Whitney Houston, Superbowl XXV, and YouTube – Church | Social Media

This weekend we all heard the news of the tragic death of Whitney Houston. It was the case of a life gone awry – one that any good preacher could pontificate on and make some great applications to the audience. I’ll save that for another day.

If you are a member of my generation and a sports fan there is probably one Whitney Houston moment that stands out above all others – the 1991 Superbowl. The Superbowl between the Giants and Bills was amazing enough in its own right. The 20-19 win by the Giants is the only Superbowl decided by 1 point. It is commonly referred to as the “Wide Right” game as Buffalo kicker, Scott Norwood, missed a last second field goal that would have won the game. It started a string of 4 Superbowl losses for the Bills – a memory they still cannot live down.

However, the greatest moment may have come before the game started when Whitney Houston sang the National Anthem. Ten days before the Superbowl Operation Desert Storm had started and America was in an all out war with Iraq. If you weren’t at least a teenager then you probably wouldn’t understand the tension surrounding the war. There was genuine concern in America on the outcome of the war. We had heard stories of a giant military, sophisticated weaponry, and possible nuclear threats. Now, none of that materialized, but at the time no one knew for sure.

So, when Superbowl XXV started we had been engaged in an all out war for 10 solid days and the sense of angst, combined with patriotism, was at an all time high. Whitney stepped on stage and delivered a rendition of the National Anthem that was legendary.

Consider this:

  • It was backed by the Florida Orchestra
  • It was later released as a single, where it reached number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the only artist to turn the national anthem into a hit single
  • The single was also reissued after the September 11, 2001 attacks a decade later and charted even higher on the Hot 100, reaching number six
  • Houston’s performance at Super Bowl XXV in 1991, during the Gulf War, is largely regarded as one of the best renditions of the U.S. national anthem in history

And, here is the amazing thing – the moment was captured on video and you can watch it below. There is great power in video. I watch it now and still get teary eyed when I do.

What does this have to do with Church? Social Media? Ministry?

Video is important for the church because it can have the same effect oftentimes. Here are 3 good/quick reasons to have a YouTube channel for your church.

1. It captures the moment

Nothing captures the moment like video. It’s the closest thing to real life we have. You can describe it. Write about it. Remember it. Nothing seizes the moment like video. It’s why parents spent hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars on video cameras when they were first introduced decades ago. We wanted to capture that moment with our children that we would remember for a lifetime.

You have moments at church as well. A service, youth retreat, salvation, event, revival, celebration, building dedication, children’s event, etc. Capture the moment on video and let everyone relive it over and over.

2. It conveys emotions

I still get emotional when I see that video and remember the era. Nothing does that like video. It doesn’t have to be a tear you are trying to capture. It can be joy, laughter, tears, fear, sorrow, excitement, etc. Video has the ability to stir us like nothing else apart from real life.

3. It lasts forever

Memories fade. Dull. Lesson. I can’t say that YouTube will be around forever but here is what I know. I got to watch Whitney perform the National Anthem 21 years later – not just try to remember it. When you capture something on video the people who missed get to watch and the people who experienced it get to relive – for a long time to come.

So, watch the anthem below and know why you should start a YouTube channel at your church.



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