Churches Looking to Video Blogs to Spread Gospel

A picture is worth a thousand words – even when it comes to sermons, apparently.

In the same way that “Godcasting” has allowed preachers to bring their message to thousands beyond their congregations, preachers are now turning to video blogs, or “vlogs” as a way to reach out to the Internet savvy masses.

The Rev. Sam Horn of Brookside Baptist Church in Brookfield, Wis., was one of the first pastors in the nation to vodcast his sermons, which can be viewed at www.brooksidebaptist.org, via the Internet.

Brookside’s Bible school activities, which includes children singing, clapping, jumping and throwing water balloons, can also be seen on the church’s website.

“This is another way of communicating,'' said Horn, according to the Rutland Herald.

But while the Christian community continues to explore the outreach opportunities available online, Frank Johnson, a licensed Assemblies of God minister and the founder and principle administrator of Strategic Digital Outreach, says that too many churches are only using the web to present service times, staff biographies and other facts.

"If the church could catch a vision for using video technology to present an authentic presentation of the life of the church — not rehearsed videos, but spontaneous records of conversations, laughing with one another, weeping with one another, people sharing their lives, etc. — the average person might take notice," Johnson wrote in an e-mail interview with the Rutland Herald.

"I would love to see churches start using their Web sites to present video profiles of people within their congregations so that the average person could get a sense of what the life of the church (not the organization, but the people — the true church) is really like," he continued.

New technologies are removing mediators and putting people in closer contact with one another, said Will Samson, a spokesman for Emergent Village, a network of postmodern, emerging churches.

"The hope is that it empowers people to live out their life more fully, including creating communities that live out the Christian message,” he said.