Meditations (Web)Church

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

Making a new market for online church

with 3 comments

Every Internet campus pastor should take time to think today about Seth Godin’s blog about Making Vs. Taking.

He split the world into companies and products that make markets. And companies and products that steal share from other markets.

Are our Internet campuses “taking from a market” for church folk?

Or are our Internet campuses “making a market” of new (online) church folk?

I know where NewSpring stands. We’ve grown by making new life in Christ. We’ve turned non-believers into believers. (I am a case in point.) We’ve turned cultural Christians into passionate believers. We’ve turned passive attenders into kingdom builders.

That’s a new market.

When we ask ourselves whether an Internet campus is “real,” we’re responding to the negative assumption among church staff or the church membership that providing an online worship and community experience may erode attendance on Sundays in our physical houses of worship.

I think that sets up a false opposition: I don’t think the majority of the durable members of an online church community are likely to be regular physical church attenders, though there is likely to be some overlap, such as when physical attenders catch up when away from home.

New markets come from meeting new needs of new people and/or meeting new needs of existing people. And those two variables change as our social arrangements change — all the time.

If you resist innovating because your fear cannibalizing your “market,” you’ll eventually end up with no market.

Just ask the newspaper industry of which I was once part.

Don’t get me wrong. Caution about online church is not bad. This is Jesus’ church, his bride, and we will be held to account for the way that we treat her.

But if churches dedicated to sound Biblical Truth don’t “make a market” for online worship and community for Christ, we’re ceding the spiritual battle for a whole world that lives online at the dawn of a digital revolution.

What say you?


Written by NickCharalambous

December 3, 2008 at 11:32 am

Posted in evangelism, web campus

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. I think the online church movement is a good thing. When you have the attitude and heart that NS has to reach those that would never step foot into a physical church (for whatever reason) or want to stay up to date when away, then you are on the right track.
    There is so much opportunity to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus…the building of online campuses for churches is a great way to do that.
    Best to you in your efforts and keep it up. You guys at NS are an encouragement to many, including myself.

    Patrick Moore

    December 4, 2008 at 10:58 am

  2. Nick – I think that you raise a good point here. I had not really made the connection between taking and making and church that you suggest here. I agree that this is a useful analogy for internet campus, but also for bricks and mortar campus as well. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Andrew Conard

    December 4, 2008 at 4:23 pm

  3. […] The Web church could lower barriers of entry to Christian faith The megachurch study by the folks over at Hartford Seminary has grabbed my attention, largely because I think it proves to me that “church different” has created a new “market” of believers. […]

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