Knock-knock. Who’s NOT there?

Back in my parents’ day, door-to-door evangelism was an effective way to reach the neighbors. Christians would ring doorbells and invite folks to church. If nobody came to the door they’d leave flyers, tracts or New Testaments behind.

As recently as the 1990s I can remember going door to door passing out VHS copies of “The Jesus Film” to all who wanted one.

But door to door evangelism is going the way of VHS. And in the wake of the pandemic, even unstoppable door knockers like the Jehovah’s Witnesses are staying off the porch and taking their evangelism online.

Why? Because online is where the people are.

A survey taken before the pandemic found the average American spent 11.5 hours a day consuming various forms of electronic media. We spend just about every spare moment with our noses in our screens.

Online sermons can bypass the uncomfortable doorway encounter and place the Gospel right in front of the eyes and ears of people who need to know Christ. People who would never open their doors for a stranger will watch an online sermon.

But here’s the problem: most online sermons are ignored. Even big churches with prominent pastors have seen their online viewership plummet by up to 90% in the past two years.

So, how can pastors turn their sermons into effective evangelistic tools? They must make their messages easier to share.

Five ways to make your sermons more shareable

  1. Plant the idea. Your members have probably never thought about sharing an online sermon. You should regularly encourage people to share sermons and other content from the church via e-mail, text or by reposting on their social media feeds. Tell them: it’s the easiest way to witness for Jesus.
  2. Make it simple to share. Be sure you there’s an active “share” button on all your sermons. Also, put a QR code up on the screen before and after your sermon. The code should link to the sermon itself, or if you’re preaching live you can link it to the sermons page on your website.
  3. Train them to share. Once a month, show your in-person attendees exactly how to use the church app, website or social media feed to find and share the sermon.
  4. Shorten and focus your messages. Your members will feel more comfortable asking their friends to watch a 20-minute sermon than they would a 45-minute sermon. Remember, the most shared video talks online are TED talks – which average about 10-15 minutes and are rarely longer than 20 minutes. Short videos are shared and watched more than long videos.
  5. Create a short “promo” video that links to the larger sermon. Unchurched people will more readily watch a 30 second promo than they will a 30-minute sermon. Once they’ve watched the promo you may entice them to watch the entire sermon. Encourage your people to share your promo, if not the message itself.

    Your sermons can reach millions of people online

    It’s true. A few dozen pastors get more than a million monthly sermon views on YouTube and other online platforms.

    Why not you?

    Sign up for my free online mini-course The Nine Commandments of Great Online Preaching. You’ll learn how to make your sermons more watchable, memorable and shareable.

    Click the orange button below to get started. It’s free.

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    Published On: April 15, 2022 / Categories: Church, Church growth, Online Preaching, Outreach, Publicity /

    David Murrow, The Online Preaching Coach, is the author of Why Men Hate Going to Church and many other bestselling books. David is an award winning television producer whose work has been seen on ABC, NBC, PBS, CBS, Discovery Networks, BBC World Service and dozens more. His Online Preaching Cohort trains pastors in the art of on-screen communication.

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