Reverend Chris Lee is a Church minister who has harnessed the power of instagram to help deliver sermons to the masses. His effective and unique strategy has helped him to amass over 125,000 followers on Instagram (@revchris7). He’s now has more than the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England, combined. He also has a regular slot on the JOLLY Youtube channel (1.74 million subscribers) where his videos regularly clock up millions upon millions of views.
Now, whilst you might not be an ordained church minister or be in the habit of preaching the bible to your followers, there is still a lot you can learn from Reverend Chris Lee’s style and approach to influencing.
So, grab a pew, make yourself comfortable, and get ready to hear a sermon on influencing like you’ve never heard of before…
So who is Reverend Chris Lee?
Reverend Chris Lee is a 36-year-old priest from west London, dubbed the ‘Hot Priest’ in reference to the character of the priest played by Andrew Scott in BBC sitcom Fleabag.
He only came to faith at age 21 when it was teaching English in Tanzania. Whilst there he came to faith and and age 24 was ordained a deacon in the diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Crucially, and unlike any priest before him, he saw Instagram as a channel of communicating his faith to a group that the Church so often struggles to reach; young people. He saw the power of Instagram and realised the opportunities it presented.
So what does he do?
His main staple are his 60-second sermons. These sermons are fun, witty, insightful and also short. 60 seconds is not long yet Chris manages to make these precious seconds really count. Chris realises that people don’t want to be lectured for half an hour, instead he puts his content into easily digestible, bitesize chunks. He would readily admit that his 60-second sermons are not theologically in-depth but he knows that his target audience, young people, aren’t watching his content for that. To keep things fresh he also populates his instagram with selfies, family pictures and even the odd meme.
Remember, it’s okay if your content as an influencer is not appealing to a broad range of people, just make sure it speaks to the people you want it to – whether that be people from a certain age group or people with an interest in a particular topic.
His Youtube videos are another prime example of Chris understanding what kind of content people want. Rather than using Youtube to simply re-post his sermons he instead features on the Youtube Channel JOLLY on videos such as “British Priest reacts to BILLIE EILISH for the first time…” (10 million views) and “British Priest Reviews Dank Christian Memes!? (9.4 million views)”. Utilising different social media platforms to show off a broad range of content is a vital component of what makes a successful influencer. You can’t just do the same thing over and over. Mix it up, keep it fresh, and you’ll see the followers/views roll in.
So what are the takeaways from the sermon?
1. Know your audience and tailor your content around them – Reverend Chris realised that young people on Instagram didn’t want deep and detailed 30 minute lectures. Instead he made his content short, snappy and easily understood. He also realised that on Youtube he couldn’t just simply do the same thing (put up sermons), instead he saw the trend of reaction videos and created unique and interesting content around it.
2. Don’t be afraid to mix things up – there’s no doubt that some members of his congregation might not have understood or even agreed with the type of content Reverend Chris put on his Instagram and on Youtube, but he did it anyways. Doing something completely different to what has been done before can be daunting but it is through being a trailblazer like Reverend Chris that you can find unparalleled success. Don’t be afraid to create your own path.
If you would like to watch Reverend Chris talking about his experience in his own words, then check out his recent interview on Good Morning Britain below…