You know a church is relevant when it experiences 400-500 new members in one year! That is what happened this year at St John Baptist Church! The acting church Administrator and Media Ministry Leader, Darryl Holder, credits the explosive growth to their new pastor and the many aspects of media ministry that the church employs.
Darryl says, “If a ministry is going to grow today, it will have to be using relevant media. People will step into something they are familiar with a lot quicker than something that seems outdated.” St John Baptist church discovered that people really connect with a church that is using today’s technology . For example, since almost everyone is accessing resources from their home computer, they expect to be able to access the church’s resources in the same way.
Every service is recorded on CD. Five cameras are used to capture every service on DVD and to help broadcast live on the internet. A big screen in the church shows exactly what is being recorded. This provides an up-close feel of the ministry taking place. Two Sundays a month and every Tuesday evening the services are aired live on radio.
It is amazing that in just 7 months of offering live web streaming, the viewing population has already grown to 3000 people a month! Individuals are watching the services live, as well as accessing previous messages through the large archive available on the website. This enables people to watch or listen to a sermon at any time free of charge. It also provides the wonderful opportunity to download any sermon on an MP3 player, ipod, or even a cell phone. These life-giving messages can also be shared with friends and loved ones through e-mail.
One young lady had visited the church a few times. When she was out of town, she decided to watch a service live over the internet . She is very grateful that she could tune into that service, because God used it to motivate her to give her life to Christ. Now she regularly attends the church and, most importantly, she is a follower of Christ!
Interestingly, the CD ministry also increased since the live streaming began. It has grown 1,200 % from distributing 5 CDs a week to distributing 60 CDs a week! About this, Darryl says, “We want to minister to the people who are coming in as well as to reach out to the world. Our mission is to reach as many as we can and the only way we can do that is by using various types of media.” There is nothing like putting a CD in someone’s hand the day of the service, before they leave the church. This enables people to hear the message again in their car and to have a prepared, valuable tool ready to pass on to their family and friends. This is called Messages-To-Go.
This vibrant church is also currently distributing 65 DVD’s of the weekly services! The church owns several portable DVD players. When someone is sick or shut in, a deacon will take a DVD of the service and a portable DVD player if needed to that person so they can watch the services until they can return to church. Visitors are given a welcome packet with their choice of a CD or DVD. The church captures all services, including funerals, on both audio and visual. Recently more than 50 people requested a DVD of a funeral they attended. A major emphasis is placed on involving teens and young adults in the media ministry, because this offers them the ability to be a vital part of the church. Young adults are trained to operate all the equipment. The media ministry team has shared their time and talents with other churches by doing live broadcasts from those churches and inspiring them to start their own CD and DVD ministries.