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5 Tips For Preaching Online

5 Tips For Preaching Online

If you were like many churches around the world, you were most likely conducting your worship service online over the weekend!

Mike Rhoades | Mar 27, 2020

How did Sunday go?

If you were like many churches around the world, you were most likely conducting your worship service online over the weekend! For some, this is a very new landscape to navigate, and for others, this may be something that’s known territory. 

But one thing’s for sure, not many of us are used to speaking and preaching to an empty room. 

We thought we'd put together a few tips to help you feel more comfortable and at ease speaking to a camera instead of a congregation in the room. If you would like information on how to set up and run church online check out our blog on Leading Ministry Online.

1. Adjust your approach

The first thing to remember is that you need to adjust your approach to delivering a service by keeping the experience of the viewer in mind. Many will be watching from their couch at home or on a cell phone or tablet. Unlike a live environment, they are passively viewing the experience, so it’s highly unlikely they will be standing in their living room clapping along with the songs during worship. That doesn’t mean the experience has to be boring or stale, though. There is a lot of room for creativity! Here are a couple of simple tips to consider:

  • Keep the whole service to 30-45 minutes.
  • Ensure you have good lighting.
  • Utilize slides and videos to create breaks throughout the service. 
  • Get creative! Here is a great resource put out by the Youth Cartel with 72 short videos that teach the Bible Narrative. (Use the code PELICANS to get 30% off the series!)
  • Provide activities for your congregation to do at home. Invite them to take notes, create fridge art out of a theme verse, or participate in a sermon illustration along with you. Be creative! 

2. Be engaging on screen

The best tip we can give you is to imagine your congregation. Have you ever noticed someone who just seemed natural speaking to a camera? Chances are, they are imagining their audience (or church body, in this case) behind the camera. Tape a picture of your church to the camera or simply choose a few of your church members in your mind to focus on - this will help you speak more naturally and forget that it’s a camera you’re speaking to.

  • Practice. Get in front of the camera (even just your cell phone) and preach, speak, or monologue. Then, as you watch the recording, you will pick up on things that you will be able to improve upon. 
  • Watch out for verbal habits like “um,” “so,” or “like.” These are easy ways to improve.

3. Integrate a private chat room

Ask a few people to monitor and contribute to the live chat connected to the stream. One of the greatest benefits of doing a live event is the interaction with people while the service is happening. It’s often a great idea to provide your chat room hosts with some notes or prompts from your sermon that they can use to engage the people they’re interacting with. For example, if you are preaching out of Romans, provide your chat room hosts with the key verses and a few of your main bullet points from the sermon. 

4. Provide a live host

A live stream host is also a great way to keep people engaged while you are transitioning between presenters or your worship band. Transitions are even more important while streaming. A few seconds of unintentional “dead air” on screen can seem like an eternity for your viewer and can turn into a distraction. One idea is to have your live stream host lead everyone in posting prayer requests during a transition. Get creative and find ways to keep people engaged!

5. Be yourself

Most of all, remember to be yourself. The Lord is using you in a powerful way during this season of life. We are believing for new people to venture into church worship services online during this season and, through that, find the hope of Christ and the great news of the Gospel!


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