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December 17, 2013Research

New Research: Americans Prefer In-Person Preaching to Video

New LifeWay Research Survey reveals preaching preferences of church visitors.
New Research: Americans Prefer In-Person Preaching to Video
Image: Sean Molin Photography / flickr

Recently, LifeWay Research conducted a study on video venue/multisite churches. I have always been interested in this technology and the phenomenon of live-streamed sermons in churches in place of a present, physical preaching pastor. I have written about multisite churches before here, here, here, and other places as well.

In addtion to this research, I have reached out to Bob Hyatt and Geoff Surrat, two pastors who have helpful, however differing, views on multisite churches and their use of video preaching. Be sure to read both of their articles and learn from what each one of them thinks about video venues.

Multisite video venues are not going anywhere anytime soon as many of the largest churches in the country use this technology, so it was fascinating to see what our respondents thought about watching a pastor preach via video versus in-person.

Here is an excerpt from the release by Bob Smietana:

Other highlights from the research include:

  • Self-identified born-again, evangelical, or fundamentalist Christian are more likely to prefer sermon preached in-person (37% to 27%)
  • Americans who Never attend (47%) are most likely to say it would not matter
  • Americans age 18-29 (37%) are more likely to say it would not matter than those age 45-54 (24%) and 65+ (26%)

You can see the full research PDF here.

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New Research: Americans Prefer In-Person Preaching to Video