Creating Time to Think In A World of 571 New Websites Per Minute

Within our culture, little effort goes towards time to think.  Look at the graphic below and how it speaks to the online explosion of information.  This graphic will look obsolete in a few short years.

On the eve of General Church Clergy Meetings the above is germane.  The General Church is the parent body under which NewChurch LIVE was established and generously funded as way to live into the world the graphic speaks to.

The good news of the above is that Churches, Synagogues, and Mosques with an online presence can now reach many times the people they preiovusly.  With our services, over the past 2 weeks I have heard from folks watching in California, Florida, Canada, as well as locally.    Some of the contacts have been rather dramatic. When people are in trouble, serious trouble, many search the web.  As the graphic notes, “Data Never Sleeps.”  A good thing in the case of those searching.

And there is a shadow side.  I remember pulling out of a parking lot, listening to Rob Bell, the best-selling author of “Love Wins” speaking.  In 2 sentences, he put it out there.  His church at that time, Mars Hills, was committed to never doing videos of services.  Why?  Because the last thing he wanted on his conscience was the knowledge that he had put a small church congregation “out of business” as congregants chose to tune in vs. join in.  His point was stark, we need to fulfill Christ’s message in how live, in community, and in relationship, not in video.

I don’t know how the future will unfold.  Does a church embrace technology as a way to share its message?  Or does it eschew technology as a way to build alternative community?  These are very hard questions, ones clergy and laity will wrestle with as we seek to do God’s work.   The future I would imagine will be some all-or-nothing approaches spanning the continuum of purely web based models to resurgent home churches.  For the time being, NewChurch LIVE will be an amalgam of both.  And if I was humbly to offer what a “True North” of sorts might be, it would be this.  Christ I believe would be far more concerned with community than with clicks.  How do we build that?

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3 Responses to “Creating Time to Think In A World of 571 New Websites Per Minute”

  1. Peggy Howland says:

    Chuck, I don’t think it is “either/or”. I think it is “both/and”.

    I think many who are close to a New Church will take advantage of its proximity and become involved in attending and participating in the service and outreach.

    However, there are many advantages to on-line outreach, to name a few:
    (1) Not everyone is in close proximity to any New Church. That might change when more churches are planted throughout the world. However, until then, one has the internet.
    (2) When a person is sick or injured and confined to bed either at home or in a hospital/nursing home and could not attend a local New Church if they wanted to; or does not have transportation or the money to attend a local church, one has the internet!
    (3) Evangelizing is so much easier when you have the New Church live streaming and archiving of services and Bible Studies: For example,; New Church of Boulder Valley, Colorado; Rev. Dr. Jonathan Rose’s Nunc/Licet/Spirit and Life Bible Study. Distance and location throughout the world is not a limitation for sharing, as long as those at your destination has access to the internet! :0)

    Also, at the 2010 Swedenborg Colloquium, Rev. Dr. Rueben Bell held up his smart phone and said that he believed that it was an instrument of the Second Coming.

    So let’s embrace a “both/and” mentality! As for me and my house for now, we will watch the New Church’s live-streaming and archives wherever and whenever we can find them and share the links with our Facebook friends so they can enjoy them, too! :0)

  2. Chuck says:

    Peggy -

    Great points! I am going to share them if that is alright with you.

    And, I would love to head to Kansas sometime.

  3. Peggy Howland says:

    Share them if you like, Chuck. In Kansas we are lucky to have two New Churches — one in Pretty Prairie (50 miles away from me) that I attend at times; and one in Pawnee Rock — they are part of the Kansas Association of the New Jerusalem Churches (Convention). Hope you can come to Kansas someday! Another great place for New Church is Tulsa, Oklahoma — right in the middle of the Bible Belt and Oral Roberts University and Rhema Bible College which teaches dispensationalism, seed faith, and faith alone. The Midwest needs New Church desperately.

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