Saturday, October 11, 2008

What Are You Known For?

I was scanning the stats on DigitalWorship traffic, and I came across something very interesting.

Irving Bible Church and Jackie Roese are by far the most googled terms that have brought people to the site. Mostly thanks to Justin Hentschel's contribution and the discussion that was going on among Christian bloggers about Jackie preaching at Irving Bible Church.

But the next favorite terms that have brought traffic was not something cool like "virtual church" or "ministry to millennials." At least I could be proud of those!

The most third and fourth most popular search terms that bring people to Digital Worship are:

"Deep Fried S'mores" and "Chocolate-covered strawberry waffle balls"

If you searched those terms and found us here, please know that if my browser didn't have a history feature, I would be googling those terms all day every day!

But also know that it is my hope to share the amazing things churches are beginning to do to engage with and serve people through digital means. If you're someone who has never felt comfortable in a church or you've just never found a church where you feel like you fit in, please know that there are lots of different churches out there that are not like you visited with grandma (and a lot that are if that's what your looking for!).

If you need help finding one, leave a comment I will help you find a place just for you whether its the old-school church with a steeple or a place in the virtual world like Second Life or one of the online church campuses.

So poke around this blog a bit, even if it's not exactly what you were searching for because you may find exactly what you need.

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Virtual" Ministry

If you get a chance, head over to Mark Brown's blog and check out a blog post I wrote for him called "The New West."

Mark is currently leading an Anglican church in Second Life and asked me to write a little something for him. I encourage you to explore his blog a bit and see what kind of unique opportunities and stuggles have arisen with this "virtual" ministry.

Also note above that it's the word "virtual" that is in quotes not the word ministry.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Update

I haven't written in a while, but I'm working on a few new things that I hope to share with everyone soon.

Also, I started teaching an ESL class and I am enjoying it. I'm getting to practice a lot of Spanish and they are getting to practice a lot of English, so it's a pretty good time.

Don't worry. I haven't disappeared. Keep checking in and drop me a line on Facebook or Twitter!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Living TV-Free

While some of you already know this, I thought I would share something very personal about myself.

I never watch television.

Before you close your laptop in digust because of this seemingly over-pious statement of my ability to live without something that many people feel they can't live without, please hear me out.

My decision is not one of piety, but one of necessity. You see, I have a perfectly functioning 27" widescreen HD-ready television sitting in my living room. The problem is that I have yet to find an antenna that will give me much more than a snowy signal, which is surprising as I live not 10 miles from downtown Dallas. The other option is getting cable or satellite, which is not really an option because my wife pays the bills! (and earns the money).

So I have discovered over the past couple of years that with a normal DSL connection and a functioning computer one can stay as entertained and informed as the next person, although it does take a bit more effort to do so.

3 Words: Hulu-dot-com
The major networks offer full-episodes of the most popular TV shows on their websites. They are uploaded anywhere from a few hours to a few days after the original broadcast. If you don't find the show on the networks website (or even if you do) go check out Hulu.com Hulu offers full episodes of TV, and feature length movies for free, online, when you want to watch them. And no, this isn't some kind of website that hosts the videos on some floating barge in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in order to escape international copyright laws and taxes. That would be Google.

Why it's better than regular TV: Oh let me count the ways. There
are fewer commercials with the online broadcasts. And when a show abandons you, you can abandon it. I'm looking at you Lost. And you don't plan social activities around when "your show" comes on. That's just stupid nowadays.

Fair and Balanced Reporting
Ever watched MSNBC and thought, "Wow! That's pretty biased reporting." Apparantly those attending the RNC Convention agree. So you turned over to FoxNews and thought, "Wow! So is that!" The internet offers you a middle road or allows you to put your feet in both partisan pools in order to recognize the middle-ground. Both FoxNews and CNN offered uncut, unedited live feeds from both the RNC and the DNC conventions without any "commentators" to get in the way of the broadcast.


The problem with that type of coverage though is that it was done the same way for most of the Olympic games on NBC. You don't realize how stunningly boring it is to watch gymnastics or archery without the announcer telling you about how this young lady's family all came down with smallpox, but she continued to shoot her bow and arrow in spite of the disease to make it to Beijing in 2008. As you can tell, I made up my own hearstring-tugging stories to make the sports more interesting.

Oh! And Michael Phelps is over-rated. (But I'll leave that for another post.)

Why it's better than regular TV: The lack of commentary does make things better in that the discussion isn't skewed by usually pointless discussion they have during political events, but it does make it more interesting. The thing that really makes it better is that you can watch video of world events as they happen in real time rather than wait for the news to get around to showing it. And, like the TV shows, it is commercial-free most of the time. Now that's 24-hour news coverage!


Why does all of this matter?
People in your churches and ministries likely finding ways that technology bends to their will and allows them to have lives that remain fully connected and completely free to live life. Try to think of some ways you can connect with people that reaches them in their timeframe.

Or you can communicate with your lowly blogger using this same theory!
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Or just mail me a letter and I'll get it in a few days.
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