Fewer people in church.

Fewer viewers online.

What’s a pastor to do?

Here’s what thousands of pastors are experiencing, but few are saying:

“Our church is caught in a double bind: in-person attendance has been gutted since COVID. And online sermon viewership, which was strong in the wake of the pandemic, has been dropping every month.

I’m discouraged because I work so hard to prepare solid, Biblical sermons. Fewer and fewer people are hearing them.

I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll have a congregation – or even a job – in a year or two.”

Adding to their frustration: pastors are losing members to superstar online preachers with sophisticated cameras, sound, and stages. “I deal with the headaches, the political battles and the controversies, while Steven Furtick gets the video views,” one preacher told me.

Why have so many people stopped going to church? I don’t know.

But I do know why people aren’t watching your online sermons. You can’t just point a camera at yourself and preach like you always have, because preaching online is different than preaching to a room.

Preaching online is different than preaching to a room

TV remote 2

People rarely get up and leave the room during a sermon, even if they lose interest. It’s considered rude. But online? It happens all the time. All it takes is a flick of the finger. If they’re not engaged, they’re gone.

In a church service the pastor has the floor. Nobody else can speak. But in the screen world, your sermon has billions of competitors. It’s not just other preachers – your sermon is up against ESPN, TikTok, social media, and World of Warcraft. People will watch whatever interests them most.

That’s where I can help.

Meet David Murrow – the Online Preaching Coach

David Murrow

As seen on/quoted in:

I’m David Murrow. You may know me as a bestselling Christian author, speaker, and blogger. Perhaps you’ve read my books, seen me on TV or in the news, or heard me on the radio talking about Why Men Hate Going to Church or other books I’ve written.

David's books

But I’m also a professional video producer and writer. Over the past four decades I’ve won multiple awards and earned millions of dollars helping clients use screen content to communicate with the world.

Your Content Goes Here

As a television professional I know how to put together an effective on-screen presentation. But most pastors don't. They struggle to communicate the Good News online. And it grieves me. So, I decided to do something about it.

Over the next 12 months I will shut down my video production company and turn my heart toward helping pastors. I’m launching the Online Preaching Coach in January 2022 to help pastors become world-class on-screen communicators.

What is the Online Preaching Coach?

The Online Preaching Coach is a six-month mentorship course, with an option to continue month-to-month as necessary. The fee for this training is to be determined.

The entire course is based on a principle every media producer knows:

If a message is going to have an impact online, it must be 1) watched 2) remembered and 3) shared.

I will be teaching you specific techniques that can make your sermons more watchable, memorable, and shareable online. Here are a few:

  • Make your messages WATCHABLE
    • Use the first 30 seconds of your message to hook a casual viewer who’s scrolling past
    • Structure your message so people keep watching till the end
    • Add appropriate visuals to your sermons to drive your core message home
    • Improve audio and video quality and defeat common technical problems that can ruin your livestream or recording
  • Make your messages MEMORABLE
    • Identify the “one big idea” that will help your message break through online
    • Tighten and focus your messages to compete in the age of the TED talk
    • Add “on location” vignettes filmed in your community to localize your sermons
    • Use object lessons and parables like Jesus did to make your message stick
  • Make your messages SHAREABLE
    • Create a simple video promo for your message series and advertise it on social media
    • Build “shareable minutes” within your messages to post on social media
    • Make it easy for your members to share your teaching with their networks
    • Leverage your online message to bring new members into the gathered church

I work with just 12 pastors at a time.
You'll have my phone number.

Phone

When you enroll in The Online Preaching Coach you get actual coaching. From me. I will interact with your personally to help you become a better communicator.

To ensure you get the training you need, I am limiting my first cohort to just 12 pastors. Why 12? I figured: if it worked for Jesus, it might work for me...

Here’s how the Online Preaching Coach works:

  • First thing: you and I will meet over Zoom for a one-hour evaluation call. We will identify your strengths and begin working on a plan to address your challenges.
  • Once a month I watch one of your sermons and offer specific, personalized feedback.
  • You’ll have the option to participate in a once-a-week Zoom call with the other members of your OPC cohort. I tightly manage this 60-minute call to keep the group on track.
  • Access to a private chat channel where you and your fellow cohort members can bounce ideas, offer advice and encouragement, etc.
  • I’ll give you my personal cell phone number and access to my calendar. You may schedule up to one call per week for advice or consultation.
  • I am available to brainstorm before you begin writing your message or planning your next sermon series.

Why should you take coaching from a television producer?

David interviewing on set

Photo: David Murrow conducting an interview for a documentary. In a four decade career, Murrow has written and produced more than 800 television commercials, documentaries and specials. His work has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, Discovery Networks, FOX News and many more.

Why would a pastor want to be coached by a television producer? Wouldn’t it make sense to be coached by another preacher? Frankly, no. I’m going to stretch you in a way no preacher can. As a television producer and writer, I know what works on video — and what falls flat.

I'm not going to try to turn you into an entertainer or comedian. I'll never suggest you water down your message or compromise doctrinal integrity. I'm simply going to teach you how to communicate the message God has given you in the most watchable, memorable and shareable way.

Plus, I bring a man-in-the-pews perspective. I’ve sat through some great sermons and some stinkers. The great preachers present the Gospel in such an engaging way you can’t help but listen. That's what I teach.

Seminary taught you to speak to a room. I'm going to show you how to reach the world.

Seven reasons to enroll with the Online Preaching Coach

Three generations of Murrows

Photo: David Murrow appears with his son Tony and his grandson Gabriel. Tony is a pastor at ChangePoint in Anchorage, Alaska. Tony brought three generations of Murrow men on stage as a sermon illustration: how the sins of the father (represented by the rope) are visited upon the 3rd and 4th generation.

Here are seven reasons to enroll with the Online Preaching Coach:

  1. Christ commanded us to preach the gospel to every person. But fewer and fewer people are entering our buildings. If we’re going to reach the unchurched, it’s going to happen online.
  2. It’s about impact. A sermon that’s viewed 20,000 times has a much greater chance of changing lives than one that’s viewed 20 times.
  3. Online preaching drives in-person attendance. Visitors often watch a sermon or two before they attend. If your online sermons don't grab them in the first two minutes they stop watching and seek out another church.
  4. If you hope to advance in your career, you must be a good on-screen communicator. Pastor search teams used to pore over resumes. Now they scan sermons on YouTube. I hate to say this, but pastors with the most “views” are the ones most likely to be hired. Doors will open or close based on your ability to communicate online.
  5. If you become a better on-screen communicator, you’ll also become more effective in-the-room. What works online also works in person.
  6. Every video professional knows the importance of choosing the best shots, and leaving the rest "on the cutting room floor." The same goes for sermons. The techniques I teach will help you identify what needs to be said — and what needs to be cut.
  7. Once you get these techniques down you will save a ton of time in sermon preparation. Really.

Online preaching offers any pastor the ability to reach a vast, unchurched audience with the good news of Jesus. But most pastors are experiencing the opposite: after a “COVID honeymoon” they’re seeing their online viewership tumble. People are tuning out after a few minutes.

Let’s fix that.

The Online Preaching Coach launches in January 2022. The first cohort is limited to twelve men.

If you'd like to learn more, send me a message.

Message David
Published On: September 7, 2021 / Categories: Church, Media /

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