On Sunday morning I was having some health problems, so I stayed home while a co-worker preached for me. I was able to experience a variety of television preachers. I was a channel surfing church-hopper. I listened to John Hagee for awhile. I think he really goes off the deep end with his eschatological views, but this week he was preaching from a series on the 10 Commandments. His old school style is fun to watch. I did catch a little of some local preachers. Also, I listened to Andy Stanley who was filling the pulpit for his Dad. He preached the same message that I had heard from Catalyst 2010.
I remembered that Craig Groeschel does an online service in addition to the multi-site ministry of lifechurch.tv. I’ve always wondered about the logistics of it, so I decided to check it out. It really was a fascinating experience. There were pre-recorded into clips and some instructions about the offering. It was all very user-friendly, including a streaming chat/conversation window for online viewers. Somehow Groeschel is able to project warmth and a connectedness with the long-distance audiences. I don’t think I would want this to be my only church experience (after all, the church is supposed to be a community, and I'm confident that it needs to be more than a cyber-community), but it wasn’t nearly as weird as I has anticipated.
Somewhat related, I would love to hear stories about Restoration Movement churches leveraging technology to spread the gospel. On the rare occasion that I have seen a Church of Christ preacher on television, without fail he is one of the most boring speakers I have ever heard. Surely we can do better than that?