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Evangelistic Videos are Great Bible Study Tools!
1. Videos empower members, especially recent converts. The ability to empower new converts with an ability to successfully share their faith cannot be underestimated. New members can easily facilitate three or four baptisms, if not more, as they immediately reach out to friends and relatives at the time they are most interested in sharing their faith. Bible studies on the other hand are intimidating.
2. Maximizes efficiency. A person can easily share videos with five or ten people at the same time, while in-person Bible studies with so many individuals would be difficult if not impossible.
3. Powerful witness material. We underestimate the power of videos to provide complete information on a subject, as well as addressing objections at the same time, in one uninterrupted setting. The format also minimizes distracting questions that often sidetrack Bible studies.
4. Provides viewers a tool to take to their pastors if necessary. When individuals are watching religious videos, they often get excited and begin sharing what they are learning with friends. Often pastors become concerned and begin raising questions, which, fortunately, are often addressed in the video. The videos provide authoritative answers and therefore shield Bible study interests at a vulnerable learning moments.
5. Fits modern society where televisions are present. People are into watching things. Audio tapes are generally listened to in a car, but minimally at home. Videos are different. People happily watch videos, even preachers on religious stations.
6. Affords privacy. There are many individuals who are reluctant to attend meetings at a church, being afraid they will be deceived in some way or observed by others. The ability to view the series at home is greatly appreciated.
7. Allows flexible viewing times. Many individuals cannot make a series of meetings because of work schedule complications. Videos allow the PM and Night shift employee to watch in the AM. Allows couples to view at different times. Flexible viewing times are also appreciated by seniors who avoid night driving.
8. Focuses prospects on truth and shields them from congregational "distractions." It isn't long before evangelistic and other church meeting attendees begin evaluating Bible truth on the basis of what they observe in church. Unfortunately, though truth is being taught, the truth isn't always seen in the behaviour of the people espousing truth, which has a negative effect on new interests. Evangelistic meetings tend to unduly raise expectations of what services, preaching and a church are like. Unfortunately reality is often different. Videos provide truth without artificial evangelism-generated excitement and thereby allow viewers to progress through the videos and accept truth before being faced with the challenges of the local congregation. If the individual has been invited into a redemptive small group, the combination of truth and fellowship will greatly insulate from the untoward experiences that invariably take place.
9. Cost effective. Over time a church may purchase multiple sets of evangelistic videos to make sure first quality copies are being used. Some members will be very active and have multiple videos out; others will only share one copy. In some cases viewers will be ready for another video by the next day; others take a month. Making sharing copies enables a flexibility that works with the varying needs of those witnessing and their prospects they are seeking to win.
10. Protects the initial investment in the video series. When copies are extensively shared, the tapes can be lost or damaged from heavy usage, carelessness on the part of the viewer, or refusal to return. Accordingly, it becomes very expensive to share many tapes.
11. Maximizes investment returns of public meetings. Millions of dollars are spent putting on global meetings. The results are gratifying, but relatively few people attend when considering the world's population. The same is true of most evangelistic meetings. By sharing videos the results from the initial investment can be greatly multiplied.
"How To" information
Sharing videos is easy. Here are some steps:
1. Decide which series you want to use and purchase a set of tapes (or borrow set from church). Determine if the series can be copied. Many evangelists are supportive of such efforts, but should be asked permission. God cannot bless if we are being dishonest.
2. Purchase a second VCR to copy from one deck to the other. Make sure the decks are of sufficient quality to make good copies. You can only copy from the original. Copies of copies are not very good. Realize you will end up making more copies of the first few in the series. If possible, use your computer to make DVD copies since they hold up to wear and tear even better.
3. Gather materials that support each video to share after the person has watched.
4. Find other Christians who are willing to support the effort and pray with you. Hopefully you will develop a small group that you can later invite the people watching videos to join.
5. Pray for opportunities to share the videos in your community or on the job. You can start spiritual conversations, ask Bible-related questions, or find some other way of gaining interest. Coworkers and neighbors can also be invited home to watch, however be aware that watching with you may allow their asking questions you are unprepared to respond to yet. The privacy and flexibility of sharing videos makes the "sharing" approach more effective. Mailing videos hasn't been terribly effective so far, but can be tried if personal contact is impossible.
6. Be careful about answering too many questions initially. You don't want to jump ahead to other subjects. Provide the written information and keep building up future videos.
7. Encourage the person watching to think of others who might enjoy watching the videos.
8. Be patient. Some people will watch one video over two weeks. Others will want two or three at a time. Keep praying and looking for God to convict in His own time and way!
9. Approach your local CABLE station about getting the videos on the community access channels.
10. Pray! Pray! Pray! Pray! Only the work accomplished with much prayer will avail!