The Coronavirus Pandemic has forced large numbers of churches to suspend weekly services and ministry gatherings. As a result, lots of people are turning to online video as a way of maintaining ministry continuity.

For me, as I think about Video Bible Talks, I can’t help but think of Esther 4:14… that the ministry of Video Bible Talks has been growing over the last two years ‘for such a time as this’.

Here to be used

Now, to be clear, Video Bible Talks is not part of the LORD’s revealed salvation history in quite the same way as Esther was but, nonetheless, video-based Bible teaching available for free online does offer a faithful and practical means for many to continue gathering around Bible teaching in a season of social distancing. Plus, unlike lots of paid-for teaching content, Video Bible Talks is available without charge and so can be used in many different ways, including via online sharing/streaming (although please do cast your eye over our terms of use to ensure that you are doing this appropriately).

So, with that in mind, here are three ways that you can use Video Bible Talks to serve your church and/or ministry groups during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

#1 Synchronised watching followed by group video call

Arrange with your church, youth group or other such ministry group to watch a Video Bible Talks video at a pre-arranged time (such as the time your group would usually meet) and then video call afterwards to discuss it and help each other apply what you have just heard from God’s Word.

  1. The group leader downloads the video and accompanying leader guide from the Video Bible Talks library in advance. This allows them to watch the video for themselves and prepare, amend or copy the group discussion questions from the leader guide into a format that will work best with their group.
  2. The group leader lets the group know what time they will be watching the video together, and what time the video call will start.
  3. The group leader sends around the the link to the video (all our videos are available to watch from our website or on our YouTube channel) and the discussion questions so that everyone has them.
  4. When the time comes, the group watches the video and then has a group video call to work through the discussion questions, pray together, etc.

Seeing as there are currently over 20 videos split over four separate series (with another series of 5 videos on the way), there are enough talks and series to last a lengthy time of social distancing and isolation.

#2 Watching via group video call

If you are feeling technologically brave, it is possible to actually stream the Video Bible Talks video via video calling apps (although I have only tested this on Zoom).

  1. The group leader downloads the video and accompanying leader guide from the Video Bible Talks library in advance. This allows them to watch the video for themselves and prepare, amend or copy the group discussion questions from the leader guide into a format that will work best with their group.
  2. The group leader lets the group know what time the video call will start.
  3. The group leader also sends around the the link to the scheduled video call and the discussion questions so that everyone has them.
  4. When the time comes, the group leader starts the video call and opens up the Video Bible Talks video from our YouTube channel in a web browser.
  5. The group begins their video call meeting and, when the time comes to watch the video, the group leader shares the video via the video call app (ensuring that the setting to share their computer sound is on).
  6. The group watch the video and then work through the discussion questions, pray together, etc afterwards.

Be aware, though, that while this approach has a lot of benefits in terms of giving a real and tangible sense of gathering together, it also has its problems. For a start, the person hosting the meeting needs to have a paid subscription with Zoom if you want your meeting to last beyond 40 minutes. Then there is the need for fast and stable internet connections so that you can stream the video via Zoom. Lastly, everyone joining the meeting will need to turn off their audio and video (as well as the person sharing the video during the time it is playing) so that there are not feedback loops, unwanted sounds and unecessary use of bandwidth. Plus, because the video is being streamed via Zoom, the app will significantly compress the stream and so the audio and video quality of the Video Bible Talks video will be reduced.

#3 House/family ‘church’

For churches who are hesitant or unable to make use of video calling functionality, then simply sharing the Video Bible Talks links or video/discussion content with individuals and families so that they can do this at home with their housemates and/or family members is also a perfectly valid option.

  1. Send round the link to the Video Bible Talks library (or link(s) to individual videos) to each household and/or family for them to work through at their own time and pace.
  2. Encourage parents (fathers in particular) or one person in the household to take responsibility for leading the time together, working through discussion questions, etc.

A final request

In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus heals ten lepers… but only one (and an outsider, at that) displays any sense of gratitude to Jesus for his generosity and provision.

Sadly, this is often our experience with Video Bible Talks. We strive to make faithful and high quality Bible teaching video content, and we are committed to making this content available for free, forever. I love seeing people, groups and churches around the world being greatly blessed by this ministry.

However, for every ten people that use our videos, not even one person expresses any tangible form of gratitude. Currently, only 8% of people using our videos contributes in any way to the costs of producing them, and only a handful of these have committed to supporting us regularly for the long term. For us, the means that we are usually struggling to meet costs each month.

However, it is not the lack of financial support for this ministry that saddens us – this is the LORD’s work and so, if he wants us to continue, then he will provide for it.

What saddens us is what this lack of contribution and support reveals about the hearts of those who consume the generosity of others but do not seem to be generous themselves. The LORD loves cheerful givers ()… but I wonder what he thinks about selfish consumers?

So, if you use Video Bible Talks at this time of global social distancing, please remember us when the pandemic is over. Please give thanks to the LORD for his provision of this ministry and please consider supporting us for the long term… for when Video Bible Talks are needed (individually or globally) for ‘such a time as this’.

Please don’t be one of the nine who do not say thank you.


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Published by Alan Witchalls

Alan Witchalls is the Producer and Director of Video Bible Talks. Alan is a trained Christian Minister with over 15 years experience in youth ministry. He lives just outside of London with his wife and two children.