Amplify Media is the online video streaming platform for the United Methodist Church publishing house in the US – Abingdon, Cokesbury, etc. It is a subscription service that contains hundreds of videos produced in recent years. Many of the videos accompany study/discussion/devotional booklets that can be purchased (Mediacom Education is the Australian distributor).
The subscription rate is monthly and based on church size. I’ve been playing with the lowest level subcription for up to 100 users. At US$29.95 a month or US$330 p.a. (about A$500 p.a.) it’s a bargain. You get a wide range of topics and speakers including some world-renowned academics, speakers and writers. eg. Amy-Jill Levine, Elaine Heath and Will Willimon. Topics are organised by theme, season, Scripture, etc. Channels also include all of their material produced for children, including well-produced cartoobnBible stories (yes, better than some of the Youtube fodder!!) – Whirl, Connect, Deep Blue, Celebrate series.
The videos for the DISCIPLE – Fast Track series are also included.
To be frank, I haven’t heard of most of the speakers but then I don’t really follow who is up and coming in the United Methodist church.
The videos also link to study resources which if you can’t get them through Mediacom, you can order from Cokesbury (yes some are digital but that still means one copy per person).
You set up each viewer/user in your church with a code and create groups for different studies, home groups, times etc.
Videos can be viewed through a web browser or an app for Apple or Google Play mobile devices (tablets, phones).
Some titles are audio only.
Some highlights for me
- Prof Craig Koster‘s series on interpreting the Scriptures – an overview of the whole Bible in dozens of 30 minute presentations
- Prof Amy-Jill Levine‘s multiple series on the life and teachings of Jesus from a Jewish perspective
- Retired Bishop and Professor Rev Dr Will Willimon on his book Fear of the Other
- Several of the Holy Moly videos for older children / young teenagers or intergenrational settings
- Discipleship and spiritual practices – a number of vidoes and series focus on this.
I am about to trial this with some leaders in our presbytery to see how it works and whether they might want to get a subscription for their church.
A regional subscription, you ask? Well that would be completely unfair to the publishers who are trying to pay for the ministry that they offer. The local church subscription prices are a bargain! Please don’t go there unless your congregation/s or parish is a region. that’s the other thing – this is great for home viewing across a region and then group discussion, either face-to-face or online.