Finding Church on YouTube

February 27, 2007

It seems that a growing number of churches are taking YouTube’s advice to “broadcast yourself.” I recently read a couple of articles about some religious leaders who have found an online audience with their YouTube videos (find them here and here). The first one reports:

South Florida clergy are turning to technology to broaden their audiences, putting cyber-sermons and virtual religious lessons alongside the blooper reels and video blogs on YouTube.

... “YouTube is changing the face of evangelism in the modern world,” said Kevin Rogers Cobus, editor of Technologies for Worship Magazine.

He plans a seminar on churches’ use of YouTube at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in April in Las Vegas.

“It’s accessible and cost-effective. Technology is second nature to young people; they’ve never known life without the Internet. They bring those things with them to church.”

... Randy Scharf, of Plantation, watched his pastor’s videos on YouTube after seeing the links on the church’s Web site,

“YouTube is a tease to direct people to the full message on the Web site,” said Scharf, 52, a general contractor. “You do whatever you can to get the gospel out. The price is definitely right.”

There are definitely some good arguments there to consider. The second piece (which was linked to by Church Marketing Sucks) offered:

“On a national level, we are seeing more priests who are in the millennial and Gen X age who are taking advantage of this mode of communication,” said Robert Williams, communications director for the Episcopal Church National Office.

... Hastings-on-Hudson resident James O’Connor was looking for a new church when he found St. Paul’s Web site and the link to Moretz’s YouTube page. The videos spotlighted topics that he wanted to hear about and were brilliantly constructed and funny, he said.

He joined the church in September with his girlfriend.

“I decided that’s the church I want to be in because it spoke to a younger audience, my generation,” said 20-year-old O’Connor.
Though the videos may not bring in tons of new people, if they reach a few then it is worth the work. It is good to see churches that are taking advantage of new technology. If you or your church has experimented with this, I would love to hear about it.