What the church looks and feels like is changing right before our eyes, and on our computer screens.
… Gruenewald said the average â€œcongregationâ€ at any given time on a Sunday is about 3,000 visitors, but over the course of the 90-to-120-minute services, between 12,000 and 15,000 unique viewers will log on. The services incorporate live preaching, songs and sermons from the churchâ€™s physical locations across the United States through a live feed, while viewers can chat with one another or church volunteers.
To further connect virtual users, the site also employs a chat function that automatically translates their language into a language of oneâ€™s choosing. Someone in Brazil can type a comment in Portuguese, for example, and it will be translated instantaneously to English for a viewer in Idaho. This feature, church leaders say, fosters a sense of immediate community among people with no other commonalities besides an abiding interest in Jesus.
And, Beliefnet blog entry “How Facebook, Twitter, and Google Might Affect the Church” links over to Mark Brown’s thoughts,Â How the Digital Revolution Might Affect the Church.
We need to move from appointing leaders based on them completing the right degree to giving more weight to discerning their ability to complete the leadership task.
We need to create the opportunity for people to ‘be at church’ or part of a community at any moment in the day/week. Setting a special time on Sunday morning is artificial and limiting.
From my vantage point, I’m guessing that changes to how we live out our faith as the church is only beginning. More changes are yet to come. Technology is only a part of what’s ushering in the change. (Aside: there areÂ at least 27 churches with Internet campusesÂ offering church online) What do you think?
// DJ Chuang, Director at Leadership Network //
I just returned from spending the weekend at LifeChurch.tv in Oklahoma City and got to witness this first-hand. It’s amazing what God is doing through them.