When it comes to relationships, technology can be a wonderful and maddening thing. It allows us to video chat with family and friends half a world away. We can stay connected with people easily. However, we can also find ourselves staring at a screen for hours on end instead of being out with people.
As the Online Campus Pastor, I’m quite aware of the tension between technology and community. In this clip from God of Second Chances, Lead Pastor Mark talks about the tension between the two.
We are continuing with God of Second Chances through the end of February. Please join us for services at one of our area campuses, or at the Online Campus, Sundays at 9 or 10:45 AM CST.
Being the Online Campus Pastor I often hear a lot of jokes about what my job entails. They are usually the same jokes with slight variations.
“You’re an Online Campus Pastor? What do you do all day? Facebook? Surf the web? Drink coffee?”
I roll with it. What am I going to say, that Facebook, surfing the web and drinking coffee aren’t part of the job? (Okay, drinking coffee isn’t part of my job requirements. However, don’t be surprised if the local Starbucks is the next CCC multi-site.) (more…)
We’re already five months into the life of the Online Campus, and it’s been a huge success. One of the great things about the Online Campus is if you are away from your physical campus, like Old Mill or Sarpy, you can stay connected via the Online Campus.
For a number of years, Christ Community Church has partnered with people and organizations within the nation of Mali. The highlight of this partnerships has been helping to build a hospital for women and children.* CCC has raised over $1.3 million for the project.
*To understand a bit more about our work in Mali, click here to watch one of our Mali videos.
One of the projects we’re currently helping with in Mali is providing educational supplies to students. During this past Sunday’s services, we made the ask for people to buy and/or donate supplies for these students. The Online Campus Team shared with people watching online, in the chat room, how they could be a part of this project as well. We gave the church address so they could ship items to us.
Two days later, I received five boxes worth of notebooks. How awesome is that! The Online Campus was the first to respond to the ask. These notebooks will be a huge blessing to students in Mali. It’s cool that people attending the Online Campus can have worldwide impact with their giving.
This past Sunday’s Online Campus service was great. It wasn’t anything with the message or music, which were stellar. It was the community. It was the conversation. It was people serving other people in the chat. It was wonderful to witness.
This past Sunday’s Online Campus service was the best yet. It’s easy for me to say that every week since this was our seventh service. Still, I thought it was.
The Online Campus Team and myself prayed with five people during the service. We have a prayer room available during the services for people to go to if they want prayer. Online it is instantaneous, private prayer with someone. People were wanting to talk, and pray, with someone after hearing Marc and Sharon Montanye’s story.
“My family needs prayer please…”
We are six services into the life of the Online Campus. Numbers are trending up with attendance, and people are enthusiastic about the Online Campus after experiencing it. More importantly, through the Online Campus people are finding hope. They are drawing closer to Jesus. They are finding community. They are getting help with needs they have, whether it be mental, physical, emotional or spiritual needs.
This past Sunday, I received a prayer request during the service that started out, “My family needs prayer please…” The individual sharing poured their heart out in sharing the difficulties of life they are facing as a parent. It was heart-breaking to read the prayer request, but I was also grateful I could respond and help this individual. We exchanged messages throughout the afternoon, and I was able to get them connected with the right people at Christ Community Church.
The Online Campus is in its infancy, but I’m overwhelmed at how God is ministering to people through an online format. Again, I don’t pretend to understand everything with online church, or have all the answers, but people are being ministered to through it. People are hearing the gospel. That’s a good thing.
“Is it against God to use marijuana in a recreational use?”
If you’ve ever attended a church service, has that question ever been posed to you during the actual service? I’m guessing no, but that question was asked to me during the last Online Campus service. I thought it was great, and I was glad the individual felt the freedom, and safety, to ask it.
When pitching the Online Campus originally, one of the things I said was the Millennial Generation feels their online presence is a more authentic representation of them than who they are offline. They can be who they are with less inhibition. Some would say this could be bad, but you can also get sincere questions like the one I was asked.
In the latest Beyond The Message video, I sit down with Missions Pastor Craig Walter to talk about generosity as it relates to poverty. Topics we discussed are:
- The concept of place as fate, poverty, and how it relates to being generous.
- What can people do to understand poverty better?
- Breaking down stereotypes, and educating people, so they can get involved in their community.
- Scriptures that address generosity as it relates to poverty.
- Ways you can get involved.
To see other Beyond The Message videos, click here.
Since I’ve started my role as the Online Campus Pastor, one of the best things has been all the people I’ve been meeting. It’s dominated my time, meeting with people who are interested in helping out, in some capacity, with the Online Campus.
In meeting with people, and getting to know them, we get to know more about each other. Inevitably, my story of overcoming addiction comes up in most of these conversations, and people feel comfortable sharing with me their own stories. Their own joys and heartbreaks.
I like this. I like getting to know people beyond the superficial. It can lead to some interesting conversations.