Using Video Messages at

Beltsville Adventist Church Campuses

June 18, 2021 by Tim Madding

Using Video Messages at

Beltsville Adventist Church Campuses

As a multisite church, Beltsville Adventist Church is leveraging the latest technology for missional effectiveness by utilizing video technology to deliver the sermons to its various campuses. We feel that this methodology (though not the only means available) is the best option for our church to successfully fulfill its mission of equipping fully engaged missional disciples of Jesus Christ.

Why Multisite?

If we want to better understand why we are using video, we must remember why we’ve chosen to be a multisite church. After spending great lengths of time in prayer, study and reflection, Beltsville Adventist Church felt called of God to continue the process of multiplication by expanding its missional influence using a multisite model of church planting throughout the greater DC area. With shared leadership, resources, commitment and reputation, Beltsville Adventist Church is better equipped to reach our friends and neighbors where they live, rather than attempting to bring them all to one large campus. We are able to expand our missional reach by opening new locations or sites in specific neighborhoods or areas throughout the greater DC area. We believe that the multisite model best serves our culture and offers the greatest fulfillment of the church’s mission to reach more people for Jesus Christ.

Why Video Messages?

Thousands of multisite churches use video to deliver biblical preaching as a way to expand geographically, demographically, or simply to avoid the high cost of building. Based upon their experience and an evaluation of our context, there are several reasons we’ve chosen to use video.

1. Building a Unified Culture

The simple reason why is teaching. Nothing else in our church has the power to build the unique culture of our church more than biblical teaching does. When churches have different people preaching at different locations, no matter how similar they are, no matter how good of friends they are, no matter how hard they work to be on the same page with the presentation, they’re going to get a different culture and they’re going to get a different church. Multisite churches that do not use video teaching are more likely to end up as separate churches in the long run.

By using the video format it allows us the best opportunity to bring a consistency to the preaching and teaching within the worship service that will allow our church and its campuses to focus on ministry, mission, and spiritual care. 

2. It’s All About Relationships

Relationships matter. According to Jesus, our mission is to make disciples and discipleship always happens through relationships. With the message being delivered through video, the local campus pastor can focus his/her attention on relationships over sermon preparation.  70% of pastors’ spend between 10 to 18 hours per week in sermon preparation time. Instead of having to take the time to develop their weekly messages, campus pastors can focus on developing relationships with church members, guests and leaders in the community.

3. Ministry Development

Campus pastors who are responsible for delivering a weekly sermon naturally end up focusing more on message preparation than building and leading teams. Because we believe the job of a pastor is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12), video messages free up our campus pastors to lead rather than prepare sermons. The campus pastor has time to find and train ministry volunteers, coordinate with campus ministry leaders to evaluate and improve system effectiveness at their campus and create outreach or service opportunities in the community.

4. It’s Just More Practical

With two campuses that are relatively close, the lead pastor can travel back and forth between the existing campuses (though this can be tiresome when we’re talking three worship services).  Now that we have three in-person locations (plus an online campus) and hope to add additional campuses in the future, the practicality of a single person providing in-person messages is just not practical.

5. Multiplication Scalability

As God leads, our hope is to add additional campuses throughout the greater DC area and beyond.  The use of video allows us the opportunity to provide consistency to the preaching and teaching throughout the various campuses.

What it Looks Like

1. Primarily Presented by Lead Pastor

The Beltsville Adventist Church lead pastor is the primary communicator and is responsible for preaching messages drawn from the Bible for Sabbath worship services at each campus/service for continuity and alignment of Beltsville Seventh-day Adventist Church’s mission and to challenge all to take the next step as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

2. Campus Pastors Regularly Preaching

Campus pastors have regular opportunities to preach.  These opportunities are for campus specific days/events, a message in a sermon series, when leading out in communion and other occasions.

3. Ammendale Campus is In-Person

The original campus, Ammendale, has live in-person preaching each week.  The other campuses utilize the video messages.

4. Filmed at Ammendale Campus

The video is pre-recorded at the Ammendale Campus on Thursdays at noon.  This provides time for the video editor to edit the sermon and the rest of the service for the online campus as well as provide time for the other campus pastors to review the message.

5. Everything Else is Live

Each campus is given the authority to design their worship experience in a way that best reaches their community.  All other elements of the service (worship music, speaking, prayer) are live and in-person.  Since the message is pre-recorded the campus can view the sermon at a time they feel is best in their worship experience.

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