Online will never replace in-person church.

But online sermons can be a powerful outreach tool.

The church will always gather. When we come together to form the Body of Christ, everyone is strengthened. You can’t get this experience on YouTube.

But we must keep reaching out to the screen world because that’s where people hang out today.

Americans spend about 70 hours a week consuming media content. That’s more time than we devote to sleep.

We can’t just give up on the screen world. Christians must build an online audience for the gospel.

And don’t forget: online church is the on-ramp to in-person attendance.

They watch online sermons before they visit in person

Twenty years ago, most visitors showed up at church never having heard the pastor speak. Those days are gone. Pastor Carey Nieuwhof asks:

“When was the last time you bought a new product, went to a new restaurant or even took a vacation without checking things out online first?


Ditto with people who are thinking of visiting your church. There’s a high probability that they’ll check you out online long before they’ll ever check-in their kids on their first Sunday.”

Here’s the best reason to sharpen your online preaching: it’s the gateway to in-person attendance. Your online preaching is the new welcome center.

Potential new members (particularly young adults) will watch a sermon or two before they attend a service. If they like what they see, they come to church. If they don’t, they don’t. Hopefully they keep looking for a church. More likely: they give up searching and see what’s on Netflix.

The stakes are high. You need to up your game. Let me help.

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Published On: February 18, 2022 / Categories: Church, Church growth, Online Preaching, Outreach, Worship /

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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