Video in Preaching

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I've used video in a number of ways as part of my own preaching. Movies can enhance and enrich your preaching, especially if you are trying to connect with a younger congregation.

Make your own movie

Luke 8:22-25

 Firstly, you could make a movie which illustrates or gives another perspective on your topic. For instance, when preaching on Luke 8:22-25

22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side of the lake." So they put out,
23 and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger.
24 They went to him and woke him up, shouting, "Master, Master, we are perishing!" And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm.
25 He said to them, "Where is your faith?" They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, "Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?" (NRSV)


I made two films, storm and calm:

Firstly I remarked that few of us had the experience of being in a boat in a storm but perhaps it felt a bit like this: and then I showed the storm video. Using the opening of the overture of The Flying Dutchman by Wagner and some shots of stormy seas (all taken when we lived by the sea at Bacton on the North Norfolk coast). After this I talked about storms in our own lives and how I often use this Celtic prayer:

Calm me O Lord, as you stilled the storm,

Still me, O Lord, keep me from harm.

Let all the tumult within me cease.

Enfold me, Lord, in your peace.

I then played the calm video. This features a track from Grace, an emerging church based at St Mary's, Ealing (where I worshipped for twenty years) with pictures of calm seas. The result was a talk which seemed to really engage a large number of people in the all-age congregation.


The harvest movie comes from a harvest service we did in Bacton in September 2005.The service was held, cafe-style, in the Village Hall. I wanted it to be as accessible as possible so I decided that the sermon would be 'preached' by the congregation. I interviewed people as they came out of church and also at the Bacton village show so I had a good mixture of church people as well as they who did not attend. I asked just one question, "What does harvest mean to you?" I also asked Nick, a local farmer, if he would let me know when the combine was coming so that I could get some harvest shots. Then I cut it all together and used it as the sermon in the service. It seemed to work very well.

Use someone else's movie

God is a DJ

I sometimes preach at Langley School. When I do I try to do something which will connect with the students and their culture. So, for instance, I used Faithless' God is a DJ (I also love this God is a DJ - very clever) to introduce a talk about church, following on from Matthew 16:13-18. I told them that I agreed with most of the lyrics and it certainly got their attention.


Rob Bell is the teaching pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan. He has produced a series of video talks under the label of Nooma. Each video is between 10 and 15 minutes long and usually consists of a monologue from Bell. They are well-made, Bell is a very engaging speaker and the content is often thought-provoking. By the end of 2008 there were 22 videos, with the 23rd expected in March 2009. A number of outlets sell them. Eden has a complete set at around £7.59 each, while Amazon has most, some of them quite cheap.

What if Starbucks marketed Like a Church?

This is worth showing if your church has got a bit complacent or feels that its welcome is culturally relevant. It could provoke a good discussion for church councils on the theme of welcome and mission or could be part of a sermon on becoming missional.

Use a movie to grab attention

Many of the movies I recommend for use in Bible Study or Outreach could also be useful to grab attention and set up a good sermon or talk.