My sermon texts are posted on our church website. Many people seem to read them, as it gets a lot of hits. Many churches post sermon videos but not the sermon texts themselves because license issues may arise when preachers want to publish their sermons as a book. We do the opposite, and some people have asked me why.
One reason we do this is because I preach specifically for my congregation, not for a general audience. So I’m not sure whether my sermons really help outsiders. Another reason is that I am not a particularly good preacher. Videos of many excellent preachers are already available on the Web. I do not feel that another preacher is needed.
But the most important reason has to do with my ministerial philosophy. I believe that God established churches mainly to save souls and make disciples. So our church ministries have been focused on soul winning and we have tried to allocate as much of our resources as possible for this purpose. We have been willing to spend a lot of money reaching out to nonbelievers but as little as possible for those who are already believers.
Posting sermon videos is inconsistent with this philosophy. It is very unlikely that nonbelievers will watch sermon videos on the Web. The people who watch them are probably believers. Not just believers, but long-time believers who enjoy sampling sermons of different preachers. It takes manpower, time and money to videotape sermons and make them available on the Web. This would be an intensive investment for believers, not nonbelievers, and thus runs contrary to our church policies.
One may then ask why we post my sermon texts. A simple reason is that it can be done with minimal effort and resources. But more importantly, I want to help pastors who desire to transform their traditional churches into house churches. To be successful, these pastors must change not only their church structure but also their own preaching style. Most pastors prepare sermons with believers in mind. But if they want soul winning house churches they need to preach for nonbelievers and new believers. They should focus on practical problems rather than theological topics.
Many new believers say that my sermons are easy to understand. I post them so that pastors who have started house churches may reference them or even use them themselves.
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