Monday Morning Insights

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    Welcome to YouTube Community Church

    When Bethel Church of the Nazarene first purchased a video projector in 1999, visionary pastor Michael Hodge immediately thought beyond song lyrics and the annual Super Bowl party. “We did what alot of churches do and showed movie clips, but we soon found out that it’s tough to find a movie clip that communicates exactly what the sermon is aiming for...but then came the explosion of video clips on the net. I can surf as many as 100 clips an hour. Most of them are short and to the point which fits perfectly with my new style of preaching.”

    YouTube Community Church took a leap of faith in May 2006, changed its name, and dropped formal preaching altogether. Attendance has spiked up by 38% since that time, and the trend does not show any sign of slowing. Pastor Hodge attributes the growth to the fact that people think in quick spurts of insight which is suited perfectly to a 90-second video clip with a three-minute setup. “Most sermons are modeled after Paul speaking to the scholars in Athens, but we’re talking about people who see more meaning in a video with a cat chasing a flashlight beam, than they find in a treatise on prevenient grace. Those stuffy theological types might curse the darkness, but I’m turning on a light and the people are starved for the simplicity of the Gospel.”

    Church marketing expert Dr. Martin Lawrence was at first stunned by the YouTube Church phenomenon, but he has since made sense out of it. “Over the years, I have observed that some churches derive their identity from being on the edge in some respect. It used to be that a church could create buzz in the community just by having an electric guitar player in the that you could actually hear...not just window dressing. But now, practically every church has an electric guitar player, and so it takes something else for those edgy churches to distinguish themselves from the crowd of mindless imitators.”

    Those who attend YouTube Community Church are quick to point out that the message is not watered down by videos of babies farting or teenagers lip syncing to their favorite tunes. The pastor still draws a connection between seemingly inane video clips and the message of the living Christ. Pastor Michael Hodge sums up the ministry philosophy concisely. “Some people don’t understand what we’re doing here, and that’s fine. I just tell those people that if they don’t like it, they are more than welcome to attend one of the hundreds of other churches that bore people to death with the Word of God week in and week out.”

    You’ll find more great content here at Nazarene Nooz...


    [Nazarene Nooz] -- Formerly known as Bethel , Community Church stands as the first church to drop preaching altogether in favor of video clips interspersed with 'teachable moments'.


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    1. Peter Hamm on Fri, January 05, 2007

      “more than welcome to attend one of the hundreds of other churches that bore people to death”

      LOL… but be sure to list those people on “WolfWarning”!

    2. Leonard on Fri, January 05, 2007

      We are also doing this with specially designed software that makes all You Tube videos less grainy and have a holy hue .  Our Christmas series this last year was Yule Tube.

    3. Anthony D. Coppedge on Fri, January 05, 2007

      Glad this is humor as churches using YouTube clips for real here in the U.S. would be breaking copyright laws left and right (yes, even with a CVLI license).

    4. layne on Fri, January 05, 2007

      re anthonys comment:  I knew Id seen his name before, its under negative nabobs on wolfwarning (he gets a 4.5).

    5. Erik on Mon, January 08, 2007

      Anthony, there’s a new product that would let you use YouTube videos legally in church.  It’s the Netgear Digital Entertainer HD and it can stream full screen video from YouTube.  When you post a video to YouTube, you grant others the right to display it in any manner “through the functionality of the Website.”  (see YouTube terms of service 5B)  As long as you stream the video from YouTube to show it on your screen it is completely legal to do so.

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