We have been posting our sermons online now for several years. This is not something that I would’ve thought would have a tremendous impact on our ministry. However, I have been surpassed by the amount of individuals who follow our weekly web broadcasts. If you are a member of Southern Hills I’d like to explain why we offer this service. If you are a fellow pastor I would like to encourage you to consider doing this yourself. Here are 3 groups who consistently peek through the stained-glass windows of Southern Hills.
1. Distant Followers
It’s amazing to see the international influence that can be gained by harnessing the power of the internet. From Europe to Africa, from Asia to Australia, we have seen followers connect to Southern Hills through our Vimeo, Facebook, and Podcast presentations. Every pastor I know works tirelessly to prepare their weekly address. Hours or prayer, deep exegesis, vast amounts of reading, developing illustrations and receiving critical feedback are all part of producing a 40 minute sermon. Knowing that the sermon will have a life beyond sunday is incredibly fulfilling.
My favorite example of this truth is Pastor Creasey in Suffolk, England. He is not a missionary. He is a local pastor in his 60’s who has been ministering in rural England for several decades. Somehow he got turned on to our weekly services. He, his wife and adult daughter watch our services every week for personal encouragement and ministry ideas. When they finally came to Las Vegas to visit our ministry they were shocked at how modest our facility was and how small our church appeared. We went to sunday lunch, enjoyed fellowship and that evening he addressed our people in the evening service. He told our church what a blessing and encouragement our little ministry had been to throe little ministry some 6,000 miles away. We have remained friends to this day. Truly, you may never know who you will reach through this format.
2. Absent Members
This might shock some of you. All of our members don’t make it to church EVERY sunday. Yikes! People get sick, go on vacation, and get called into work. However, these dear members don’t want to miss the next sermon in the series. Providing a podcast, vimeo feed, or Youtube channel allows your members and regular attenders the ability to stay current, even when they are unable to be there in person. This has been a big help to the individual member as well as a huge benefit in retaining momentum in a sermon series.
3. Potential Guests
Most people will visit your website long before they actually visit your church building. I can’t tell you how many times a 1st-time guest said they had watched several sermons before they ever attended. This gives the potential guest the opportunity of “trying out” the church before they ever attend. If your sermons are engaging, applicable and helpful this will help you bring people into the doors of your church.
Do you ever watch our sermons online? If you are a pastor or church leader, do you post weekly sermons? What have you found to be most beneficial to online sermons? Please comment below: