Meditations (Web)Church

A year (and a bit) in the life of NewSpring's first Web pastor

Is livestreaming the icampus sweet sauce?

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I wrote a previous post about our technical challenges in launching our Internet campus with live streaming of the service.

That got me wondering about why live streaming has become the benchmark for online campuses.

Personally, I think the “liveness” of the experience is important. The awareness that you are part of a larger corporate experience happening now reinforces what remains for me a helpful distinction between “church” and private devotions.

But I do think it’s fair to question whether we should give “live online worship” some implied theological primacy over live-interaction enhanced video-on-demand. And do online attenders valuethat kind of appointment worship as much as we think they do?

Most of the Internet folk wisdom is that online users prefer more control over their experience and how they introduce others (or are introduced themselves) to that experience. They also prefer active rather than passive roles online.

A service time is obviously an easy and effective way to gather people for communal experience and fellowship, a traditional part of what we consider Christian worship.

But attenders presumably could, with readily available tools, create their own gathering times on-demand. If those interactions involved people networks of their own choice, it might even raise the likelihood that more meaningful, enduring relationships would be formed and maintained.

In the future, might the emphasis be more about designing a form of worship experience that could be more customizable for attenders?

What are your thoughts about the importance of live? And how does online participation square with the theology behind the importance of corporate worship?


Written by NickCharalambous

November 16, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Posted in ruminations, web campus

Tagged with ,

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