Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Church Online (Part 2 of 2)

So yesterday I asked whether or not it is possible to have a real and connected Christian community in an online environment. I know there are those who will disagree with my theory, but we'll see what the research says in a few weeks.

I think that as Generation Y, (those born from 1980-1995) continues to encourage development in the technology and culture of the internet, experiencing a true community online will not seem like such a strange idea. The previous generations may never truly embrace these communities on a wide-scale, but to Gen Y and the generations that follow Y, online communities may be just as tangible as the relationships developed in "the real world."

Research also shows that exposure to technologies can help bridge the generational gaps, so teach your grandmother how to blog, get her on MySpace and Facebook. Who knows? She may be the next visitor to your online church.

Do you think Gen Y can or will embrace internet-based churches? Why or why not?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Church Online (Part 1 of 2)

This is a map of the internet (larger view). Where 1.3 billion people are connected through tiny glass strands. Where hopes, visions, and ideas are reduced to 1's and 0's and still retain their meaning.

The internet is full of people who have collected into communities of like beliefs through the use of forums, blogs, and social networking. Web 2.0 has given us the tools to test whether true community relationships can be formed and/or maintained in these types of environments.

I'll give you what my theory is tomorrow.

Is it possible to have a real and connected Christian community in an online environment?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Big Thank You!

I need to offer a huge thanks to and especially Bobby Gruenewald and Brian Ahern and his team over at OPEN, LifeChurch's webpage of excellent resources that are free to use in your church. Brian and his team worked extra hard to get a video available on OPEN several days before it was scheduled to be added so our church, Ennis Bible Church, would be able to use the video as part of our message this week. A huge thanks to you guys!

The message this morning was on Mark 10:17-31, the story of the rich young ruler. Clearly the issue of money came up. As part of the message we used this hilarious video made by LifeChurch. Enjoy!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Miss Saigon and the Online Church

Tonight I had the joy of seeing J. J. Pearce High School perform Miss Saigon, and it was excellent. The lead role of Kim was played by Elizabeth Judd, a senior at Pearce, and she has a fantastic voice!

The whole experience made me think about how live theater is such an enjoyable experience, but is a somewhat lost on a media-saturated society. Thus, theater does not have the widespread impact that other media offer.

As I study the online churches, I've begun to think that the potential to reach
1.3 billion people offers a level of impact that the "brick and mortar" churches cannot come close to offering. "But there's just something about actually being in church" some might say. There's just something about being seeing live theater too.

Theater hasn't gone away just as the "brick and mortar" churches haven't and hopefully never will. But is it time for us to rethink the impact that they have given the audience available online?

Do you think churches should rethink their online presence? Besides a webpage, what does your church do to have an online presence?
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