10 Tips for Improving Your Preaching Online

1. Preach Shorter.
Think in terms of a 12–18 minute sermon, not 35–40 minutes.

2. Preach up close and personal.
You’re not on stage. You’re up close. People can see your eyes, your face, your smile. Speak softer. Look into the camera. Don’t wave your arms. Don’t shout. Don’t pace back and forth.

3. Have a conversation.
Think of your sermon more as a “fireside chat” with friends.

4. Invite people into your home.
Let people see the pictures on your wall, your family, your pets, your office, your sofa and your kitchen.

5. Keep things moving
Have your main camera, and then a side-angle to mix things up. Vary your scenes, props, positions and camera angles. People get bored quicker online.

6. Don’t repeat yourself
People are paying attention to every sentence.

7. Prepare differently
Prep like a movie-producer, not a preacher from a pulpit. Think location, props, scenes. Are you walking? Sitting? Standing? Inside? Outside?

8. Plan ahead
Deadlines are different—get your sermon recorded by Thursday, so your people have time for post-production. Consider adding words on the screen, improving the sound and getting it ready to put online.

9. Trust your young people like you have never done before!
If you’re a digital immigrant, listen to digital natives in your church. Digital natives are people who grew up knowing about this stuff and can’t remember a time before the internet. Trust them. They know what they’re talking about.

10. Take the limits off
Don’t limit yourself to one weekly sermon. You can produce daily five-minute devotionals or prayers. Aim to share content regularly and find a rhythm of the day.

First published on StartChurch.com. Used by permission.

John Willison
John Willison

John Willison is the lead pastor of Abundant Grace International Fellowship in Shanghai, China. He has been a pastor of the international community in Africa and Asia for the past 16 years. Previously, he was a Vineyard pastor in Evanston, Illinois for 15 years.