That title is sure to get some attention. I’m writing today to answer a question I get asked a lot by folks in our church, “why do we use video teaching?”
We don’t ALWAYS use video teaching, in fact the vast majority of the time I preach live. I think we’ve used video teaching maybe 5 or 6 times since Wellspring launched. But still, I get asked the question…and I always sense that behind the question is the belief that video teaching is in some way “less than” live teaching, like the people feel shortchanged for having to “watch a video.”
I strongly disagree and here are a few reasons why:
First, like I said in the title, Andy Stanley and Steven Furtick are WAY BETTER speakers than I am. I mean, those guys are WORLD CLASS. By that I mean they are two of the best, most gifted communicators in the world.
Please don’t hear this as false humility or like I’m begging for some praise…I believe God has gifted me to communicate. I love it and I feel like I’m pretty good at it and getting better all the time. In fact, when it comes to communicating to Wellspring I believe I am THE BEST to do it because God’s called me to lead this church.
BUT…I need breaks. I can’t preach every single week and when I’m away, I LOVE the fact that I can expose Wellspring to world-class teaching from God’s word. It allows me to rest and recharge knowing that Sundays will still be excellent and that a great message will be presented.
Second, sometimes I use video teaching even when I don’t need a break but because there’s no way I could say something as well as someone else already has. Take the next two weeks for example…we’ll have Steven Furtick preaching a two-week series called Sun Stand Still. This is a message God has uniquely given Pastor Steven to preach and everyone that attends will be blessed in ridiculous ways for hearing him preach it. I can’t preach that message like he can because God spoke it to him and not me, but it’s a message that I desperately believe Wellspring needs to hear, so what should I do? Deprive them of the blessing because God didn’t share it with me? How silly is that?
Third, video teaching will help Wellspring grow. One of the possible steps I see in Wellspring’s future is that we will have multiple sites on the Grand Strand where people gather on Sundays. With the geography of the region, it just makes sense to have a location in Myrtle Beach, one possibly in Carolina Forest, another in Murrells Inlet…you get the picture. People can drive 5 minutes rather than thirty, thus making it much easier for them to invite their friends.
All these locations would be meeting simultaneously, which means it would be impossible for me to be at all of these at the same time. Video teaching solves this problem. I can be live at some locations and use video at others, thus expanding our reach and allowing us to touch more lives for Jesus. We are starting to integrate video teaching NOW because we believe we will need it in the future.
Last, I believe video teaching is biblical. Now hang with me here, I realize they didn’t have video in the Bible, but I believe there is a very clear precedent in scripture of someone preparing and presenting a message in one place and having it used and repeated in other churches. In fact, most of Paul’s letters are just that, sermons he wrote to a specific church which were then used in other churches. Someone would read Paul’s letter out loud as the sermon. He encouraged the churches to do this!
Now if Paul were around today, don’t you think he’d be doing a video and asking the churches to play it rather than having his letters read out loud?
From its earliest days, the church has used a mix of live teaching with recorded teaching. We just happen to live in technological age where instead of me reading you someone else’s message, I can SHOW YOU their message…how awesome is that!?!?
This post was a little longer than usual, but I really wanted to answer this question. I see video teaching as a huge blessing from God, something that allows us to tap in to what he is doing around the world, will allow us to reach more people than we could without it, and allows us to share in the tradition of very first church.
Don’t miss Sun Stand Still starting this Sunday.