Why Preaching Online is Different than Preaching to a Crowd

This article was posted with permission from David Murrow. Check out his blog over at DavidMurrow.com

Audience #1: In Person

Audience #1  has gathered in a church building to hear you speak. The environment is designed to minimize distractions. You have an attention monopoly: you are the only person talking. Your sermon is the most interesting thing happening in the room.

Audience #1 sits obediently, listening to everything you say. Even if your sermon goes long or loses their attention, Audience #1 remains seated until you’re done speaking, because it’s considered rude to get up and walk out of a church service.

Audience #2: Online

Audience #2 is watching you on a screen. There may be a dozen distractions vying for their attention (their phone, the kids, the dog, etc.) Your message is a part of the attention economy: one of a billion different things your viewers could be watching online.

Audience #2 will stay as long as your sermon is engaging. But if your message fails to connect, they can leave the room anonymously, with a flick of a finger.

How can one sermon reach both audiences?

Simple. Preach with audience #2 in mind.

Obviously, Audience #2 is the tougher crowd. You must fight for their attention.

But here’s the truth: If your sermon is interesting online, it will be an absolute smash hit in person.

The principle: if it works online, it works in person. But the reverse is not necessarily true.