Video teaching is a tool that expands what we are capable of. In the last 50 years, video has changed the way Americans and the world receive information. With the invention of the television, people suddenly began receiving the majority of their information through a "virtual" person in their living room. We all grew up watching our parents and grandparents huddle around the TV to watch a news anchor bring us the day's stories on the Evening News.
Today, with the advent of the Internet, computers and smart phones, receiving information and content through video is an expected norm. In fact, we prefer it. Video gives us the ability to see angles on things we otherwise couldn't see (think watching a football game from the stands or from your couch...) and be closer to communicators then we otherwise could be.
Of course the logic makes sense as it relates to our TV's or Videos on our computers, but what about "God's Spirit?" "Can God work through a video in the same way He does when the speaker up front is in-person?" This is a great question, and for the answer, consider this: Every time we give an opportunity to receive salvation in our weekend services, we have several hands raised in our video services.
Thankfully, because our world is so video savvy, our minds have become accustomed to receiving from someone on a video screen. And to our spirit, there is no difference. Video is simply a medium of communication, just like paper and ink are, or an audio CD is. It's merely a platform for communication, and therefore a non-factor for the Spirit of God to flow through. God's Spirit is at work regardless of the medium, be it written, spoken, in-person, or by video. The Word of God is faithful, regardless of the medium!
I have heard it said that preaching a 40 minute message exudes the same amount of energy as a working an 8 hour day. Speaking personally, preaching on the weekend is the physical equivalent of running hard on a treadmill for 40 straight minutes, taking a 30 minute break and then getting back on again for another 40 minutes of hard running. Having to do that 4 or 5 times in a 20 hour period of time over a weekend exacts a physical and emotional toll that takes more than just Sunday evening to recover from.
We believe there is a better way to communicate messages at Next Level Church without our pastors paying such a high price. And we do that by leveraging technology and video teaching. By utilizing our 21' HD Screen in 1 or 2 of our weekend services, we are creating a near identical NLC Experience for attenders while honoring our value of health for our pastors.
At Next Level Church, we value Health over Growth in every way, including and especially with our staff and pastors. We place a high priority on "Taking a Day Off" and "Taking Care of your Health and Family" for all of our team and leaders. Because we have so many weekend services in multiple locations, it is paramount to the physical, emotional and spiritual well being of speaking pastors that we not speak "in-person" in all of those services.
Additionally, our weekend services are not all our pastors do. During a typical week, our pastors are teaching, leading meetings, coaching other pastors, having conversations, etc. Additionally, it takes energy to lead and motivate the hundreds of volunteers that make NLC the place we know and love, keep a few dozen staff inspired, trained and, influence other pastors and leaders across the country. Our leaders work hard not just on Saturdays and Sundays, but throughout the week as well.
It has been said that preaching a 40-minute message exudes the same amount of energy as working an 8-hour day. Preaching on the weekend is the physical equivalent of running hard on a treadmill for 40 straight minutes, taking a 30 minute break and then getting back on again for another 40 minutes of hard running. Having to do that 4 or 5 times in a 20 hour period of time over a weekend exacts a physical and emotional toll that takes more than just Sunday evening to recover from.
Video teaching is a more effective way to communicate messages at Next Level Church without our pastors paying such a high price. By utilizing High Resolution HD Screens, we are able to create a near identical NLC Experience for attenders while honoring our value of health for our pastors.
The vision of Next Level Church has always been to be 1 Church in multiple locations. We believe the most effective way to reach people in a community is by having an expression of God's Church in that community. Said another way, we believe the best way for people to be apart of the Life-Flow of a Church is not for them to have to drive 30 minutes or more to attend a program or service, but rather for the church to have a location in their city or community.
Video teaching gives us the ability to do that. We are one Church in Multiple Locations: Coconut Point, Fort Myers, and Gateway. Technology gives us the ability to be growing as a church family together, even though we are living in different cities or communities across southwest Florida.
Here are 4 examples of churches who use Video Teaching every week in multiple locations in other parts of the US:
The final reason we use Video Teaching at Next Level Church is because a few years ago we came to a crossroads. When our church began to explode and close to 2,000 people began to attend each weekend, we were running out of space. In that moment, we knew, as a leadership team, we had 2 choices:
As we pondered that decision, we began to think about so many of the stories we were hearing of friends, family members, co-workers and classmates whose lives were being changed through NLC. The thought of not being able to create space for someone else's friend, or loved one to come and experience Jesus like that was not an option for us. We couldn't stand the thought of turning someone away, or worse yet, seeing a car pull on the parking lot and then drive off again, because they couldn't find a spot in our most popular service times (it happens just about every week).
If using Video Teaching is a method God has given us to continue to create more Next Level Church environments where people's lives can be transformed then we will do it! People are worth it! Lost people are worth it! We didn't start Next Level Church so we could turn people away; we started it so we could invite them in… into a relationship with Jesus Christ! And praise God, video teaching gives us the ability to do that.
Every week we hear the stories of life-change that happen in our weekend services (the majority of which are video) at all of our locations. And we know that it is because so many of you get the vision. It happens because, so many of you sacrifice, give and leverage your talents, gifting and abilities to make a difference in someone else's life.
At Next Level Church, we will continue to do everything we can and use every technology available to reach move people for Jesus Christ!
I love being your pastor, Pastor Matt Keller