Meditations (Web)Church

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

Posts Tagged ‘livestreaming

Web Church reflections, Part 2: Proclaiming the Gospel

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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.

Written by NickCharalambous

March 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm

How critical is livestreaming for an iCampus?

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Live worship was the starting point for the icampus conversation here at NewSpring. In fact, we referred to our online initiative as “NewSpringLive.” But our plan, for now, does not include live streaming of the worship and message — at least for the alpha launch this January.

Instead, we would splice pre-recorded video segments for our online attenders into a recording of the NewSpring 9:15 a.m. service, which would rendered for streaming at 6 p.m.

The “NewSpring Live” concept would be based, then, on the availability of live pastoral help, and the opportunity for live chat among attenders of the online service.

The reason we’re leaning away from live is simple: Our early research suggested it would be prohibitively expensive. That’s based on the cost of streaming infrastructure and the equipment needed to “cut-in” live segments, which we feel are critical for speaking directly to our online attenders, and to removing such things as the Anderson-specific service announcements.

This week, we decided to take a second look at whether we can accomplish our original vision using a hosted live video streaming service such as Mogulus. I’ll post next week about whether our testing of the service meets our standards of excellence.

If your church is live streaming, how do you do it, and how happy are you and why?

Do you think that attendance to the Internet campus would suffer if the worship and message weren’t streamed live?

Written by NickCharalambous

November 13, 2008 at 11:49 pm