While pastors cling to the 40-minute monologue sermon, their audiences are moving on.
For the past 30 years, TED talks have grown in ubiquity and influence. Delivered by subject matter experts, these homilies typically run between 9 and 18 minutes in length (which also happens to be the average attention span for a monologue presentation). Like the church, TED claims to have “Ideas Worth Spreading.” And most of that spreading takes place on the Internet, where TED talks are viewed more than 1.5 million times per day.
But even TED talks are too long for social media, so a new competitor has arisen – the Goalcast. Clocking in at less than 5 minutes, speakers offer inspirational nuggets that are perfectly tuned to today’s distractible audiences. My Facebook feed is suddenly full of these.
Almost every Goalcast starts with a grabber headframe:
Do these look familiar? Goalcast has stolen one of the church’s prized formats, the personal testimony, and repackaged it for social media. Every day millions of people watch these mini testimonials that preach a gospel of self-empowerment.
Pastors, you can’t simply post your 40-minute sermon to the internet and expect people to watch it. Web surfers watch videos that make their point quickly.
I’m not suggesting you preach 5 minute sermons, but I would highly recommend you include a “shareable minute” in every message.
What makes a good shareable minute? It should teach a familiar truth in a new, creative way. Strong visual content or a grabber headframe is a must. Object lessons get shared on social media. Talking heads don’t.
Clip out your shareable minute and put it on social media. Link back to the sermon for people who want to hear the entire message.
Jesus told us to be fishers of men. Shareable minutes are bait. They get your message in front of distractible people, to make them hungry for the Gospel.