This past weekend we started the beta test of a new 'internet campus' at Seacoast Church. According to Trace Pupke, Seacoast's IT guy, "We didn’t announce it, yet, just posted a link to it on our website. We had 10 people trying it out just by the link (and maybe a few by word of mouth) during the two service times (9:30 and 11:15 am EST)."
Seacoast is the second large church to offer such an internet campus. LifeChurch.tv recently started their own internet campus, which by all reports I’ve heard so far, is far exceeding expectations.
Way to go Seacoast!
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I’m still not there with internet church. I think pressing the flesh and being in community is part of the essence of Acts 2 church, and sitting in your living room looking at a laptop screen don’t do it…
Pretty cool for shut-ins, though…
Maybe I’m just an old fogie…
I could write volumes on this. I’ll just say this..... words could never do justice to what churches like this mean to me. The potential.........
A 52 page chapter? Holy Smokes, no wonder I never read that book. Okay Silliness aside. I think defining worship too tightly is somewhat like dissecting a frog to understand it. You might understand it but it is also dead. Worship is a humble, biblical response to what God chooses to reveal about himself.
My other thought is that defining what worship is can be difficult but understanding what worship does to the worshipper helps me. Isaiah 6 is a wonderful account of entering the presence of God and when Isaiah responds to the presence of God he is transformed. Chapters 3&5;of Isaiah is filled with his pronouncement of woes to you… in chapter 6 the presence of God creates a woe to me. As he is overwhelmed by god’s holiness and cleansed by God’s grace, he responds by presenting himself to God. Here am I… Send me. My heart now understands more of your heart, send me. I see more of what you see, send me. This is what worship does. It reveals me, offers me a chance to choose humility before God, it changed me by giving grace and truth and then proffers me an opportunity to present myself to God’s purpose and heart. I know I have experienced his presence when I present myself.
1 John 3 tell us that his presence is transforming, “we will be like him because we will see him as he is.” This transforming to his image or likeness is also the result of worship.
Some of my many thoughts.
Sorry wrong place, this goes with worship post.
“A 52 page chapter? Holy Smokes, no wonder I never read that book.”
Precisely why I’ve passed up the offer to write books.
Can you explain what an internet church is?
Not to be too negative; but I don’t see anything innovative or novel here except that they are calling it an “internet campus”. Same with LifeChurch.tv. Most of the links go to the normal website. It is just a section of their normal site; there does not seem to be a “pastoral” presents there. For crying out loud, there is a countdown to the “next service” on the page. That seem about as un-Internet as you can get.
I’m willing to have it explained to me—but this is vaporware to me.
I love it...but I find it easy to build relationships on line...between college, Blogs, and the new small groups being online...it seems natural to see the new technology make this a reality…
I think we are about one year away from completely redefining fellowship, community and relationships...and I live in TEXAS
We certainly can’t deny the reality of relationships developed online - not to mention both the dangers and the benefits possible. Just look at what is achieved through a site like MMI! While I haven’t looked into what constitutes an “internet church”, I will say that I can see some great possibilities, and not just for shut ins: webcasting services; discussions about messages, theology, practical Christian life, etc.; intercession; communication....
Certainly there are also negatives, whether dangerous or simply omission of some element of what it means to be the body of Christ. When a woman hears the words “breast cancer” from her doctor; when parents sit in shock at the news that their 8-year-old girl has just been killed by a drunk driver; when a man loses his job.... Like Peter said, “sitting in your living room looking at a laptop screen don’t do it”; you need an arm around your shoulder. When an infertile couple gets the news that the pregnancy test is positive, or an adoptive baby is waiting for them...a smiley in a comment box just isn’t the same as jumping up and down in joy with a dear friend.
I’ll say now what I said when I heard about Lifechurch’s Internet Campus. Kudos!! I’m pleased to hear that Seacoast has officially recognized the potential of an online place of worship and is doing something about it.
While I agree that there’s a lot that an internet campus alone can’t do, and that a real-life local church is totally necessary, the potential that the medium offers to the billion people on the internet is too much to ignore. I hope that Seacoast’s entry here will spur more churches to go into cyberspace more effectively.
Just calling it an Internet Campus does not make it one; what makes this an Internet Campus. Really? I’m curious. If we are sending out kudos, we should send them out to people who are really doing something innovative like,
or even http://www.meetfish.com/. These are people who have Internet campus’. These other campus seem more like “marketing” the idea of Internet campus than actually doing something innovative.
Summer: From my understanding, an internet church/campus is for individuals to come together for hearing of the Word, small group discussions, intercession/prayer, music, and etc. without having to physically leave wherever they are at to get there. It doesn’t have to be on a Sunday morning or Saturday night. I hope that helps in some way.
Tim: As Chris and I both stated - our “kudos” was more to the potential, not of what already has been accomplished. Seacoast specifically states they are in the “beta testing” phase. Thanks for posting the links you did and for your passion heard thru your words.
Randy: I agree that it could never fully take the place of having someone’s arm around a shoulder when hearing bad news or holding someone’s hand. Yet, with that said, I am not one to limit the power of God… of the Holy Spirit. Maybe it comes from my shoes and where I’ve walked or not been able to. I see the internet with far much more potential for His kingdom and cannot help but get misty at just the thought.
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