I have been preaching seriously since the age of 16. I have preached many sermons. Once I even preached daily for 90 days straight. But in terms of recording a sermon and having it posted online I finally reached 100 sermons that are featured on my YouTube channel. I should have recorded more, but 4 years ago I started uploading sermons. I downloaded some of my sermons from the Livestream website that Jackson Heights was using. I then had it re-uploaded now to YouTube. I have always had mixed feelings about Livestreaming. I didn’t like Livestreaming at first because I rather have people there in person. I rather have things archived in case people miss, want to re-watch, or want to share that sermon with someone else. My fear has always been that people would just stay home because they can watch the service online
Some people can use it as an excuse, but overall I am glad that some of my sermons have been recorded. In Jackson Heights I saw one person come and visit the church through seeing the Livestream. From my conversation with her I get the impression that Livestream allows people to essentially window shop. They can see what things are like inside without having to step inside. This allows them to decide whether they want to visit. If that is the main purpose you just need a few service recorded and put on the website so people can see what the service is like.
When church members at Jackson Heights started telling me 'why do they need to come when they could just watch online', I stopped Livestreaming the series I would do. I would just record it and upload it afterwards. However, the most highly attended series were the ones that weren’t recorded at all. I recognize that there were some other reasons that those series were higher in attendance than just the fact it wasn’t being recorded, but I can’t help but feel that when things are online it does affect attendance.
But why does it matter? As long as they watch the message right? No. Church is more than just hearing a message. It is connecting with others. For instance, if an evangelistic series is going on, chances are if you have been in church for a while you probably already heard multiple sermons on those topics. So why even show up? Because your presence can be an encouragement towards a visitor. That conversation that you have with someone after the message can help them make the decision that they are struggling with.
So why did I start my online ministry 4 years ago? 4 years ago, exactly to this day, my first YouTube video was uploaded. I uploaded sermons not for church people. I uploaded them for people outside of church who may be searching for Adventist messages. Today I uploaded my 100th sermon. The internet is an amazing tool to spread the word to all around the world. I have gotten to speak to people who I would have never gotten connected to if I only preached inside the building. My church members have gotten the chance to share my sermons with others. Some of my friends have gotten to watch my messages online although they are in different states. People who are unable to come to church because of health conditions or because of coronavirus lockdown are able to have access to these messages.
It’s important to realize that in-person ministry cannot do what online ministry can, and online ministry cannot do what in-person ministry can. Therefore we need both ministries to exist and cannot neglect either one in this day and age.
So I have 100 sermons on my YouTube channel, and there is more to come. Feel free to subscribe to my channel so you can watch and share with others.