In a recent post at his own blog, Geoff Suratt offers his judgment that preaching delivered through video is likely a fad, but one that could last for some time. He offers four reasons why he makes that judgment; here are two of them:

I predict that in the next few years we’ll begin to see a decline in the number of churches that use video teaching, and many churches that continue to use video teaching will see a decline in attendance. I don’t know when the tide will turn, but I am pretty sure it will. Here’s my thinking:

Video Projection Is the New Sunday School Bus
My dad pastored an inner-city church in St Louis when I was a teenager. The church owned a fleet of converted school buses, which picked up children in rough neighborhoods every Sunday morning. I often rode the buses as a bus captain, knocking on doors and handing out donuts. Every weekend, we brought hundreds of children to church who otherwise never would hear the gospel. Bus ministry was missional before missional was cool, and it was a very effective form of evangelism. Then it wasn’t. Eventually that church sold all of its buses. There are very few churches in America that still have a thriving bus ministry.

Video teaching is a very effective tool right now. Thousands of people are hearing the gospel from a preacher standing on a stage miles from where they are sitting, and it feels like the wave of the future. And it is. Until it’s not. Sunday School, bus ministry and deeply moving while mildly amusing dramas were all powerful tools until they weren’t. Video teaching will someday be in the Remember When bin.

Relatively Few Preachers Are Good on Video
I have been told repeatedly that video teaching won’t work in a big city, a small town, the south, the east, the west, in Europe, in Africa, in Asia. My answer is always the same, bad video teaching doesn’t work anywhere. You can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment and have a better-than-live experience, but if the preacher isn’t good on video people aren’t going to watch. As video teaching has gone from fringe to mainstream more and more preachers will discover they are not wired to preach on video. Even Paul said he was a lot better on paper than on stage. As more preachers decide video doesn’t work, whatever the reason, fewer will take the plunge.

Share This On: