Meditations (Web)Church

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

How does your Internet campus become “home” church to attenders?

with 2 comments

You know what it feels like when God gets your attention with a line in a sermon.

Like a sharp jab in the ribs. No elbows required.

Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, N.C., brought a flamethrower of truth Sunday night, preaching — he insists on calling it that — on the beauty of the bride of Christ, the church.

He said a lot more that I wished I’d written down verbatim. Luckily, this piece of wisdom seared itself on my brain:

Jesus Christ didn’t die on the cross so you could sample his church like different foods on a party platter.

When it comes to NewSpring’s Internet campus, that’s my greatest fear.

Is it yours?

We don’t want to make it easier for folks to sample churches but never call one home.

We don’t want to make it easier for folks to feel connected when they aren’t really committed.

The internet is a feast for Christian teaching and worship.

In a leadership lunch with my pastor Perry Noble a couple weeks ago, he predicted a lot of churches would close over the next 20 years (and that those remaining will get bigger.)

Why?

Because folks don’t have to put up with bad preaching any more, he said. Not when they could log on to iTunes and download sermons from Mark Driscoll, Erwin McManus, Rob Bell, Andy Stanley and T.D. Jakes anytime they want.

Perry’s preaching ranks right up there with those heavyweights. I’m praying that multitudes of the unchurched, the dechurched and the lost “sample” NewSpring because of it. And that they come to know Jesus more intimately as a result.

But I want to make sure that icampus attenders aren’t just inhaling a tasty sermon week after week, with great worship music and a side dish of good conversation in a chat room.

I want them to come back through their commitment to a specific and singular church community in which God can do his refining work in them — through the spurring and encouragement that comes from deep, durable relationships with other believers as well as through appropriate pastoral guidance.

Is that happening on your campus? How?

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Written by NickCharalambous

November 30, 2008 at 10:12 pm

2 Responses

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  1. But we have been attending a church where we love the Pastor. His speaking is wonderfully relevant; however, we don’t fit into the community that the church has been built around. Most couples that attend our church are in their 20’s and have the first dog or they are early 30’s with 2 year olds. We are 39 & 53 with an 11 year old & 28 year old (she’s my step daughter).

    So it’s not just good preaching. It’s the whole package. We would love to find a place to worship in Asheville that has good quality music and community for our daughter (the 11 year old) that also has a dynamic preacher.

    Remind Tony Morgan that Asheville is closer to Anderson than Columbia or Florence are. I keep telling him that. One day strategically he will figure it out.

    Tina Harkey

    January 15, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    • Tina, that’s hilarious! I’ll tell Tony that! I actually voted for Asheville when Perry asked what cities should be next on the list of campuses. (I also said Columbia, mind you.) Pray. On your point about worship, we welcome folks on the web campus even if they’re plugged into a local church. We do want people to know that our goal is to be a church with all the fullness with which it is described in scripture. It won’t work for everyone, obviously, but we believe that it can be done. We’d love your feedback when it’s launched!

      ipiphanist

      January 15, 2009 at 10:49 pm


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