Thinking Out Loud

August 21, 2012

The Perils of Successful Online Churches

On Sunday Andy Stanley looked right into the camera and said (more or less), “If you’re watching this online you need to turn off the computer right now and get dressed and find a local church.” I just about fell out of my chair. 

“That took courage;” I whispered to my wife.

In a series of articles at the blog, Church Marketing Sucks (yes, it’s called that) Jon Rogers notes the success of the online church service: has surpassed their physical audience as their church online experience already tops 3 million unique visitors in 2012 (there are around 100,000-120,000 unique visitors at Church Online each week). However currently there aren’t metrics for tracking those who only attend online and how often.

If your church is considering putting your service online, there is much useful practical advice here.

April 16, 2012

Currently Reading

I saw something recently that disparaged people who had two books on the go at the same time. I’m not sure where that leaves me, seeing as how I’m currently reading four different books.

  • Evolving in Monkey Town – Rachel Held Evans — I think this came out more than a year ago, but since I’m good friends with the guy that owns the Christian bookstore, I didn’t think he’d mind if I took a peek, especially considering I’ve linked to RHE on this blog many times.  Next thing I knew, I’d read 100 page. She really is a talented writer, and I actually know more now about the “Scopes Monkey Trial” than ever before. It’s not a review copy though, so the next 100 pages may not be in the near future; and the other customers might not appreciate getting a used book.
  • Soul Detox – Craig Groeschel — This book is publishing in May and I was blessed to get an advance copy which I started reading to my boys out loud each night. I said we’d do just a chapter or two but they’re really enjoying it, considering that a few years back, they were grossed out when Craig spit in the middle of one of the Chazown videos, earning him the name ‘Pastor Hork.’ That aside, three chapters in I can report that this is an excellent resource, especially for men.
  • Empty Promises – Pete Wilson — I guess David Platt has lost his monopoly on bright orange book covers. I’m also three chapters in on this one, plus Pete preached from the book yesterday so I got a double dose. This book is going to strike a lot of nerves, as many of us look for ‘things’ to satisfy us in ways only God can.  This one published this week already, so I should work on finishing it first so the review will be timely.
  • Spirit Rising – Jim Cymbala — The pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle turns in another first class exhortation to prayer and Spirit-filled living; but you already know that since I’ve been quoting from it here and at the C201 blog, with a couple of other sections bookmarked for future quotation. I’d like to figure out how to do a trip to New York City where I could catch both Jim Cymbala and Timothy Keller in one Sunday.

January 13, 2010

Wednesday Link List

Oh, Oh, The places you’ll go!   This week we open with some lighter fare, and then move something more “think-provoking:”

  • Perry Noble asks the musical question, “What if the Pharisees Had Twittered?”   Read the tweets here.
  • Got 65 minutes?  Apparently, Mark Driscoll finds the Bible rather funny.   Personally, I was taught a little more reverence for scripture than this.
  • From the humorous to the ridiculous:  First came pet blessings, now comes the blessing of laptops and cell phones.
  • Mike Wittmer has 15 Signs That Your Sermon Isn’t Going Well — you may disagree on #13 — as he Monday Morning Quarterbacks at the blog Don’t Stop Believing.
  • At last!  A webpage that tells you the religious affiliation of every known superhero.
  • Blog of the week:  Can you handle another Atlanta blogger?  Tom calls his blog More Than Useless.
  • When it comes to church buildings, conferences, leadership and missions, Tim Stevens looks at the changes that have taken place in one decade here (part one) and here (part two).
  • The Christian Ranter notes that technology is currently taking us backward, not forward, in this piece, Devolution and Idiocracy.
  • Dean Lusk, inspired by Francis Chan’s church’s 100% giveaway of their Christmas Sunday offering, ponders what might be the reaction if he proposed this at his own church.   At the blog ‘egbdf’ check out Our Bottom Line.
  • Our YouTube non-embed of the week is from Craig Groeschel and gives us a whole new (disturbing) perspective of Church Online.
  • Next on the list was going to be a link to the Top 50 Bible Blogs that I assure you, you’ve never heard of, but the BiblioBlogTop50 blog on wordpress is now invitation only.   A secret blog about mystery blogs.  Wish I’d done a screenshot when I was in yesterday.   Anyone know a magic password? Update: And suddenly it was working again.
  • Shouldn’t news anchors be somewhat impartial?   It took a lot of courage for Brit Hume to suggest on Fox News that Tiger Woods would experience more forgiveness in a Christian context than his Buddhist faith offers.   But was it a wise move?
  • Cathleen Falsani thinks that — next to the whole prosperity gospel thing — the use of Jesus as a marketing tool is The (Second) Worst Religious Idea of the Decade; as she states here at Sojourners.
  • Trevin Wax reviews a new IVP title that focuses on a very specific subsection of the baptism debate, the baptism of infants.   Does the book get the job done?   Check out his thoughts on Baptism: Three Views.
  • Today’s cartoon is a 2005 classic from Reverend Fun

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