I blogged about the known internet campuses last week and received emails from many people that are beginning or considering starting an internet campus. I’m afraid by listing the churches that have taken the leap that it appears that I’m suggesting that all churches should move in this direction.
I want to be very clear about my personal opinion on this. I’ve shared this with friends in person, but never written publically about it. My two cents: just like there are bad Christian movies and bad Christian television, I think there are and can be bad internet campuses.
Just because you have a video camera and use uStream or LiveStream doesn’t mean you’re called to launch an internet campus. There are numerous things to consider including staff, volunteers, budget, philosophy of ministry, equipment, etc. Here’s the thing about the internet – it’s Global! Once you broadcast (good, bad or ugly), you are out there for the world to see.
Honestly, if I started a church plant and I wanted to offer an online campus experience, I would just link to LifeChurch.tv’s or Seacoast’s internet campus from my church’s homepage – UNLESS I absolutely felt called by God to start our own internet campus experience and I thought we had something special, unique and life-giving to offer the world.
Another thing to consider is timing. The best internet campuses worked long and hard on their Sunday live experience. It was years before they considered reaching out beyond their live worship times. Unfortunately, what I see lately are churches that haven’t put enough time, effort, innovation, creativity and life into their main Sunday services and now want to take on another huge undertaking like an internet campus. I’ve always been a voice for less is more and I think this applies here, too.
Please don’t take on something new until you’ve got your live services jumping with life and excellence. Again, if you need a second opinion on this and want an outside set of eyes to give you feedback on your worship service, talk to me about coming as a secret shopper. Read HERE for more info on that.
Wrapping up: if you feel God is absolutely calling you to start an internet campus then forget what I said and be obedient to God. IF you’re just getting caught up in the craze and buzz of all the chatter in Church leadership circles, please put your plans on hold and don’t consider it until you feel truly led by God and know you can do it with excellence. We don’t need anymore bad Christian examples for people to point to. Your thoughts?