll be chopping out lots of relevant content? Tell the speaker they have a time limit and sections may end up on the cutting room floor – it’s amazing how much of an incentive it is for them to finish on time.
You can even edit it with them. Review the footage, suggest sections to remove, and tell them the target time cannot be exceeded. Edit the video and let them see it, and take onboard any revisions they ask for.
Once the editing is tight and the message is clear, the video could become one of the most popular preaches given for your church – all because it is put together well, is relevant, and people know when it will finish.
Video sermons might be better than live sermons, but the only way you’ll know for sure is if you try it. Is there someone on your team you could convince to give video sermons a go?
The In-Love Disclaimer
Nobody should be dissuaded from teaching the Word, but one of the things we know is important is to be respectful of other people. When timekeeping is an issue and staying on topic is impossible, it’s gone from teaching to waffling. By all means, get your rogue speakers to repent – but if in doubt, get the video equipment out!