Televangelists who may have been criticized in the 1980s and 1990s have now become good examples for churches that are livestreaming during the current lockdown, according to Phil Cooke, a Christian media consultant in Los Angeles.
Cooke complied a list of the actions of televangelists that provide lessons for today’s pastors who are struggling with livestreaming.
- The importance of adapting your service to the online experience. “The early televangelists understood how to get out from behind a pulpit and move to a studio or other location. They realized that the experience in a sanctuary during a church service isn’t the same experience on television.”
- The power of the close-up. “Watching wide shots of your stage and scenery aren’t nearly as compelling as a close up of a preacher, worship leader or storyteller.”
- The importance of a media team. “Television ministries knew to hire a great crew, because they had the skills to help a single preacher reach a vast audience. Today, pastors around the world have suddenly discovered that their communication and media teams are absolutely essential to creating a life-changing online experience.”
- The power of “show not tell.” “A long time ago, TV ministries learned to stop just talking about their outreach work and start showing it.”
- TV evangelists were willing to try risky ideas. “In my experience, the churches who had the highest rates of online giving before this crisis are many of the most financially healthy churches right now.”
- The vital need to follow up. “The early TV evangelists discovered the importance of connecting with their audiences in between programs.”
- It’s OK to pray with your eyes open on camera. “Today, pastors are quickly figuring out that looking at the viewer while praying creates a far more effective prayer connection.”
- The amazing power of testimonies. “Decades ago, TV ministries learned the impact of showing video testimonies of people who had been changed because of the ministry. Now pastors are regularly showing testimony videos of marriages restored, salvation stories, people being healed and more because during this lockdown, they’re such an encouragement.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice