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Internet Campus


Seacoast Church Internet Campus

Seacoast has just started an internet campus. It is a cool site that has a lot of neat features. Here is a brief explanation from their website:

First of all, welcome! We are glad you're here. Worship on the Internet is a new way of doing church, so we'll try and make it a great experience for you.

We currently have three worship experiences online; 9:30 am, 11:15 am and 2:00 pm EST each Sunday. Join the experience by going to the internet campus home page. When the service starts, it will automatically show on the page. Please note that the experience runs through Flash player. You can get the latest version here.

Additional features:
Live Chat: to fellowship with others before, after and during services, simply click the "Join Live Chat" button on the menu to the left of the video.

Message Notes: Follow along with the message notes below the video and fill in the blanks online. When finished, you can have them sent straight to your e-mail.

Connect Card: In order for us to get to know you better, fill out our online connect card, also located on the menu to the left of the video!

Technology can do so many cool things. Trust me when I say that I am often the first in line for the latest electronic toy and cool gadget. But technology must be examined critically. Therefore, I think that this kind of church experience has a couple of benefits as well as a couple of pitfalls. Here are just some of my thoughts:

The benefits....

It allow a perspective guest to experience a worship service from the comfort of their home. Some guests may need an opportunity to kick the tires before even stepping through the doors. This internet campus can provide a "first" first impression.

Sick or traveling out of town, this internet campus provides a great way to experience the service, particularly when you can't be there.

Some pitfalls.....

No one should make it a complete replacement to their worship experience. The virtual experience leaves out an important component of worship, our connection with others. Worship is an incarnational experience. I would agree with you that this idea is a bit of a mystery. God has hard wired us to experience our faith together. And by "together" I don't mean a shared virtual experience or a download of information through a computer portal. God has designed us to experience Him through the flesh on flesh contact with each other. The problem is that is often the hardest kind of community to build. But that is why we should endeavor even harder to cultivate and maintain that kind of connection. (see Dallas Willard's quote here for some further thoughts on the subject)

Also, new technology isn't neutral, it has implications. From a post in Provocative Church, Mike Metzger comments on the implications of technology.

"
It was the late Daniel Joseph Boorstin, prizewinning author and the historian who had served as librarian of Congress and director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of History and Technology, who argued that new technologies often turn Americans into tourists rather travelers. They keep us seemingly "in touch" while actually making us more "out of touch." The ease of surfing between Darfur and Dunkin' Donuts (or Paris France and Paris Hilton) is closer to voyeurism than voyaging. In times past, we wouldn't know about Darfur without being present and covering our noses to keep the stench of death out of our nostrils. Now we can simply watch through a window in air-conditioned comfort."

Technology changes the way we experience and encounter the world around us. How will an internet church campus change the way we experience God and our faith?

I don't presume to suggest I have the complete answers to these questions, but we must be willing to at least ask them and wrestle with the answers.

2 comments:

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Thanks for the review Bill.
While i don't agree with the idea that an Internet Campus can't replace a physical worship expirience; I do believe that we are on the same page when it comes to worshiping in community.
That is why we encourage those who attend, to invite others to worship along with them in a physical home based group. We have even developed free resources to help our attenders invite their friends to experience the service in community.
We feel like this bridges the gap between the two worlds.

Thanks again for giving us a peek.

Brad Singleton
INTERNETcampus Director

PS: We made a few upgrades just after your last visit, come check it out again sometime!

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