Using the Net for the Mission of Christ

It is obvious that the internet is one of the great examples of change that the church must embrace if it going to be relevant in the 21st century.  After reading the most recent posts, I was interested to check the stats of how many views/visitors that we have had to our church’s website and I was amazed.  Without even marketing our church’s website, we have had over 3000 unique visitors in the past 7 days!  

Recently our church has begun to take strides to embrace the world of the internet through our website.  We post our messages each week, we have an online membership directory, we have a pastor’s blog, and we are in the process of creating a media page with downloadable sermons, music, and videos.  We have even set up online giving!  Each week I receive numerous emails from people all over the United States who are blessed by our online sermons and the blog.

According to our statistics, thousands of people have visited our website from across the United States and in at least 10 different countries.  Think of the possibilities and ways that we as a church can make a difference in people’s lives throughout the world.  This is only the beginning.

I would like to see how others are using the internet to be missional.  How are you or your church using the internet to fulfill the mission of Jesus Christ?  Share what you’re doing!

Advertisements

15 Responses

  1. Winfield,

    I think the internet has huge potential for missional activity. For me, what I have experienced is the potential to build godly fellowship, social capital, mutual sharing, and encouragement with other missional disciples. “Digital immigrants” who have not yet become “nationalized digital citizens” often express a fear that connections formed in virtual space lack authenticity, depth, and…well, reality. However, this is a misunderstanding formed out of their lack of experience (ignorance).

    For example, I have called more ministers, sent more emails, received more feedback, and planned more random-cups-of-joe than I had since my last fundraising stint early last year (and it was only my clear agenda that had me calling then). Studies have shown that students in online cohorts tend to stay in contact longer and build deeper friendships than students in cohorts of traditional classroom programs. My point is that virtual connections DO lead to actual relationships. And for us, those friendships grow into passionate, missional activity.

  2. The ZAO community which is the young adult ministry at New Hope, launched myspacechurch08 about six weeks ago. Since then we have over 4000 unique visitors, and now nearly 800 friends that tune in on some weekly basis.

    Through this web church I post excerpts from the weeks message, and respond to questions and comments. We have had people accept Christ for the first time…re-establish a relationship with Him…and even break free from some serious sin and brokenness (one guy that wrote me was a porn star…he has since left the business)

    I think that this is a totally untapped venue and that we would be serving Jesus and ourselves well to continue to do creative things to reach people we may never see face to face.

    You can link to myspacechurch08 from my blog page….check it out

  3. Great thoughts, Winfield. Here are some of the things we’ve done/are doing:

    http://likeus.tv – our message series through Hebrews 11

    http://easterinhomestead.com – this is the crappiest website we’ve ever done. But, after two days of online pre-registration, we have over 500 people signed up for our Easter Egg Hunt. We were initially looking at 2,000 people. We’re revising that figure.

    http://travisjohnson.net – I use this to stay in touch with people, share the vision, create community, and Search Engine Optimization for our church websites.

    http://moviechurch.info – our church website. Out other domain is http://life-pointe.com. On these spaces we register people for events, receive online registrations for volunteerism and groups, podcast, and link to our web 2.0 sites.

    web 2.0 – our social networking sites:

    Flikcr
    Constant Contact
    MySpace
    Facebook
    YouTube

    Bloggers Community – http://travjohnson.wordpress.com/lpc-bloggers/ – This community is a group of a dozen and a half bloggers that attend life pointe and share their lives and influence in the blogosphere.

  4. the intention of our website is to give the average non-churched person in our community a view into our church prior to attending so they can know in advance what to expect. instead of telling them with words, we show them with video. we look at it as a pre-visit visit. so many people are afraid to visit a church because they have no clue what it will be like or what to expect. about half of our church family found us on the web in the last 3 years. it has been a critical tool for us because we have been buried on a back street in a residential neighborhood and receive no drive by visibility. thank the Lord that all will change in just a few short months. the internet has served us well.

    my opinion… design your website for the unchurched. keep it simple and visual – lots of pics or vids. I think things for members should be a little less visible, but still accessible… especially things like online giving.

  5. steve,

    I’ll be in Seattle next month. I’ll hit vancouver for a couple days to ski whistler/blackcomb….would love to connect.

  6. The web is an outstanding and appropriate tool for evangelism, proofing communications and just gathering simple to complex information. I build web sites for churches, businesses and those who want personal sites and also use contact internet software, such as Constant Contact to keep information flowing to those who support or just want information on what we do here in Santa Cruz: Actsoflovefoundation.org. Videos and Flash slide shows are an excellent way to communicate with other cyber-people who desire information from you that is not “still” pics or just text. Since the blogging world was created there have been so many opportunities to meet new people with like minds and also some great debaters. Also, with the new “online” office programs, such as, ZOHO, Google Docs, Office Live, Buzzword, and Glide Writer you can now share your important papers and presentations with your staff before meetings. Web Conferencing, Business Collaboration and Solutions and Project Management software all can be done on the web with people you choose and invite. The web has brought video and music to our homes in a click of a mouse or pointer. So much more can be said from people who embrace the internet for communication.

  7. Steve–cool website. You look familiar, but I’m not sure if I’m imagining it, or if not, where I know you from. Anyway, you bring up a great point about visibility. I guess most pastors are already in touch with that, but I had not thought of that. It’s like the whole idea of “visibility” has been “flattened” with the web, and now everyone has the opportunity to be visible. By the way, I love Vancouver!

    Travis, you’re a punk. There’s no better skiing in N. America than Whistler/Blackcomb! How can you afford these ski trips? Are you misappropriating funds again?

    Dennis, you bring up a great point about collaboration and project tools that are part of the web 2.0. I wonder if there is some project that all of us could collaborate on? Just for the sake of exploring the possibilities?

  8. Stoner,

    Don’t be jealous. I’ll be in Seattle at Mars Hill Church for the Multi-site Exposed Conference in April. Since, I’ve gotten the flight and I’m already there, I can’t miss Whistler being that close..

    I’ve skied all over Colorado, California, Nevada, as well as some crappy places in Michigan. Nothing was more glorious than Ober Gatlinburg in TN. That place was like Gettysburg. There were bodies lying everywhere.

    I’ve always wanted to ski Whistler. I’ll sell cans, plasma, or my younger brother to afford the lift tickets and hotel. 🙂

  9. People are busy but as I see that soon they are going to make the time to participate in this rapidly and those that are sincere about this must be ready for the questions and suggestions.

    Answers must be available that are meaningful and not political. That is why I am really desiring to collaborate online with some projects! Sharing ideas in an organized dialogue design that could be edited and changed by certain people. Something like ZOHO would be great! Also we could create our own WIKI site for such an endeavor. Ideas should not be scattered out in cyberspace when dealing with such importance and years of history!

  10. Travis, Mars Hill? That makes me even more jealous! I too have had the chance to ski all over Colorado as well as California, Nevada, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Vermont. (And yes I’ve logged hours dodging fallen skiers at The Ober, as well as other small hills in Virginia and Tennessee–and even a glorified mound in Nebraska. Anyway, my favorite place has definitely been Whistler/Blackcomb. The place is huge! So, the lift lines are generally short. The snow is incredible and the slopes are world class.

    Dennis, I think that a collaboration project could be extremely beneficial! I’m not sure exactly what to collaborate on at this point. But I am racking my brain at the moment. I hope some others agree. If so, perhaps they will have some ideas about what to use for our first project.

  11. I’m definitely looking forward to Mars Hill. I’m going to attend as many services in a row as I can to get a feel for the way they do multi-site. Plus, I think Driscoll is one of the foremost Bible teachers. The guy is a freak.

  12. Travis – would love to hook up but not at Whistler. I’m in Vancouver, WA, not Vancouver BC, eh!? I’m about 2 hours south of Seattle just north of Portland Oregon. I take it your hitting Mars Hill while you are here? I’ve attended several conferences there and am a big Driscoll fan. His emphasis on Jesus is refreshing (that sounds weird as I type it, but you know what I mean… Jesus has been getting getting eclipsed the last couple of decades by power, blessing, anointing, victory, prosperity, the devil..). Tried to send you an email today. Need some input on a blog site specifically dedicated to church replanting that I’ve been working on – wanting to provide resources, information, a gathering place for guys doing it and thinking of doing it, spotlight some of the crazy experience, give direction on selling facilities, etc. Hopefully I had the right email address.

    Jonathan – thanks on the site. The web has flattened everything. It still doesn’t hurt to have a cool building out on the main drag. Maybe we’ve met. I’ve been on the West Coast since ’95, but prior to that I was an East Coast guy in the COG. You probably have seen me – you don’t forget that much ugly… ever!!! My apologies!

  13. Steve, I’m a West Coaster in heart, and even for part of my history. I lived in Yakima for 6 months in ’93, San Francisco for 6 months in ’98, Fresno for 2 years in ’98-’00 and again for 2.5 years from ’02-04, been to the PNW Winterfest several times, and I’m familiar with the your church there in Vancouver. Anyway, my point is maybe I really do know you from somewhere. Perhaps we’ll figure it out sometime. Also, if you need to get in touch with Travis I’m thinking about posting his cell number here and on Actscelerate. Blessings Bro!

  14. What’s up with Canadian named California cities? What’s up with crack heads that are familiar with Canadian named California cities who threaten wide distribution of cell numbers?

  15. Travis, correction, it’s a Canandian named Washington city. Vancouver is just across the Columbia river north of Portland, Oregon. And as far as the cell number, well, it was late and i wasn’t thinking clearly. That happens from time to time. But I’ve gone around to all the blogs I frequent, and as best as I can tell I did not post it anywhere. So, you should be okay!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: