A few weeks ago, I “attended” LifeChurch.tv. For those of you who don’t know, LifeChurch.tv is a real church, home-based in Edmond, OK. LifeChurch.tv is like a lot of contemporary churches in that they have various campuses or branches or sites of their church. But what makes lifechurch.tv different is that they also have an “Internet Campus.”
This is, literally, a church that meets on LifeChurch.tv’s website. I had heard about this a lot and wanted to see what it was like. I “attended” LifeChurch.tv’s Internet Campus for a Saturday night service. Here are some thoughts.
Things I liked:
- I like the vision. The internet is full of opportunities to connect with people all over the world. And the internet gives folks the chance to share Jesus with a lot of people who we normally wouldn’t have contact with. I mean, even this blog is similar to LifeChurch.tv in that I hope to connect with people from all over and engage in meaningful conversation about faith and spirituality and Christ and stuff. The difference is, we type instead of talk. The idea of a church gathering on it’s website is novel and cool.
- I like the technology. When I logged onto the site, I went right into a chat room where I was “greeted” and engaged in conversation with about 30 or 40 other people.Then, I went to the “service.” During the service, I got to watch a worship leader lead songs, and I felt like I was watching a concert. The lyrics of the song were posted right next to the video feed of the service. The sermon had sermon notes, just like what I use when I preach, that I could fill-in by typing. You could even interact with others on the site; they had ways to “raise your hands” and “say” praise phrases, like “God is good.” The sermon had tons of great video clips and cool graphics to watch.
- I liked the sermon. Craig Groeschel is the pastor of LifeChurch.tv and a talented speaker. His sermon was good and inspiring. I think it was live, most of it anyways, but I felt like I was watching a video in a classroom.
Things I didn’t like:
- The video got choppy and was hard to follow. The sermon was really fine, but it was the Live music that got all screwy on my computer. That could just be my computer at home on my internet that caused it, but either way, it was distracting and hard to sing along.
- I was all by myself. This is the biggie. I enjoy technology, advancement, new ideas, and fresh ways to do old things…but I gotta admit, I like seeing real life people whenever I go to church. I like shaking their hands and praying with them and giving them hugs and asking how their weeks have gone. Call me old-fashioned.
All in all, the experience was cool, but never would I call LifeChurch.tv’s Internet Campus my “home church.” I like human contact, real physical touch. But, I do give LifeChurch.tv mad props for doing something so cool and so advanced and so different.