Apr 23, 2013

Top Seven Reasons to Post Sermons Online

A while back I reviewed the book SimChurch (part 1 and part 2) which argued in favor of virtual/online forms of doing church.  In those reviews, I strongly objected to making a virtual church your personal church experience & place of membership mainly due to the need for physical presence to administer the sacraments and to fellowship without a mediating technology.  While I still think this way, I've put more thought lately into posting sermons online.  Our church plant posts sermons online and I've come to see a number of benefits to even smaller churches doing this.
  1. The Great Commission: Our call is to "make disciples" and to "teach" them (Matt 28:18-20) and preaching is a primary means for this teaching.  Making sermons available is much like the work of the Gideons placing Bibles all over - get the Word out there for any who will benefit from it.
  2. Nursery workers: I love to volunteer in the nursery so other parents can relax and participate in worship with less distraction (and appreciate that service myself!).  However, I miss the sermon.  Even if the sermon is piped in to the nursery, crying or active children makes it hard to hear.  If I can download it later, I can keep up with a sermon series.
  3. Members with short- or long-term illness: My dad has ALS and isn't able to come on Sunday mornings to worship anymore.  However, he can watch a broadcast on TV or listen via a podcast.  This technology is a great solution for someone without physical access and I'm grateful that he has it.
  4. Visitors: A collection of recent sermons gives potential visitors a chance to learn a bit about your church.  They get a flavor for how the pastor preaches and for the broad style by going through the archive (topical, sequential through a book, or a mix)
  5. Christians outside your church: Our church's men's group went through Ephesians recently, and now my parent's church is going through a sermon series on it.  Listening through those has been a great way to reinforce what I learned or see another application for a passage.  
  6. Repeat listening inside your church: If I'm particularly struck or confused by a sermon, I can listen to it again and pause if I need to.
  7. Redeem the time: We all have time in the car, doing chores, or relaxing after the kids are in bed when we can have some audio going in the background.  Providing sermons gives us more "meat" to listen to while doing those other activities.
Put any I missed in the comments below.


  1. As a minister who does post sermons to SermonAudio myself, I can tell of blessing I get from many other brothers' preaching. I feed the people of God several times a week. What a blessing it is, while washing the dishes or driving to a meeting or whatever, to BE fed by another's faithful preaching of the Word of God.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I've had other pastors mention they listen to sermons to help feed themselves.

  2. I love listening to sermons while driving, walking or exercising, acknowledging the same caveats as you do in your post.

    You might enjoy the 2012 den Dulk lectures from Westminster Seminary California. Speaker Gregory Reynolds has a longstanding interest in "media ecology" and the relationship between electronic media, culture, and the Church.

    1. Oops, make that 2013, not 2012.

    2. Thank you for pointing out those resources! I'll have to find time to listen to those. This is another great point - the lectures and sermons that seminaries put out there for free. It's one more good resource God's people can take advantage of.