How to Preach Online and In-Person - Leaders.Church

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How to Preach Online and In-Person

Here is how to preach online and in-person.

Video Transcript Below:

Dick Hardy 0:00
Hey friend, it’s great to be with you here on this Leaders.Church video and I am privileged today to be with my good buddy Chris Colvin from the great state of Missouri. Chris serves as a sermon consultant and helps pastors in their preparation of sermons and the creation of all that’s involved with it. Say hi to our audience today.

Chris Colvin 0:18
I everybody, thanks for having me, Dick.

Today’s Topic

Dick Hardy 0:20
We want to talk today about the issue that’s very real for pastors here in the States and around the world. We’ve walked through the shutdown period. Now we’ve either opened or partially opened, and a lot of us are preaching to smaller crowds than we had before. Yet, now we’ve been able to take advantage of the online preaching component of what we what we can do as pastors.

Dick Hardy 0:49
So, Chris, I’d like to have you if you could just give us a jump start into some of the aspects of preaching online. I know you’ve been advising pastors accordingly. What would you say to the pastor watching or listening to this right now?

Chris Colvin 1:04
During that partial lockdown when a lot of our churches were closing their doors, they were still staying open. Our churches were still open, they were just online. It’s amazing what God did through that online presence.

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Chris Colvin 1:18
I was talking to a pastor just yesterday down in Arkansas that mentioned that they’ve reopened for about two months now. During that time, they keep having families show up saying, “Hey, we started attending when you guys went online.” So, first attender are now actual in-person contenders.

Chris Colvin 1:39
The power of online preaching is amazing. This is one of the lessons I think we’ve learned during the pandemic, that pastors should really keep and get behind that you can go online with your sermons and make a huge impact.

Dick Hardy 1:53
Talk to us a little bit about that. The difference of today versus even just a few short years ago. The ability for people to really do quality online ministry. Talk to us a little bit about that can you?

Quality Online Ministry

Chris Colvin 2:07
Absolutely. Online preaching used to be seen only the biggest churches, could do something like that because it was really expensive. You had to have special microphones and mixers. You had to have a whole room of technicians with people who have designed a special website just so you can go online and stream your services each and every single week.

Chris Colvin 2:31
Now, if you’ve got a smartphone with a camera, you can do it. You can make it happen. It’s as simple as that because all you have to do is set up your phone and you can stream right there through social media. It’s amazing.

Dick Hardy 2:47
Once a pastor gets that, and a lot of our viewers are doing this even right now, they’ve been online they’ve been working to make it online, Chris and I would both really encourage you to continually refine what you’re doing online. Make it better and better every week. Is there anything you would say to pastors that they should be continually looking at to make sure the quality of what they do is better all the time?

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Chris Colvin 3:29
Great question. I’ve got a few practical tips that that I’ve given to several pastors, and I’ve heard from several pastors as well. The first thing pastors should do if they want to continue being great at this online preaching is to not be afraid to ask for help. It’s okay to raise your hand and say, “I don’t understand this. I don’t get this.” Because I guarantee you, you probably know a teenager who knows exactly how to do what you need done.

Chris Colvin 3:56
Most of the questions I have about my own smartphone or technology, I go to my 13-year old daughter who already knows the answer. You probably have people in your church who already have the answer. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with that. So, that’s the first thing. Ask for help.

Invest A Little

Chris Colvin 4:11
The second thing is don’t be afraid to invest just a little bit. Like I said, it used to be very expensive to have a camera and the microphone and all the setup to be able to do all this stuff. Now it’s really simple. You just have your phone and you can go straight from your phone right online through social media.

Chris Colvin 4:29
However, if you invest just a little bit for instance, a nice lighting rig, and a really nice microphone, you can invest less than $200. That really increases the look and the sharpness in your presentation. I said $200 not $2,000. Really, it’s about $150 almost $100, you can do that. You’ll be amazed when you start pricing.

Chris Colvin 4:52
The third thing, though, is this. This is what I would tell every single pastor. “Practice! Practice, practice, practice.” Preaching is very unique. If you are a pastor, you’re used to talking to that congregation, that seated congregation interacting with them, seeing their response and feeding off of that. Now, you’re talking to them through the lens of a camera. That is a technique that you need to perfect if you’re going to go online and preach online. It really just takes practice.

Chris Colvin 5:22
It really takes just sitting down, trying it out, taking your message and working through it with that camera. You’ll be recording yourself, watching it back, finding what works, finding what doesn’t work.

Ever look at a blank screen wishing the sermon would start coming to you? Check out Sermon Starters to get the jumpstart you’re looking for in sermon preparation.

Dick Hardy 5:35
You mentioned about asking for help. Chris was so kind to provide a blog for us. It’s right here on the blog page here of Leaders.Church, “Why Should You Ask For Help With Your Preaching?” It’s an outstanding blog. I would encourage you to click on that and just give it a read because you’ll find it to be very helpful.

Dick Hardy 5:53
You mentioned social media, Chris. How should a pastor think through, now that they’re going through the mechanics and the actual preaching, what should they be doing to leverage social media?

Social Media

Chris Colvin 6:05
Social media is an amazing thing. You either love it or hate it, probably. However, regardless of how you feel about it, social media has made it possible for every single church, every single pastor, every single person to go online and gain an audience. And what Facebook has done with the help of a few select churches, as well, is they have invested billions of dollars of their own money to build a platform that any church can just plug in and go worldwide.

Chris Colvin 6:34
That’s the thing. You can go worldwide through social media. Think about it, think about the Great Commission. We’re all about the Great Commission. There’s really four aspects of it the way I think about it. Go into all the world. Make disciples. Baptize them. And then teach them the things Jesus has taught you.

Chris Colvin 6:50
Three of those four things can all be done online, through social media, weekly, even daily. You are literally going all around the world. It’s the World Wide Web because it’s right there at your fingertips.

Chris Colvin 7:05
I was on staff at a church that, 10 years ago or more, we kind of shifted, and we began doing online church. We had a lot of hiccups back then. It wasn’t as easy as it is today. But it was still something that we could provide to our people that were seated. If they happened to miss a Sunday, they were home, and they could watch online.

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Chris Colvin 7:23
One of our members was actually traveling, he would travel overseas once a month to another country. He frequently went to  a predominantly Muslim country, actually. He came to me one day and stopped me and he said, “I gotta tell you something. I was at the hotel in that country last Sunday, and I wanted to watch the service.

Chris Colvin 7:39
So, I went down to the hotel bar, so I could eat dinner while I was watching the service. I had my laptop up. Well, the bartender said, ‘What are you watching there?’ I told him I was watching my home church to which he said, ‘Well, let’s just put it up here on the big screen TV.’ So, he did. They started watching and streaming this sermon, this church service, in a hotel bar in a predominantly Muslim country right there.”

Chris Colvin 8:02
Well, a month later our member goes back to the same exact hotel, he goes down to the hotel bar again, just like you did every Sunday to watch the sermon. The bartender’s stopped him and said, “You won’t believe this. We’ve been showing your church’s service right here every Sunday.” He goes, “We’ve got people coming in, just to watch this church service.”

Chris Colvin 8:20
That was something we didn’t plan. It just happened because we said, “This is something we can do. We can reach around the world through the power of the Gospel.

Final Thoughts

Dick Hardy 8:31
Chris, this has been very, very helpful. You’ve got pastors and church leaders watching this right now. We’re going to hitch this up this interview. If there’s anything you want the viewer and the listener to remember out of our conversation, what is it?

Chris Colvin 8:50
It’s to not be afraid. Do not be afraid to make a mistake. We’re all making mistakes. But do not be afraid of social media and the power it can have. God can use that instrument to spread the gospel. He can use it as a Great Commission instrument. I 100% believe in that.

Dick Hardy 9:08
Wow! That is so cool. Chris Colvin, you are a good friend and you’re producing great stuff for pastors and church leaders. I can’t thank you enough.

Dick Hardy 9:16
To our viewers, thank you for watching this particular video today. We hope it’s been helpful. Feel free to snoop around the site. Be sure to take advantage of that blog I mentioned earlier, and if there’s anything we can do to help you don’t hesitate to give us a call. In the meantime, make it a great one today and be blessed!

Check out these blogs on preaching, as well.

It Takes a Team to Create Sermons
Why Should You Ask for Help with Preaching?
Sermon Illustrations: Finding the “Just Right One
The Top 5 Preaching Questions Asked
Emotionally Healthy Preaching
Doug Clay on Preaching Sermons Online
5 Ways to Get That Sermon Started
Practical Tips on How To Do Sermon Prep
Preaching for Life Change
Fighting the “Last Minute” Fatigue
The 3 Parts of an Altar Call
2 Preaching Lessons Learned from COVID-19


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