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Megachurch Megatech

Megachurch Megatech

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Edward Cone

Nowadays, spreading the Word involves a lot of sophisticated information technology. Here’s how IT works in a very high-growth enterprise.

“Reach hither thy finger,” says Jesus to Thomas in the Gospel according to John, and on a recent Sunday morning at Willow Creek Community Church, in South Barrington, Ill., a group of middle-school students appears to be taking that particular bit of scripture to heart.

What they’re reaching for as they enter the massive building amid a throng of fellow churchgoers is a fingerprint scanner, which quickly checks them into Willow Creek for Sunday school. Nearby, parents swipe ID cards through digital card-readers to check in the younger kids. “We need a way to get them in securely and without hassle,” says Mike Gold, Willow Creek’s director of information technology. “When you’re dealing with 3,000 kids, you need to be quick.”

Beyond the high-tech check-in lies a church that is as wired as any business in the country. Inside the 7,095-seat auditorium, the image of Pastor Bill Hybels is projected on large video screens, making him visible to everyone in the crowd. Miss a sermon, and you can catch it later via streaming video on the Web, and then surf over to a church blog to learn more about Gulf Coast relief efforts. They still pass the collection plate at Willow Creek, but they also accept automatic bank drafts. “We can tithe out of a bank account as soon as a check is deposited, so God gets the first fruit,” says Brian McAuliffe, CFO and director of operations.

About 20,000 people attend Willow Creek every week, making it one of the largest churches in the nation. And like other so-called “megachurches”—defined by average weekly attendance of more than 2,000 people—technology is essential to almost every phase of its mission. There are perhaps 1,800 megachurches in the U.S., including a subset of truly gargantuan institutions whose attendance can approach 20,000, or more. And the bigger they are, the more they tend to rely on technology.

“Technology is essential for a church of our scale,” says Duncan Dodds, executive director of Lakewood Church, in Houston, which has weekly attendance of over 40,000 people, maintains a 60,000-name e-mail list, and meets in a renovated basketball arena once used by the NBA’s Houston Rockets. “You could not do church the way we do without it.” Pastor A.R. Bernard of the 24,000-member Christian Cultural Center, in Brooklyn, N.Y., agrees. At his church, worshippers use the in-house WiFi network to call up Bible verses on their laptops as they follow along with Bernard’s big-screen, PowerPoint presentations. “Technology is a vital and integral part of our setup,” he says. “It is a core enabling element to what we do.”

These tech-savvy institutions are the fastest growing element in religious life in the U.S. “We’re finding about one a week,” says Dave Travis, who tracks megachurches in his role as executive vice president of church innovations at the Leadership Network, a Dallas-based research and consulting group that works with large churches. There have always been large congregations, says Mark Chaves, head of the sociology department at the University of Arizona, where he studies religion, organizations and social movements. But, he adds, the biggest got bigger throughout the 20th century, and the rate of growth has accelerated over the last generation. Historically, Chaves says, the biggest churches haven’t stayed the biggest for very long: “They get overtaken by the next cultural wave of innovation.” Increasingly, innovation is driven by technology, which is a large part of what has allowed megachurches to thrive. Says Travis: “One reason you’ve seen an explosion in megachurches is because of the technological progress that’s been made.”

1,800
Estimated number of megachurches (weekly attendance 2,000+) 7.2 million
Estimated total weekend attendance

40,000
Weekly attendance, Lakewood Church, Houston

9
Number of campuses of Seacoast Church, headquartered in suburban Charleston, S.C.

11,500
Member churches, Willow Creek Association

$3 million
Cost of high-end audio/video system

Religious groups have long embraced the technology of their day, going back to the Epistles of Paul and the Gutenberg Bible and on through to the radio and television preachers of more recent times. In that sense, the megachurches are following tradition, but in many particulars they are changing the way millions of Americans worship, donate and interact with their churches and with each other. Megachurches reflect a culture that is comfortable with enormous institutions, from suburban high schools and universities to retail outlets and banking companies. They tend to be less political than some of their smaller brethren, but still represent a potentially powerful political force. Their pastors wield great financial muscle and public clout.

While they make up only a tiny percentage of the total number of churches, the new breed of megachurches, typically found in suburbia, accounts for perhaps 7 percent of weekly church attendance, according to Scott Thumma, a sociologist of religion at the Hartford [Conn.] Institute for Religion Research. The churches are often unaffiliated with particular denominations, and they span a broad range of beliefs and practices. Taken as a whole, however, their memberships add up to perhaps 7 million people or more—the equivalent of the third-largest religious group in the country, says Thumma, trailing only Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists (with whom their membership overlaps somewhat).

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What’s more, the megachurches are growing at the expense of other churches. “Overall church attendance is not going up. People are going to megachurches from other churches,” Chaves says. One factor driving growth, he adds, is cost. “You may have to go to a larger church to get quality, such as a youth minister and more programs, or better facilities.”

Another cost center is the technology that touches nearly every phase of megachurch life. There are management systems that allow huge congregations to track finances and organize members with relatively few staffers, audio-video tools that help pastors compete for mindshare with the clamor of popular culture, and telecom and Web applications that allow churches to reach outside their walls and start satellite campuses as well as manage national associations that can include thousands of other churches.

Doing all this stuff requires a substantial investment. At Willow Creek, the technology budget tops $1 million a year, out of a total budget of about $27 million. A 15-person IT staff helps support about 50 servers and 600 PCs, two more full-timers work on the Web team, and an army of volunteers helps out with everything from maintenance to design. In order to deal with its growing scale of operations, Fellowship Church, in Grapevine, Texas, developed its own management software, which it subsequently spun out as an independent company called Fellowship Technologies; the company, an application service provider, has more than 240 customers, says CEO and President Jeff Hook, including several of the largest churches in the country, and brings in revenue of more than $3 million per year.

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Big Is the New Small

Megachurch people like to talk about “doing church,” and they don’t do church like they used to. Even the buildings are built differently these days. Instead of being designed so that people can hear sermons delivered from a pulpit, megachurches tend to have auditorium-style halls, with stages positioned for optimal video-screen sightlines. These are not your parents’ church services. They often rock with contemporary music and feature light shows that would do Pink Floyd proud. “We are marketing to the MTV and ESPN generation,” says Katie Moon, communications coordinator at Fellowship Church, which draws about 20,000 people each weekend.

Video also allows megachurches to accommodate rapid growth. “We reached a point where we maxed out two service times on Sunday, so we started a video cafe in our gym,” says Senior Pastor Don Miller, of Westover Church, in Greensboro, N.C. Westover has almost 5,000 members and draws just under 3,000 people on an average weekend. “The cafe drew so many people that we had to take the tables out, and now we just have 600 chairs. For a while, our gym was the fastest-growing church in Greensboro.” Westover is building a larger worship center, due to be completed next year, that will feature two large video screens. “You’ve got to have the technology, or you’re going to frustrate people and you’re not going to grow,” says Miller.

The megachurches want to be at the center of people’s lives, not just weekend or Wednesday night destinations. Pastors such as Rick Warren of California’s Saddleback Church, author of the best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life, are aiming at more than a casual relationship with attendees, and the churches reflect that philosophy. Many have coffee shops and bookstores, complete with the same point-of-sale systems found at secular establishments. Willow Creek even uses free e-ticketing for big events, such as a visit from country music superstar Randy Travis. “We want as many people as possible to come, but we don’t want 10,000 showing up for 7,000 seats, or not coming because they think they won’t get in,” McAuliffe says. “The e-tickets let us fill the place up for three shows, and reach a lot of people who come to hear Randy Travis and his testimony.”

But technology also helps big churches feel small. “It’s a way of duplicating the intimacy and the transfer of information that makes smaller churches successful,” Thumma says. “You make the church feel small, even though the worship experience is massive.”

Lakewood Church has $4 million worth of high-end video equipment in its state-of-the-art production facilities, and a pastor, Joel Osteen, who is a familiar presence on religious television. But it also puts considerable effort into reaching out to individuals and small groups. The touch screens that check in frequent attendees also print out name tags, and the huge e-mail list pushes out targeted information twice a week. “We tell people about speakers and topics and include links to our Web site, information and directions and maps, our new Bible-study program,” says Dodds, the executive director. “We attach photos and links to video of things you might have missed, and also ask people to tell a friend about us, to be marketers for us, because word of mouth is the best tool.”

At its most basic level, technology helps manage the daily business of these large organizations. “You need to be able to track people in order to survive,” says Brian Bailey, Web director of Fellowship Church. “You have to know who has not given in years, who has been going to Bible study.” Under the leadership of Terry Storch, then the technology pastor and now a pastor at one of the Fellowship’s satellite campuses, the church built the management applications that allowed it to handle rapid growth. “The idea is that nobody gets lost,” Bailey says. “We get more personal through technology.”

Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center uses the Web to shrink itself down to manageable size for the staff and members. “It is the central communication point for us,” says Pastor Bernard. “Our staff calendar and everything going on in our community is posted to our Web site.” Coming soon: kiosks in the lobbies and hallways that will allow members to access program and membership information quickly. Bernard, a former banker and self-described “techie,” put the church on its first management software in 1984. After outgrowing two vendors, it is straining at the limits of its current package from Fellowship Technologies, and Bernard is now thinking about developing his own management software.

Beyond the Walls

Seacoast Church, based in Mount Pleasant, S.C., just outside Charleston, has more than doubled in size in the past few years. But Seacoast hasn’t grown to 7,500 weekend attendees by going on a building binge. Instead, it has planted eight satellite locations—one in nearby Savannah, Ga., and the rest spread across the Palmetto State. Senior Pastor Greg Surratt records his sermon on Saturday nights, and the local -pastors at each location download it from the Web and, on Sunday mornings, play the sermon in their churches on large video screens.

“So much work goes into the preparation of the weekend message. Our team is so talented and they create work of great value,” says Shawn Wood, Seacoast’s creative communications pastor. “The more you can use that, the more you get out of it, the better.” Establishing satellite campuses in shopping centers and underused retail space is a cost-effective way of meeting demand. “We can plant a church for under six figures,” says Wood. “We pride ourselves on leveraging technology without spending a bunch of money.”

Each Seacoast campus has its own pastor, and live music, but the idea is that they are all part of a network. “We struggle to keep the ‘one church, many locations’ mentality,” says Wood, adding that new tools such as weblogs and podcasts are useful in that effort. “We get the advantages of a megachurch, things like a bulletin and Web site that a small church might not be able to match, but we give people that sense of community.” The arrangement also allowed Seacoast to grow rapidly while decreasing Surratt’s weekend load from five services to three.

Seacoast’s satellite strategy puts it at the forefront of an emerging trend. As big churches grow even larger, offsite growth is a way to accommodate increasing scale while furthering their mission. “The wave of the future is not megabuildings that hold 100,000 people, the wave is taking the message to the people in their communities,” says Pastor Bernard. His church has already spawned a daughter church in Syracuse, N.Y., and he plans to launch video-supported satellites in the future.

Troy Page, communications pastor at Fellowship Church, says the addition of three satellite campuses (in Plano, downtown Dallas, and near Fort Worth) during the past year has enabled the church to increase attendance by 4,000 people. “We could spend megamillions to build bigger buildings, and lose intimacy in the process, or we can leverage technology to move out into the community and provide the same experience,” he says. Tapes of Senior Pastor Ed Young’s weekend message are distributed to each of the new facilities, each of which is outfitted with three video screens: one in the center that shows a life-size, static shot of Young preaching, while the two on either side of it provide close-ups and cutaways. Like Seacoast, each campus has its own pastor and live music. Eventually, says Page, there could be more satellites in the Dallas area, and beyond.

Some megachurches broaden their reach even further by creating associations of hundreds, even thousands, of other churches across the country and around the world. About 1,000 churches pay $250 per year to be part of the Fellowship Connection, which gets them discounts on the big church’s educational resources and conferences, and even document templates for back-office functions such as human resources. “We have a huge heart to help churches that look to us as a model,” says Storch, Fellowship’s former technology pastor. “This way, they don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to things like children’s church, or hiring practices.”

Fellowship uses the Web, including a special site called CreativePastors.com, to connect with its association members and with other interested pastors—about 10,000 in all—and to distribute material to them. “We could not accomplish this without the technology component,” Storch says. “With e-mail, blogs, podcasts and streaming video, you never have to darken our door to get the benefit of what we are doing.”

Willow Creek has 11,500 member churches in its Willow Creek Association, each paying dues of $249 per year. When Hurricane Katrina hit, the megachurch was able to lead a relief effort that built on the technology infrastructure used to support the association: Willow Creek used its IP telephony, and its robust Web presence, to coordinate volunteers and take in donations of almost $865,000. The megachurch also runs as many as 40 events each year, and relies on satellite feeds and webcasts to broaden its audience. Its Leadership Summit, held last August, drew 7,000 people to the Illinois campus and was seen via satellite by another 47,000 people at 110 churches across the U.S. and Canada. A global version of the conference used DVDs, with translation into several languages, to reach another 12,000 people. “The association has a symbiotic relationship with the church,” says Communications Director Paul Braoudakis. “It has given the church an international platform. Willow Creek is the laboratory, we take what we do here and disseminate it around the world.”

At a time when traditional Protestant denominations are losing members to unaffiliated churches, including many of the megachurches, the satellite campuses and associations provide a measure of support and organization for pastors who may not be affiliated with a formal group. But the megachurches are careful to say that they are not creating new denominations of their own. “We don’t think in terms of denominations,” says Fellowship’s Troy Page. “It’s more like a network of like-minded leaders.” Still, these expansion strategies show the impact megachurches are having on religious organizations. “Churches today talk about brand and personality,” says software vendor Jeff Hook. “The satellites and associations are ways of extending the brand, but they may also step on some toes. If you start a church that instantly draws 1,000 people, you are stepping on some local churches. If you have an association that acts as a supply chain to churches across the country, you may cannibalize some of the things traditionally done by established denominations.”

The wired megachurch raises other issues as well. One is that not everyone has access to the Web, or feels comfortable with technology. In Brooklyn, Pastor Bernard says the digital divide is something his church must confront. “This is very real in communities of color, so we train people, and we plan to create cybercafes in our community to help get past it.” Fellowship’s Storch says, “The small groups will always matter. You have to build the personal relationships; you need a certain level of comfort before an e-mail is effective.”

And some question the cost of technology investments. “I tell people that, in the past, a big pipe organ could cost a lot of money, and for this generation of large churches, $3 million for sight and sound technologies has about the same relative cost,” says Leadership Network’s Travis. “Churches are spending on technology backbones and infrastructure, which makes them more efficient and able to do more with less.”

At North Carolina’s Westover Church, Pastor Don Miller says he weighs cost and mission carefully. “If it’s just to be flashy, then forget about it,” he says. “But as long as it doesn’t control us, as long as we’re not worshipping it . . . . In the book of Nehemiah, Ezra built a platform so the Book of the Law could be read and heard more effectively. If that’s what technology is all about, then, within some financial constraints, let’s go for it.”

Source: CIO INSIGHT

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Publicado por em 01/09/2009 em POIMENIA

 

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10 Stupid Things That Keep Churches from Growing

A well-seasoned, self-confessed “church addict” who has tasted both the joy and pain of being a church pastor recently completed a humorous yet painfully honest book on the ten most common mistakes pastors make that keep their churches from growing.


A well-seasoned, self-confessed “church addict” who has tasted both the joy and pain of being a church pastor recently completed a humorous yet painfully honest book on the ten most common mistakes pastors make that keep their churches from growing.

Pastor Geoff Surratt, who had pastored a small, rural church with under 100 members and is now part of a megachurch with over 10,000 attendees on a given Sunday, shares his insight in his latest book Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches From Growing.

Before diving into the top 10 mistakes, Surratt made sure to clarify that the purpose of the book is not to point out the flaws of fellow pastors, but to offer them perspective on what could be hindering their churches from growing.

“I want to be that friend … the one willing to point out the unzipped zipper, the broccoli between the teeth, the glaring mistake that others can’t or won’t bring to the struggling pastor’s attention,” Surratt offers.

But why is he qualified to “point out other people’s mistakes,” readers may ask.

Because he has committed all ten of the mistakes highlighted in the book, he readily admits.

“My role is not brilliant guru bringing down wisdom from the mountain, but rather experienced fellow traveler,” Surratt says. “When I point the ‘stupid finger’ at you, three fingers are pointing back at me.”

Out of the 10 mistakes he covers, the most common and the first to be addressed in the book is “Trying to Do it All.”

A comical quote at the bottom of the chapter page cleverly conveys the problem that pastors often find themselves in: “Just because I’m the janitor doesn’t mean I can’t perform your wedding.”

“Pastors tend to default to doing everything themselves rather than working through people in the congregation,” Surratt explained to The Christian Post. “They take on a lot of different hats and wind up overworked and underproductive because of that.”

When Surratt was the pastor at Church on the Lake in Texas, a small church with less than 50 people when he took over, he was simultaneously the head pastor, Sunday school teacher, bookkeeper, worship director, administrative assistant, groundskeeper, maintenance man, and janitor for a time.

“As I look back on my time at Church on the Lake, I can’t help but wonder what I was thinking,” Surratt confesses. “Trying to do all (or most) of the work themselves is the number one stupid thing pastors and leaders do that inhibits their church from growing.”

Not far behind is stupid mistake No. 2 – “establishing the wrong role for the pastor’s family.”

The pastor’s wife, Surratt highlights, often picks up odd jobs around the church that no one wants or that haven’t been filled. Too often, the pastor in “pursuing God’s vision” will put ministry before his family and without asking for his wife’s opinion will dump church work on her.

A subheading in the chapter called, “How to Destroy Your Family,” lists five “stupid ways” a pastor or ministry leader can destroy their family while chasing after God’s vision for the ministry.

Throughout the book, Surratt reveals intimate details about how his “destructive path of ministry” nearly ended his marriage. But at what he calls the lowest point in his marriage, the two were able to rebuild their relationship and it has become progressively better over time, Surratt says.

“The idea holds that if we simply arrange our lives according to the formula God first, family second, and ministry third, then everything will flow together smoothly,” Surratt writes. “It’s a great theory, but unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way.

“First, God isn’t a priority in life; God is life. He isn’t more important than your family any more than air is more important that your shoes. I don’t prioritize breathing; I breathe so that I live.”

Surratt highly recommends any pastor or church leader to seek Christian marriage counseling if they’re having trouble in their relationship. Rather than feeling embarrassed that they need help, pastors should understand that sometimes they need a third party for them to open up and share their thoughts and feelings.

“A funny thing about pastors is that when they need to fix their car, they go to a mechanic, and when they need to fix their health, they go to a doctor, but when their marriage needs help, they are almost never willing to go to an expert for help,” Surratt writes half-jokingly.

“Of all the stupid mistakes a pastor can make, not getting help with his marriage is the dumbest of all.”

Although the book was written with pastors as the intended readers, Surratt contends the tips in his book can be helpful to any leader in the church.

Other mistakes covered in the book include: promoting talent over integrity, clinging to a bad location, copying another successful church, mixing ministry and business, and providing a second-rate worship experience.

The book Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches From Growing is scheduled to be released in May 2009 by Zondervan publishing company.

Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter

Source: CHRISTIAN POST

 
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Publicado por em 01/09/2009 em POIMENIA

 

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Reformissão – Como Levar a Mensagem Sem Comprometer o Conteúdo

Hoje em dia, o campo missionário começa, exatamente, na nossa porta.

Se a população dos EUA que não freqüenta igreja formasse outro país, este seria a 11ª mais populosa nação do mundo. Tragicamente, a maioria dos nossos métodos de abordagem para alcançar estas pessoas não têm funcionado. Mas, o que poderia funcionar? Nada menos do que uma mudança radical na maneira como compartilhamos o Evangelho, com homens e mulheres, dentro de nossa cultura pós-cristã – o que Mark Driscoll chama de “reformissão”.

“A essência da reformissão está em fazermos uma clara distinção entre o Evangelho, a cultura e a igreja”, afirma Driscoll. Com humor e sinceridade, ele revela o que isto significa em termos práticos e objetivos. As suas pressuposições serão desafiadas e sua zona de conforto dilatada. Porque, para pregar o Evangelho para o mundo todo é preciso  que você, verdadeiramente, se dirija ao mundo, para compartilhar a mensagem sem comprometer o conteúdo, e isto requer coragem, humildade, uma base bíblica sólida e um compromisso de amar aquilo que Deus ama – pessoas e não tradições.

Se hoje, você se sente mais convencido do que nunca de que este mundo louco e adoecido pelo pecado necessita de um Salvador, então você tem que ler este livro. A Reformissão  lhe mostrará como amar ao Senhor através do imutável Evangelho e como amar seu vizinho numa cultura em constante mudança.

Fonte: REFORMISSÃO

 
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Publicado por em 29/08/2009 em POIMENIA

 

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Top 33 Church Logos

A good logo design is…

Distinctive. Memorable. And timeless.
It is aesthetically pleasing.

It is scalable, looking good while as large as a billboard or as small as a dime. It looks good in color as well as black and white. And it is simple enough that it can be applied to a media spectrum as broad as paper to plastic and t-shirts to websites.

Most importantly, a good logo communicates the unique qualities of its brand. A great church logo in and of itself does not create great church branding. But it does give a church the foundation needed to build a solid brand.

Below are the top 33 church logos in alphabetical order. They are chosen for the reasons listed above as well as by my subjective opinion. Keep in mind, I am judging only the logo by itself and not the supporting church branding.

I’ll be keeping the list updated as I come across other church logos worth sharing in the future. For now, enjoy the eye candy.

TOP 33 CHURCH LOGOS

Access Church
Lakeland, FL

Bethel Temple
Hampton, VA

Bethel Temple Logo

Bethlehem Baptist Church
Minneapolis, MN

Bethlehem Baptist Church Logo

Christ Church
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Christ Church Hawthorn
Hawthorne, Victoria, Australia

Church on the Move
Tulsa, OK

Church on the Move Logo

Edgepoint Church
Knoxville, TN

Elim International Church
Wellington, New Zealand

Far Hills Community Church
Dayton, OH

Far Hills Community Church Logo

Four Corners Community Church
West Chester, OH

Four Corners Community Church

Granger Community Church
Granger, IN

Granger Community Church Logo

Harpeth Community Church
Franklin, TN

Harvest Church
Mobile, AL

Harvest Church Logo

Houston NW Church
Houston, TX

Houston NW Church Logo

Imago Dei Community
Portland, OR

Imago Dei Community Logo

Kaleo Church
Houston, TX

Kaleo Church Logo

Knoxville Life Church
Knoxville, TN

Knoxville Life Church Logo

Lake Hills Church
Austin, TX

Lakewood Church
Houston, TX

Lakewood Church Logo

Landmark Church
Jackson, TN

Landmark Church Logo

Mariners Church
Irvine, CA

Mariners Church Logo

Mountain Lake Church
Cumming, GA

Mountain Lake Church Logo

Northgate Free Methodist Church
Batavia, NY

Northstar Church
Frisco, TX

Northstar Church Logo

Oak Hill Church
Griffin, GA

One*
Spokane, WA

Stonebriar Community Church
Frisco, TX

Stonebriar Community Church Logo

Times Square Church
New York, NY

Valley Community Baptist Church
Avon, CT

Valley Community Baptist Church Logo

Walls Down Church
Cincinnati, OH

West Coast Life Church
Murietta, CA

West Coast Life Church Logo

Word of Grace Community Church
Sheboygan Falls, WI

Word of Grace Community Church Logo

World Overcomers Christian Church
Durham, NC

Design by Bombay Creative.

Source: CHURCH RELEVANCE

 
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Publicado por em 27/08/2009 em POIMENIA

 

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Top 90 Church Websites

Below you will find Church Relevance’s favorite church websites. Chosen for design, usability, and innovative ideas, we hope that these websites will also inspire you.

Alphabetical Order

Design by Bombay Creative.

Source: CHURCH RELEVANCE

 
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Publicado por em 27/08/2009 em POIMENIA

 

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Why VideoTeaching.com is the Next Big Church Model

VideoTeaching.com

Yesterday LifeChurch.tv’s Digerati team officially launched VideoTeaching.com. Consequently, the world may never be the same.

Much like the One Prayer initiative, VideoTeaching.com allows churches to hear guest speakers via free sermon video downloads. The idea behind it is that churches can have a free resource to expand their teaching team, give the pastor occasional breaks, share the load with church planters and bi-vocational pastors, and even serve as an interim “pastor” during a leadership transition.

VIDEO TEACHING AS A CHURCH MODEL
But reality is the scope of how VideoTeaching.com can be used is far deeper and versatile. In fact, a church could use video sermons all the time. Many churches have likely not been planted because the church planter believes he is not eloquent enough, theologically deep enough, or seminary certified to preach. However, when free video sermons from some of the world’s best preachers are available, obviously this excuse is gone.

4 Possible Video Teaching Church Models

  1. Central Organization
    Similar to a multi-site church, this model has central leadership that oversees all locations and determines video teaching content that is the same for all campuses. Locations could either be planted by the central organization like most multi-site church campuses or passionate followers could start a location similar to LifeChurch.tv’s Church Online watch parties.
  2. Central Admin
    Similar to a denomination, this model has central leadership that oversees all locations administratively, but a campus pastor or elders determine the Video Sermon content for each location based on what that congregation’s spiritual needs are. For example, a New England location may struggle with greed while a location in Oklahoma may struggle with gluttony. While all sermon topics are important, this model allows for each campus to focus on what is most important to their spiritual walk.
  3. Central Distributor
    Similar to a standard church, this model has a central distributor of sermon content such as VideoTeaching.com, but each church is independent, self-governing, and determines its own video teaching content.
  4. Extra Church
    Similar to Sunday school and small groups, this model uses video teaching as extra doses of “church” in addition to weekend church services.

WHY CONSIDER VIDEO TEACHING?
Church conferences, authors, and blogs have been rallying for years for the Church to be like the early Church. We talk about organic explosive church growth that produces authentic disciples, but then we do little to change our methods. If we hardly change how we do church, then we can hardly expect to revolutionize the results we get.

So why don’t we change how we do church? I think it is because we are scared. We are scared of failing, and we are scared of doing something theologically wrong. Christians are notorious for boycotting anything new, including church organs and church choirs when they were first introduced. This is not to say that we should all jump on the Video Teaching band wagon like a bunch of lemmings. But I think we should ask questions.

Thinking rationally and theologically, why or why shouldn’t churches pursue the Video Teaching model of church?

I will be addressing some questions about video teaching in the weeks to come, including:

  • What size should a video teaching church be?
  • How can video teaching churches be kept spiritually accountable?
  • How does the video medium affect the message?
  • What about the development of future preachers?
  • What are the advantages of video teaching versus one or a few preachers?
  • What about video teaching children’s ministry?
  • Will video teaching create more celebrity pastors?
  • What does a multi-site video teaching house gigachurch look like?

Source: CHURCH RELEVANCE

 
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Publicado por em 27/08/2009 em POIMENIA

 

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O que é a Igreja?

 
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Publicado por em 25/08/2009 em POIMENIA

 

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