Meditations (Web)Church

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

Web Church reflections, Part 2: Proclaiming the Gospel

with 9 comments

This is a blog series of personal observations from my year as NewSpring’s web pastor. Read Part 1, Part 3 and Part 4. (In all references to “web church,” it’s simply a shorthand for the (re)creation of a worship environment online. There are other weighty aspects to “being the church,” and I’m not dealing with them here.)

The most powerful justification for any use of technology by the church — printing, radio, television, internet — is gospel proclamation. I saw and heard countless encounters involving people who never would have experienced “church,” whether for salvation, or in discipleship, prayer or guidance, had it not been for a tweet, a Facebook status update or some other providential coincidence in our hyper-networked world.

Bottom line No. 1: Web churches live on a continuum with podcasts, vodcasts and livestreaming — and radio and tv church before them — as an effective way of maximizing exposure to the Gospel.

Every church that is financially able (and that should be pretty much every one) should be using one or all of these new mediums. At least 20 to 30 percent of church attenders are skipping one or two messages a month, so for that reason alone it’s worthwhile.

And if we do believe that the church is a community that has its fullest expression in physical gathering and action, then let’s state clearly what classifies as a healthy use of these “private” worship mediums. I think Tim Keller’s disclaimer on his web site is a good place to start. In fact, why aren’t more people doing this?

Bottom line No. 2: I’ve seen our own stats on our church’s use of Facebook and Twitter, and the traffic they drive across our various resources, and the power of these two social networks alone is simply staggering.

Given the limits of communicating in print and the pitiful number of true conversations that happen inside our atriums, social networks offer every one a way to get people informed and engaged in a place where they have everything they need to integrate Biblical “one anothering” with their day-to-day lives.

The churches that are wary of engaging in these media are, to put it bluntly, clueless. The risks associated with opening up conversations inside your church and exposing your church and your people to their friendship networks (in both directions) is the same as fearing what people would say when they’re talking at the YMCA or Bojangles.

Are you so insecure about your church’s discipleship or are you so lacking in confidence in the supremacy of Christ that you can’t handle that?

There are some wise practices to follow. Lead through them. Just don’t be chicken, for Christ’s sake.

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Written by NickCharalambous

March 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm

9 Responses

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  1. still in mourning just a bit waiting for my feeling to catch up with what I already know…God is in control. As one of the redeemed from the @Newspring webcampus….I’m missing the chat. I’m missing being used to One-Another, my online friends who I do life with…Yet, sitting alone in the Shine.fm studio listening to Week 1 of Practical…brought to tears by the witness of one-changed by Jesus who models the mission of @Newspring. Making Jesus Famous one life @ a time. I dare you…watch it. you’ll find it @ 1:18 or so… http://www.newspring.cc/

    Without the chat-chatter I heard. I heard the whisper of Jesus…IAM a live stream. Interactive
    all the time. One Another right/write where you are!

    Behold I Do A New Thing in & through you~

    S

    Shannon La France

    March 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm

  2. Awesome blog Pastor Nick. I enjoy reading what God has placed on you heart. It was such a blessing to be apart of all of this. Truly a highlight in my ministry experience.

    Jimmy
    http://www.jimmycalhoun.com

    Jimmy

    March 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm

  3. […] a blog series of personal observations from my year as NewSpring’s web pastor. Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Any references to “web church” are shorthand for “doing church […]

  4. […] Filed under: community, evangelism, ruminations, social media, web campus , community management, evangelism, Facebook, livestreaming, social networking, web campus via ipiphanist.wordpress.com […]

  5. […] is a blog series of personal observations from my year as NewSpring’s web pastor. Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Any references to “web church” are shorthand for “doing church online.” There […]

  6. […] that are properly extended online. (See the previous blog series, Web church reflections, parts 2, 3, 4.) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Web church challenges, part 1: Is it […]

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