Words are powerful. They trigger memories and significant events.
As parents, we often reminisce about our children in their toddler years and mimic the manner in which they said something in their sweet, innocent, oh-so-incorrect way. Those words linger in our minds, but we miss their sweet voices. Why? Because words have power—like we read in John’s gospel account. “In the beginning, was the logos.” And that logos became flesh, and his name was Jesus. In the story of the Bible, words hold a special place. Not only was Jesus called the “word” but he was also present when the world was created. In the climactic opening scene, we find God speaking words—and light appears.
Although each of us would unquestionably agree that the power of words is still present today, we may debate over how we portray and receive those words. Some love to read words. A few of us adore verbalizing our words. And others simply enjoy listening to words.
According to The Atlantic, there has been a huge decline in the number of American booklovers in the past 20 years. Sadly, that number seems to be decreasing as the wave of technology and social media grows. This begs the question: how do we meet people where they are in order to share the gospel with them (1 Corinthians 9-10)?
LifeWay Research in 2017 showed, 73% of Christians use social media to interact with their congregation. The majority of churches with an online presence are already using social media as a growth tool. Would it shock you to learn, 54% (in 2017) of Christian millennials watch online videos about faith or spirituality? A 2013 Barna survey found that more than half of Christian young people watch religious videos online. Among all U.S. millennials—Christian and non-Christian—the number was 31%. And with Covid, lockdowns, and the rise of our culture depending on computers, these numbers have exponentially increased in the past few years. The reality is that things have changed. Regardless of how we feel about these changes, we cannot deny them.
If we cannot refute that words have immense power and that books aren’t our first form of entertainment, then how do we reach non-believers? How do we get them into the church? I have to confess this is a loaded question. For this blog, we are only going to show the benefits of reaching others through video.
Many of you have heard or seen the Jesus Film Project, in 2020 with an audience of over 8.1 billion people. In 2019 the film’s platform views, including YouTube, were over 170 million. The statistics are there to show how powerful video is in our current culture. The number one religious community on YouTube is a Hindu site called Bhakti with 1,293,829,541 views from around the world. In the United States, Marcos Witt founded CanZion in 1987 with a vision of building up the body of Christ through the production and distribution of Christian music in Spanish in Mexico with views of 374,920,308.
These numbers are high, but the heartbreaking fact is that other religions are doing a much better job of reaching people on a daily basis than we are. Yes, in the United States we have TV channels, social media, and radio dedicated to God’s Word, but what about the rest of the world? We live in a time where the potential to influence is global. And video is how we reach out. This is why learning and creating videos with sound biblical doctrine, along with sharing God and His word are vital for Christians today. If we want to reach people, we have to meet them where they are, no matter how much we agree/disagree or comfortable/uncomfortable we are. We need to have the loudest, most peaceful, and loving truth to influence our world. Video is how it is going to get done.
Video, done right, will empower each word spoken.
Questions: What kind of videos are you using as ministry tools right now? What topic would you like to develop in a video format next?
Announcement: The Speak Up Conference will be virtual on July 14-16, 2021. Chandee Ulch will present a session on “The Gift of Being a Mentor.” From now through April 15, we’re offering an Early Bird Special on the registration fee for this event. For information, click here.
If you’re in need of partial scholarship assistance, email Bonnie@speakupconference.com for an application.
If you’d like to “Pay It Forward” and give a tax-deductible donation to the scholarship fund, here’s the link.