One clear indicator of the shift in how we consume media is the precipitous decline of cable TV subscriptions and viewership over the past decade. Some are estimating that in the next two years, the number of Netflix subscribers will surpass cable TV subscribers. North of 70 percent of TVs are smart TVs, allowing easier access to a broader range of video-streaming channels than ever before.
Over the past decade, the democratization of smart TVs and streaming sticks has shifted power away from the multimedia empires of televangelists and prosperity preachers toward a broader offering of streaming channels, including those of healthy local churches and solidly evangelical ministries.
Right Mediums for Our Age
Back in the early 2000s, as Don Carson and Tim Keller began drafting The Gospel Coalition’s Foundation Documents along with the initial Council, the following statement was included in the Preamble:
Our desire is to serve the church we love by inviting all our brothers and sisters to join us in an effort to renew the contemporary church in the ancient gospel of Christ so that we truly speak and live for him in a way that clearly communicates to our age.
That desire to communicate truth clearly in “our age” led to the launch of The Gospel Coalition’s website in 2007, the YouTube channel in 2008, Facebook and Twitter in 2009, podcasts in 2010, a mobile app for Apple, Google, and Amazon devices in 2012 (which has been completely redesigned in 2020), and even Instagram in 2018. Older mediums such as books and journals have also factored heavily in that strategy of clearly communicating truth to our age.
With the same goal in mind, The Gospel Coalition is pleased to announce the launch of free smart TV apps for Roku (search “The Gospel Coalition” in channels) and AppleTV (search “TGC” in the AppleTV app store). We hope these mediums will provide a simple way to engage with quality video content from The Gospel Coalition.
Conveying the Right Message for the Medium
If you download TGC’s new TV apps, you’ll find a number of handpicked video series available for streaming. We plan to start small with video series that will provide value to a wide range of Christians. We will also begin to release content, which TGC has previously made available with LifeWay and The Good Book Company, on both the apps and also our YouTube channel. Our goal is to provide a free library of video series that can be easily deployed in a small group, Sunday school, or discipleship context. Over the coming months, we’ll make more announcements on social media about new seasons of content arriving on the apps.
Our goal is to provide a free library of video series that can be easily deployed in a small group, Sunday school, or discipleship context.
The first streaming content to premiere on the app will be “Echoes of the Reformation.” This series will begin with its pilot episode on Reformation Sunday, October 25, 2020. New episodes will publish each Sunday thereafter for a total of six episodes. This series features Albert Mohler, Kevin DeYoung, and Trevin Wax as they discuss aspects of the five solas of the Reformation. The free PDF study guide is also available for download.
The second series to premiere on the app will be “Gospel Shaped Worship” with Jared C. Wilson. This seven-week whole-church curriculum explores what it means to be a worshiping community and will begin with the two-part introductory episode on January 10, 2021. All 18 videos will be available for free. If you or your church would like to join us for this study, purchase the handbook from The Good Book Company.
Help Us Expand Our Free Resources!
As we look to 2021, we see a desperate need for theological formation and biblical literacy. We want to continue producing resources that will be valuable for local churches and free to end users. In order to produce more trusted and timely, gospel-centered resources and to make them available for free, we depend on the generosity of churches and individuals who see the importance of this mission.
Would you be willing to consider supporting TGC as we seek to serve the church in this way? Whether large or small, your gift will go directly to the production of multimedia resources that help communicate the unchanging truths of the gospel to an ever-changing world.