The Business of Bethel: Church Charges $20/month to Access Sermons, Testimonies and Worship

Bethel TV has a lot on the go, and we’ve certainly written about it. We offered An Inside Peek into Bethel’s Demonic ‘Fountain of Youth Fire Tunnels’, expressed our disbelief after Bethel Prophet Reveals Miracle of ‘Second Virginity’: ‘Hundreds of Hymens Grew Back’, frowned upon the terrible theology after Bethel Leader Bill Johnson Denies Scripture – ‘God Doesn’t Control Everything’, and then expressed our dismay that they are working towards a $100 million dollar Apostolic Training Center. In the latter, that money has to come from somewhere, and one avenue of mammon-making is access to their Premium Church Service offerings: Bethel TV

Bethel TV has the same function as Xfinity, Spectrum, Direct TV or Dish, whereas they do provide a free basic service, namely their church weekly services for that week. Anything else the church does, people need to pay for it. And not just outside consumers, but members of the church as well.

Whereas the free plan only offers:

  • Live access to Sunday services 
  • The previous week Sunday Service
  • Live access to Midweek service (When streamed)

The paid plans have more to offer, including:

  • Live Monthly Friday Night Services (When streamed)
  • Over a decade of Sermon Archives Library
  • Over a decade of Worship Archives Library
  • Library of Testimonies
  • Library of Interviews
  • Noteworthy 
  • Library of select BSSM classes

Pay an extra $10 and you get:

  • Everything included in Free and Basic
  • Some live and on demand main Bethel conferences
  • Over a decade of Bethel Conference & Events Library 
  • Library of classes 
  • Bethel TV Originals 
  • Group Enrollment option for Premium Monthly Subscribers – Once you sign up for the premium monthly account you can add users under your account settings for $10 a month

If you pay for the plan yearly, and something comes up and you need to cancel, then like a cell phone company “you will have access to your account until your next bill date” but sadly, the Christian Church does not “prorate or refund canceled annual subscriptions.”

For their part, Bethel explains why they charge money, noting in a FAQ:

“In the church bookstore, people might decide to pay for ten years worth of DVD sets, books, CDs, and other resources. Premium plans are charging for “on-demand access” to the archive, which is comparable to purchasing DVDs. Premium plans also include videos that have a cost associated with the offline-version the same content.

For example, conference tickets cost money offline, so the online version is contained within a premium subscription…The subscription costs cover the operating costs of Bethel TV or go directly to support the mission of Bethel Church to spread the message of the Kingdom and equip revivalists around the world.”

This is strange reasoning when we consider that this applies to congregants too, of which Bethel has nearly 12,000. If one is a long-time church member who has faithfully given thousands of dollars of years to this church, and he wants to access a back catalog of sermons to hear one from a few months ago or to access a particularly poignant and powerful testimony from earlier in the week, he needs to cough up a coin. This is despite the fact that he has already supported these things with his tithes and offerings, making them possible in the first place with his faithful support. And more importantly, because this is supposedly a church.

That’s because Bethel is a business, with their annual report showing how much this is true. Theor merchandise store is massive, and has everything ‘Bethel branded’ you can imagine, from books, fleece hoodies, drinkware, posters. At bethel, the sermon is free, but if they can add the extras and upsell you a bit, as you head down to the cash-register altar, then why wouldn’t they?

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