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Netflix brings church to small screen

Well known pastors have found a place on Neflix. The popular video streaming website added sermons from four prominent Christian speakers to its repertoire in December. Ed Young, Steven Furtick, Andy Stanley and Joyce Meyer all have content available for streaming on the website.

“Our methods change, but our message doesn’t,” said Dustin Coble, media director at Victory Christian Center. “Using things like Netflix can be a method to reach people you wouldn’t otherwise be able to connect with.”

Fellowship Church Pastor Ed Young initiated the movement.

“Jesus said that we should become fishers of men. If I’m going to catch the most fish, I’ve got to put a lot of hooks in the water. But I’m most excited about Netflix right now,” said Young.

Young and his team started dreaming of Netflix about a year ago. He says Netflix was receptive to the idea, and it was not hard to bring other Christian pastors on board with the plan.

Four pastors have sermon series available on Netflix.

Young’s five-part series called “Fifty Shades of They” focuses on fruitful relationships. Elevation Church pastor

Steven Furtick’s series “#DeathtoSelfie” speaks on identity in Christ. “Starting Over” by North Point Ministries pastor Andy Stanley teaches believers how to start over when life falls apart. Televan- gelist Joyce Meyer’s series called “Winning Life’s Battles” teaches viewers how to tackle adversity by using the tools God has given them to succeed.

Churches have been using media to give its members and people of the community convenient ways to hear their pastors. Victory is one of many churches providing live streaming of services and sermons for later viewing on the website. These new sermons on Netflix could be an added avenue to bring people to Christ.

“I think there’s a possibility of [bringing others to Christ],” said Coble. “The pastors are trying to reach out to people who have never heard the gospel of Christ.”

Coble went on to say Netflix’s perspective is more than likely about gaining more Christian subscribers. Meyer’s executive director of marketing says one guideline Netflix asked the ministries to follow is to avoid product promotion and invitations to donate money. Young’s Fellowship Church has a two-year contract with Neflix. Netflix currently has over 75 million members in over 190 countries.

Story by Victoria Atterberry, Graphic by Xavier Gonzalez

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