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Someone is Watching (The impact of sermons online)

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.

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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:

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  • Reply
    Chris Teis
    December 10, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    We were just discussing this at Open Door amongst staff. Our podcast has steadily increased over the last year since it’s launch. The top message listened to as of last week had over 200 listens since July in comparison to last Sunday’s message which went well over that mark in just 7 days.

    Many of our people have told me they are now taking their notes home on Sunday and listening again during the week to add to their notes. I’m very thankful to see the Lord using it in our church body for His glory. Measuring the statistics has been very telling.

    I noticed your video upgrade and think it has added a lot to your video messages. Thanks for sharing this and your messages each week.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      December 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      Thanks Chris for the testimonial. Glad to know its working for you too.

      • Reply
        Alan
        December 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm

        I often seek out people on questions and answers hoping to find someone with sincere questions about Christ and Creation, and the Bible. In doing so I often leave http://www.shbaptist.com behind hoping to leave a door of truth that they may pursue. But I do not leave it with the scoffers and hatters of Christ. The problem is with Q&A is you never know if it will bare fruit are who is watching.

        • Reply
          Joshua Teis
          December 11, 2013 at 9:26 am

          Thanks Alan for planting the shbaptist.com website out there on the web. you are right. you never know who might find the right sermon.

  • Reply
    Bob Morrissey
    December 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    We are currently working on this, and hoping to being doing this every week very soon! I love being able to watch your videos on vimeo. It’s one of the reasons that I am coming in a few weeks to see your ministry.

    I am wondering if there is a reason why you use vimeo, and not youtube?

    Thanks for your encouragement through your blog.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      December 11, 2013 at 9:27 am

      Hey Bob. Can’t wait for you to come out to vegas and check out Southern Hills. Looking forward to learning from you too. We are currently only using vimeo and we really don’t have a good reason. We are considering starting a youtube channel. thanks for the thought. see you at Idea Day 2014

  • Reply
    Caleb
    December 10, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    I watch and listen to sermons online almost weekly. They are great tool to reach our generation. God has used a church’s podcast from hundreds of miles away to impact my family’s lives and has led us to taking a step of faith and launching out for God in 2014.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      December 11, 2013 at 9:29 am

      Caleb,
      I too attempt to watch several sermons a week online. There are certain ones I just can’t miss. Helps me in my personal walk as well as gives me ideas for our ministry here. great thought.

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