This is the third day of looking around the world for new ways of doing church. Most people in the Western church agree that church as we know it cannot remain the same if we are to be effective in reaching this and the emerging generations. Just how it needs to or will look is very much an evolving state.
LifeChurch.TV – Church Driven By Technology.
LifeChurch.tv is the fifth largest growing church in the USA. They are using digital connections to make inroads with the unchurched.
They have their own online community: http://internet.lifechurch.tv/
Here’s some of the inspiring history of Lifechurch.tv
1996: Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel and his wife, Amy, knew God had given them a vision to start a church - a different kind of church. In January, with a handful of people and a clear mission, to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ, Life Church began meeting in a rented dance studio in Edmond, Oklahoma. Within a few short weeks, the church attendance grew to over 130 people and they began to meet in a local middle school. The steady growth pattern continued and the next move was to a renovated bicycle factory.
2004: LifeChurch.tv reached over 12,000 people through sixteen weekly worship experiences across the four campuses.
• In August, a satellite uplink was built at the Oklahoma City Campus, providing the ability for LifeChurch.tv to send live video feed anywhere in the world.
The LifeChurch.tv Tulsa Campus moved to its permanent location in October
• LifeChurch.tv launched a fully interactive campus location (which is part of the Internet Campus) in Second Life, the popular 3-D online virtual world.
• In May, the twelfth campus, LifeChurch.tv Albany, NY was launched after a church in Albany became part of the LifeChurch.tv family.
• YouVersion.com, the revolutionary free online Bible, was released in Beta version in October. This tool allows users to connect Scripture with a wide variety of media content, including pictures, video, journal entries, blog posts and such.
• The Fort Worth Campus moved into a permanent facility on Christmas weekend. The response to the move was amazing attendance records for the campus were set that first weekend.
• By year end, LifeChurch.tv was meeting at twelve locations in six states, reaching over 21,000 people weekly through 49 worship experiences.
Implications for Evangelism:
1) People can be reached and discipled for Christ through online initiatives.
2) Budget needs to be created to put toward outreach online.
3) People in our congregations are gifted with talents: many are waiting for the opportunity to minister through the internet
4) Society is more than happy to engage the world of Christianity through online media – the questions is whether the church is more than happy to launch online initiatives to reach these people.
5) A sense of community can be formed with people online –it’s time for the church to embrace this idea as it is clearly being validated by some credible ministries throughout the world.