To charge or not to charge

One of the most common questions we are asked is over the issue of the business model we have for Video Bible Talks.

In a nutshell, our business model is this:

For as long as the LORD provides for the work of Video Bible Talks via the joyful giving of supportive people and churches, we will keep filming and producing series of Video Bible Talks and making them available to use for free.

There are three reasons for this.

  1. This approach best reflects the character of God, who is a generous and giving God  (John 1:16, John 3:16, Ephesians 1:3-10)
    God has given us life, a world to live in, families and relationships to enjoy. He has also given of himself in giving his Son to die for our sin in our place on the cross and this Gospel is available to all without cost. All of this he has done freely by his grace. Therefore, making Video Bible Talks available for free best reflects this generous character and nature of God.
  2. This approach best honours the pattern and example we are given in the Bible of never charging for Bible preaching and teaching (2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 1 Timothy 5:17-18)
    The Bible gives us two sides of the same coin when it comes to working to advance the Gospel and serve the church. Gospel workers work hard in order to make sure they never charge for their service to the church, yet the church is encouraged to give to support such workers so that they can devote themselves to this work without the distraction of earning a living. We are devoted to the work of Video Bible Talks (whether we are able to do this vocationally or not) and need people to support us so that we can continue to devote ourselves to this work full-time.
  3. The LORD explicitly encourages us to be sacrificially generous and affirms that the LORD will supply our needs as we are sacrificially generous (2 Corinthians 9:6-15, Philippians 4:10-20)
    Living by faith (that is, trusting that the LORD will provide what we need as we devote ourselves to serving him in this way) is itself a sacrificial gift to God. We are choosing to give up the security of a regular salary and are instead devoting our time and effort to this work full time. We trust that the LORD will provide what is needed as we sacrificially serve him in this way.

There is also a practical fourth reason, which links with this last point of being generous to others, especially to others in the family of God…

  1. Making these videos available without charge allows any person in any ministry in any context to put them to use
    In the early days of considering how to go about making and establishing Video Bible Talks, I spoke with a number of people in various church contexts. One such conversation sticks in my mind. The person I was talking with was enthusiastic about the possibility of Video Bible Talks videos being made and how they desperately wanted faithful Bible teaching in their small youth group. In those early days I hadn’t thought through all the above points yet, and so I was considering charging £20 per video/session. At this, their face fell. ‘Our church couldn’t afford that,’ they remarked, ‘in fact, the church can’t even afford to support the minister’. What do we do about these churches? Well, according to what I see the New Testament churches doing in the Bible, we support our brothers and sisters and abound in generosity: first, to those who need food and shelter for sure… but also to those who are seeking to be faithful in their ministry but need ‘outside’ help.

At the end of the day, Video Bible Talks is the LORD’s work, and so we commit ourselves to him in it. Which is why, for as long as the LORD provides what is needed for us to live and support our family, we will be devoted to this work in a vocational sense. Should the money dry up, then we will continue to produce these videos as best as we can while working a day-job, but this will be much harder than being able to focus on this work full-time.

Might supporting Video Bible Talks be something that you and/or your church could do? If so, you can give a one-off gift, support us regularly each month, or (for churches and organisations) complete a standing order form.

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Video Bible Talks

Video Bible Talks

Video Bible Talks is a free expositional Bible teaching ministry that aims to equip, resource and support leaders with faithful Bible preaching and teaching using the medium of digital video.