What are Video Bible Talks?

Video Bible Talks are Bible preaching and teaching videos for youth groups, small groups and other such ministries that are available to watch, download and share for free online.

Each video is typically 10-15 minutes long and is based on a passage from the Bible. Each series of videos covers a key portion of the Bible (such as the Sermon on the Mount series) or a whole book of the Bible (such as the Habakkuk series). There are also additional stand-alone videos (such as seasonal ‘specials’ and single videos from various Psalms).

How are these videos to be used?

Video Bible Talks videos are written and produced primarily (but not exclusively) for use in a youth group or small group context, especially where there is not a full-time minister/member of staff. Such groups are often led by volunteers who either do not have the time to write Bible talks or who feel they lack the skills and/or experience to prepare Bible teaching like this themselves. Video Bible Talks videos enables these group to have high quality Bible teaching each week while freeing up time for the leaders to do the vital personal work of applying the Bible and helping the group live for Jesus each day. Video Bible Talks takes care of the Bible proclamation so that leaders can do the Bible application.

Who are the videos for?

Our videos are relevant for anyone or any church, group or ministry who want to know Jesus better by sitting under the preaching of God’s Word from the Bible. Video Bible Talks are written produced with the 14-25 age group in mind but are not explicitly youth-focused in their look and feel, the language used, or in the way the Bible is broadly applied.

Who has used these videos so far?

The first series of Video Bible Talks videos (Sermon on the Mount, from the book of Matthew) has been used in over 40 different churches, most of which are in the UK but a number are from various countries around the world, including Hong Kong, India and Australia.

As well as the registered users, the videos have been viewed over 1,000 times on YouTube and Vimeo.

Are Video Bible Talks only relevant to youth groups?

No. In addition to youth groups and small group ministries, Video Bible Talks have also been successfully used in men’s groups, in women’s groups, by people on their daily commute, and even as family devotions by parents on their family holiday.

Are these videos supposed to be evangelistic?

Yes and no. Each Video Bible Talks video contains and proclaims the Gospel (because the whole Bible is about Jesus and his good news, Luke 24), and so each video is evangelistic in that sense. However, they are not intended to be purely/only evangelistic videos that only cover the central points of who Jesus is and why he came. We would recommend videos like the Changing Lanes course, Christianity Explored or Soul DVDs, or the various videos from organisations such as SpeakLife.

Are these videos supposed to be shared via social media (viral videos)?

Not primarily, no (although of course we wouldn’t complain if one or more of them did go viral!). Our videos are intended to teach people about Jesus from the Bible, and to do so by the steady long-haul process of discipleship taking place in a youth group or small group context. They are not produced with the primary aim of being shared via social media or racking up millions of YouTube views.

Can we use your videos in our youth group, small group, or other such ministry?

Yes. Video Bible Talks are designed with youth groups, small groups and other such ministries in mind. You can download the videos without charge from the website, and each video includes a leader guide with suggested a small group meeting outline and discussion questions.

Our more detailed terms of use can be found here.

Do we need to pay to download and use these videos?

No. They are available to watch, download and share online… all free of charge.

All we do ask is that groups register to use and download these videos on our website. Not only does this help us to see what impact our videos are having around the world, it also means that group leaders can have access to the free leader guide that accompanies each video.

We’ve used these videos in our group/ministry and would like to give a donation. How do we do this?

First of all, thank you! We make our videos available for free and so don’t expect any money for them. Yet, these videos are not free to make, and so we are grateful for any support we receive.

Have you considered becoming a regular supporter of Video Bible Talks? While we value single donations, we would love to establish a base of regular supporters who give a small amount to this work each month (for instance, £20 which is only £5 per week). This would allow us to move from a per-series production timetable (where we only work on one series at a time) to a yearly production timetable (where we plan and produce three or four series throughout the year).

Click on the support us option from the website’s main menu for details on how you can support us.

Your videos are not on DVD, so how can we show these videos in our group/ministry?

The easiest way to show Video Bible Talks videos is to connect a laptop (or similar device) to your TV and then download and play the videos from the laptop on the TV screen.

An easier and more effective solution is to purchase a streaming device (such as a Chromecast) and connect this to your TV. Once connected and set-up, you can cast videos wirelessly from any laptop or smartphone device.

Can we show your videos on our website, internet service, TV channel, etc?

Yes, but only with our prior agreement and consent. If this is something you would like to explore, please read our Terms of Use or get in touch.

Can we sell your videos on our website?

No. We make our videos available for free for clear theological and practical reasons that you need to be aware of and account for. If you would like to make our videos available for free (but not part of a promotional offer) then please get in touch.

Can we re-brand your videos for our ministry?

No. This would be dishonest and misleading. If you would like to make our videos available for free (as they are, without any changes) then please get in touch.

The Video Bible Talks videos on YouTube have watermarks on them. Can these be removed?

No, however all the Video Bible Talks videos are available for free without the watermark from our website.

Is Video Bible Talks a business?

No, not in the typical commercial sense. Although we make videos for churches and ministries to use, we do not sell them and so we do not make money.

Video Bible Talks is a digital ministry. That is, we seek to provide Bible preaching and teaching via digital video so that churches, ministries, groups and people can make use of them no matter what their church context or financial situation may be.

To that end, we operate as a non-profit Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Video Bible Talks was established by Alan Witchalls and is overseen by three other trustees: Toby Reid, Dave Cornes and Joff Trinder.

Why are your videos available for free?

From the beginning days of Video Bible Talks, the trustees have been in unanimous agreement that Video Bible Talks videos should be available without charge forever. Video Bible Talks videos are resources for churches and ministries to make use of to grow and strengthen people in faith in Christ. However, unlike leader guides, Bible study notes, or illustrative/inspirational ministry videos, our videos are explicitly Bible preaching and teaching videos and, as such, are available without cost because the preaching and teaching of God’s word should always be freely available to all without cost.

To put it another way, we want to be able to stand side-by-side with the Apostle Paul and say, ‘…we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God’ (2 Corinthians 2:17).

Why don’t you sell your videos to provide an income stream instead of relying on other people’s generosity?

Video Bible Talks videos are Bible preaching and teaching videos and, as such, are available without charge (see ‘Why are your videos available for free?‘). In the Bible, the preaching and teaching of God’s Word is never given at a price. Instead, the pattern we see is one of pastors and teachers working hard at their ministries and then working to earn money if need be (2 Thessalonians 3:6-10). At the same time, the people of God joyfully and generously give sacrificially to enable such pastors and teachers to carry out their ministries without the distraction of having to earning money (1 Timothy 5:17-18).

This is the pattern we have adopted in making Video Bible Talks videos and any subsequent Video Bible ministries (such as Video Bible Devotions). As producer and director, I (Alan) work hard to plan, script, prepare, film, edit and release our videos. For the most part, I am able to do this thanks to people’s generosity in giving to this work. However, if/when the funding does not cover my costs of living, I seek other work (primarily in providing video services to churches via my production website, AlanWitchalls.com) in order to make ends meet.

Therefore, practically speaking, Video Bible Talks productivity is directly tied to the support that we receive from churches, organisations and individuals who see the need for this ministry and are prepared to give towards it as regular supporters. We will continue making and producing these videos for as long as the LORD provides for our needs and as long as churches/individuals support us by giving to this work.

If you and/or your church/organisation would want to support us in this way, you can do so via the Donate link on our website.

Do you disapprove/disagree with people who sell Bible teaching videos/resources?

No, not necessarily.

First, it is worth making an important distinction. We distinguish Bible resources that assist those who preach and teach the Bible (such as commentaries, reference books, preaching guides, etc) from Bible resources that actually preach and teach the Bible (which is what Video Bible Talks seeks to do). Whether you should make resources that assist people in preaching and teaching the Bible available at a cost or not is a different question to whether you should make Bible preaching and teaching available at a cost or not. Video Bible Talks falls into the latter of these two questions.

We have chosen to make our Bible preaching and teaching videos available without charge out of a desire to reflect God’s generous character (John 1:16, John 3:16, Ephesians 1:3-10) and to bless the church and the wider world by providing faithful Bible teaching which is accessible to any person, in any ministry, in any church in any context. This decision involves a sacrificial cost to us (we sacrifice the income stream of a typical business model) which we are happy to make. However, we also trust that as we seek to reflect God’s character, serve the church and do this sacrificially, the LORD will meet our needs an provide all that we need to do this work, according to his will. This typically comes through the generosity of people and churches who agree with our convictions and our aims, and who share our passion to see and support faithful Bible teaching taking place regularly in youth groups and small groups.

Our decision is a decision we have made by carefully examining the Bible and acting accordingly, having our convictions and our consciences shaped by what we see in Scripture. In choosing the approach we have chosen, we do not want to make any judgements upon the actions and underlying motives of any other ministry, church or organisation who chose to make Bible preaching and teaching available at a cost. We would want to encourage any such ministry, church or organisation to examine the Bible carefully and to strive to act accordingly to the principles and patterns that God’s Word gives us. If, in good conscience, this means making Bible preaching and teaching available at a cost (which may be purely a practical cost, such as raw materials for DVD production, for instance), then we would not wish to pass judgement upon but instead would entrust them to the LORD, that he would bless and grow their ministry for his own glory and the good of his people.

Can you / one of the presenters come and speak at our church?

For me (Alan), yes, subject to doctrinal compatibility and availability. Get in touch with me via the website to discuss this more.

As for the presenters, they are able to do some external preaching and teaching but their time is very limited, as they have their own ministries that require their attention and oversight. Feel free to contact them directly to discuss this further.

We are only able to give as much as if we were buying these videos. How much would the equivalent retail price be?

This is a bit of a tricky one to answer. Video Bible Talks came about from a need for youth groups and small groups to have faithful Bible teaching in video format. Through God’s gracious provision and people’s generosity, we have been able to produce the present set of videos in order to meet this need and we will continue to produce more as the LORD allows.

That said, to help people and churches where they want to support this work but can only do so by ‘paying’ for the videos, then some simple maths (the yearly costs of production divided by the average number of videos we can currently produce in a year, divided by the average number of people/churches that download each video) would give an approximate figure of £20-£30 per video.

Please note that giving this amount on a give-per-use basis will only (just) help us cover our production costs for a minimal level of video production. If everyone supported our work on this basis, we wouldn’t be able to increase the number of videos we produce in a year and we wouldn’t be able to think about new initiatives, like Video Bible Devotions, or any other ideas for Jesus-focused Bible-based video content and resources.

No matter how you set in your heart the amount by which to support this work, we are simply thankful that you consider this work worthy of supporting, and we thank God for every and any gift we received, no matter what the frequency of the gift (regular or one-off) or the amount that is given.