1. Preach ShorterThink in terms of a 12-18 minute sermon, not 35-40 minutes.
2. Preach up-close and personalYou’re not on stage. You’re up close. People can see your eyes, your face, your smile. Speak softer. Look into the camera. Don’t wave your arms. Don’t shout. Don’t pace back and forth.
3. Have a conversation
Think of your sermon more as a “fireside chat” with friends.
5. Keep things movingHave your main camera, and then a side-angle to mix things up. Vary your scenes, props, positions, and camera angles. People get bored more quickly online.
6. Don’t repeat yourselfPeople are paying attention to every sentence.
7. Prepare differentlyPrep like a movie-producer not a preacher from a pulpit. Think location, props, scenes. Are you walking? Sitting? Standing? Inside? Outside?
8. Plan aheadDeadlines are different for preaching online. Get your sermon recorded by Thursday so your people have time for post-production – adding words on the screen, improving the sound, and getting it ready to put online.
9. Trust your young people like you never have done beforeIf you’re a digital immigrant, listen to digital natives in your church. Digital natives are people who grew up knowing about this stuff and can’t remember a time before the internet. Trust them. They know what they’re talking about.
10. Take the limits offDon’t limit yourself to one weekly sermon. You can produce daily five-minute devotionals or prayers. Aim to share content regularly and find a rhythm of the day – particularly as people may be on lockdown and the days can blur.
This blog was originally published on premierchristianity.com and is reposted here with permission from the author.
Taking Your Church Online
About the Author
John Willison has been active in Christ’s church all his life including years in Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Anglican churches. John attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he received Master of Divinity. John’s formation as a pastor was with Steve Nicholson at the Evanston Vineyard from 1979. He served full-time on staff from 1989-2004. John has also recorded some songs with Vineyard Music including “My Redeemer Lives”.
Later, he and his wife Carol moved their family to Kenya to experience the world and kingdom of God outside of the United States. After 12 years in East Africa, Carol accepted a post as a teacher at Concordia International School Shanghai. John now pastors the Abundant Grace International Fellowship in Shanghai, China.
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