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8 Best TED Talks for Pastors

best ted talks for pastors

8 Best TED Talks for Pastors

Online education has grown since the onset of the pandemic. So too, has spiritual content online. The following TED talks were chosen because they are inspiring for any leaders, pastors, and coaches. The topics are relevant and inspiring.

As people around the world continue to seek online and digital inspiration, you can be a part of their spiritual growth by incorporating the following talks and ideas into your weekend programs.

Here is a roundup of powerful TED talks to benefit ministry leaders and pastors:

1.      Want to Be Happy? Be Grateful by David Steindl-Rast

All your congregation, no matter how old or young, has one thing in common: they all desire happiness. Brother David Steindl-Rast, is a monk and interfaith scholar who suggests that happiness is born from gratitude.

This is, of course, what the Bible also teaches, so you can incorporate the talk and concepts in your sermons on finding joy through gratitude. Watch this TED talk for a thoughtful lesson in gratitude and slowing down.

2.     This is broken by Seth Godin

It was Seth Godin himself who coined the “ideas worth spreading” tagline of the TED talks. He is a bestselling author and has inspired thousands of entrepreneurs and leaders to do what they do best.

This is a humorous talk for pastors, in where Seth Godin describes some poor designs, plus seven reasons why they are that way and what you can do to fix them. With this talk, learn how to focus on your donors and meeting their needs first, rather than on yourself as a church leader.

3.     A Life of Purpose by Rick Warren

Pastor Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose-Driven Life,” is well-known in church communities.

In this talk, he takes on the belief that finding your life’s purpose can come from a crisis, and that the Lord’s intention is for us as human beings to influence for good, through our gifts and talents.

4.         Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone by His Holiness Pope Francis

Can hope still exist in our broken world? This surprisingly intimate talk from the Pope shows how even those at the highest level of the church must approach faith with humility. In this TED Talk delivered directly from Vatican City, he calls for people everywhere to come together in a time of crisis.

“Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the ‘other’ is not a statistic, or a number,” he says. “We all need each other.” The Pope is known for taking an open-minded approach to many things, including the use of technology in the church. This might be the perfect inspiration you need to start your digital journey. “While looking at tomorrow, it opens up a dialogue for today,” he reminds us.

5.     The power of vulnerability by Brené Brown

Bestselling author Brené Brown shares her interest in human connections. Watching the TED talk, pastors can glean clear insights on why vulnerability and transparency is needed in the church. At the root of humanity is the deep need to belong; to be loved.

6.     How great leaders inspire action by Simon Sinek

This talk shows from management theorist Simon Sinek shows leaders and pastors how to motivate their congregation. Asking a simple question can put you on the right path to change in your church.

Watch his TED talk for keen insights on how you can also inspire digital transitions as a leader. Next, you might also want to tune into his other talk, “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe”, another powerful resource for pastors.

7.         Listen, Learn, then Lead by Stanley McChrystal

Good leaders are great listeners. In this thought-provoking TED talk, Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what it takes to lead people of many different backgrounds, skill sets, and even ages.

With his experience in the military, Stanley McChrystal has plenty of insights on leadership. He focuses here on the importance of listening to your followers. “I came to believe that a leader isn’t good because they’re right; they’re good because they’re willing to learn and to trust,” he says.

8.        How to Break Bad Management Habits Before They Reach the Next Generation of Leaders by Elizabeth Lyle

During this difficult time, your church is counting on you to lead them wisely and proactively. Leadership expert Elizabeth Lyle shares, in her TED talk, the way to give your executive pastors and middle managers space and proper coaching.

This is a necessary concept for anyone seeking to build their church during a time of great change, digital transition and uncertainty.

Bible Verses on Leadership

In closing, let’s remember what God’s Word has to say about great leaders:

“But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.” Matthew 20:26

“Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.”

Proverbs 11:14

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:3-4


At Donorwerx, we construct relevant tools and resources for leaders of the church. These are all helpful in growing donors, transforming your church digitally, and getting you set up for success. You too, can increase and sustain your ministry today. Contact us to find out how we can help you grow and be the leader you are called to be.

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