categories: LifeChurch.tv, Second Life
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May 21st, 2007

by Bobby Gruenewald

24 comments (+ Add)

LifeChurch.tv on NBC Nightly News

Just settling in San Diego….

I don’t intend to post every time we are in the news. It is often redundant anyway since we post the new things we are doing on swerve long before the traditional media gets a hold of it.

That being said…I thought you might enjoy watching this segment from the NBC Nightly New with Brian Williams or reading it on msnbc. It is about our Second Life efforts, though much of the dialog could just as easily have been about our Internet campus.

As with any decent news story, the reporter should find a counter point of view. This time it was a pastor from SMU who does not believe you can/should attend church online. She basically says it is not a “real” church without “flesh and blood interaction”. I’m pretty sure she have never visited our Internet Campus. I’m looking up her email address (hopefully I can find it) and will shoot her an email to invite her to check it out this weekend!

Also…just because the media says we are a “megachurch” doesn’t mean it is true. As I previously posted…we are not.

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there are a total of24
  1. May 22, 2007 at 12:05 am

    This is so awesome!

  2. 2Brandon
    May 22, 2007 at 8:41 am

    Bobby,

    Personally I could never go to an internet campus because I feel too much of a draw to be involved and interact with kids. However, I am not naive enough to pretend that my view is the only one that counts; if you can reach people via the web keep doing it.
    Also, I have never considered LifeChurch.tv a megachurch for multiple reasons. First, the buildings do not rise into the sky and make me think “airport” or “shopping mall”. Second, because each campus is only a small part of the whole they are able to maintain an individual identity. Varying styles of worship, building design, pastors and even relationships are easier to maintain.

    Brandon

  3. 4Kendra G
    May 22, 2007 at 9:33 am

    I’m interested to see any jump in traffic at our Second Life campus as a result.

    LifeKIDS is currently running a series created for our Toon Town experience on our regular campus web sites. We’re trying it out on our physical campus attendees to see what the response is from parents and kids.

    We already see things that work great in a darkened room with a huge screen and a roomful of kids that fall flat on a little rectangle on a computer monitor at home.

  4. 5Brandon
    May 22, 2007 at 9:49 am

    There is an energy at say, Toon Town, that a computer screen cannot duplicate. No atmosphere and no group of kids to play with and all together let their guard down. Not to mention the Playstation controller still within grasp…

    Bobby, how many people attend the Internet Campus? Do you just log on at whatever time the experience starts. I have never fully understood how this works. Who/how is worship led? How does the church respond to people who want to know more or give their life to Christ?

    Brandon

  5. 7Kyle T. Panter
    May 22, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Bobby,

    I’ve got to admit, initially I thought the whole Second Life thing was a bit out there. However, I’m so proud of you and your team for recognizing an opportunity and grabbing hold of it. God’s kingdom will be greatly impacted by your leadership and vision for redeeming technology.

  6. 8Brian Rush
    May 22, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Hey Craig & Bobby,

    Saw the story last night and thought it was amazing. The leadership Lifechurch.tv is giving to evangelical churches around the world to be creative in their quest to reach people for Christ is inspiring. Great job!

  7. May 22, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    fantastic, bobby! great news. this will generate more visitors for sure.

    ss

  8. 10Carrie
    May 22, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    I have to admit, when I first heard of Second Life I was a little weirded out. Not about the online church thing but the concept of a virtual world where there are characters, etc. But then I realized what an amazing oppotunity God has give us to reach so many people through this new technology. Props to Bobby and his team for seizing the opportunity to reach more people for Christ.

  9. May 22, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Give me that online religion

    NBC Nightly News did an interesting feature on “Second Life” tonight (Second Life is one of the fastest growing sites on the Internet, it isn’t a Web site, but a 3-D virtual world built and owned by it’s residents)  that  f…

  10. May 22, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    who knows what going “into all the world” might look like in 10 years from now? God needs us to step up and step out even when others around us may not “get it”. way to go LifeChurch.tv for stepping out again! Lives are being changed and people are coming to know God because of all of this and that’s all that really matters.

  11. May 23, 2007 at 12:21 am

    In 1997 I had a campus email account at college. I rarely checked it because NO ONE had email or any real use for it at the time! 10 years later and look where things have progressed! The things we’re scratching the surface of now (web 2.0, wiki’s, mash-ups, etc…) may or may not be the tools God is using to advance His kingdom 10 years from now.

    I’m completely in awe of the fact that you stepped out in faith and obedience in this way. God is really blessing it. Really cool stuff!

  12. May 23, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Internet Church

    I asked if anyone has had any experience with Internet Campuses… I didn’t expect NBC to post a response on Nightly News with Brian Williams. Thank you, NBC, for some insight… Nightly News ran a story on LifeChurch.tv and their

  13. 15Chris
    May 24, 2007 at 11:03 am

    I hate to be the one person that still isn’t buying into Second Life. I tried registering and getting on to it, and after a half hour (I’m fairly computer-literate) it wouldn’t load. My husband and I discussed the concept, and I guess our concern is that most people already spend waaaaaaaay too much time on the computer, watching tv, away from our families and friends. This just seems to promote MORE computer time.

    We’ll trying getting on again, to really check it out. Honestly, if LC wants to invest money, time, and effort into people getting connected in a real way that will impact their lives and others, LifeGroups need to be focused on more at LifeChurch.

  14. 17richard
    May 24, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    I’m with ya Chris, I haven’t “drank the koolaid? on the SecondLife presence. I get the concept and understand the reasons given for it. but…..
    I have giving this one up to “God’s direction? and pray that LC will do that.

  15. 18Nick
    May 24, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    random bit of info…i was reading on Digg.com where the ABC island was completely demolished my a hoard of bombs. Kinda scary, there are cyber-terrorists!! Are we in The Matrix? lol.

  16. 19Stephanie
    May 24, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    I love Stephen and Trent as Worship leaders - They are great to watch! So is DRock Henslee!! Do you think Second Life will switch out the Worship leaders? I haven’t checked it out, for the same reasons as Chris stated above. But as soon as I have “time” I will! My kids will probably enjoy and maybe this is a way they can reach out to their friends.

  17. 20Tony Hebert
    May 24, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    I currently lead a lifegroup on the internet campus and I can tell anyone, who cares to listen, that in over 30 years of ministry I have recieved more intimate response, confession, and desire to live for Jesus than I have in most of the physical classrooms I’ve led. There have been exceptions, but only a few. While I am very concerned we keep working to create more “flesh and blood” type contact with those who find this tool one of the best ways they personally have been able to grow in their relationship with Christ and others who follow Him, from personal experience, I can say for absolute certain, what’s happening here is as real as it gets. The woman pastor brings up a good point that church is about community interacting and working together to promote the gospel and all it’s affects in the world, but dead wrong to say it can’t happen using this tool.
    If you’ll allow me, this is what I equate it to. I grew up in the 60’s and bought the whole philosophy of the day and lived it. The “vision” was spelled out in a mantra we often sang and preached; “Sex, drugs, and rock’n roll!” The question I ask people, such as the lady pastor is, how do you reach someone like me with the gospel? From the time I wake up (noon or later), until I sleep (3-4a.m.), All I care about is sex, drugs, and rock’n roll. I get high, first thing, then I spend hour upon hour rock’n, and then get involved in as much sexual activity as possible. How do you approach me and get my attention? You’ll have to use the tools of my philosophy, my obsessions, my life. At the end of the 60’s a man attempted to write the gospel using rock’n roll music and people who looked like rock”n rollers as the characters of the gospel story. The music was state of the art, for the time, singers were great, and they told the story by singing it. It captured my attention and serveral others I was with and it made an impact, it led me to want more and I found it. The movie was called Jesus Christ Superstar, which many laugh at even today, but not me. I hope you see the connection to the use of the internet. Maybe we are spending too much time watching movies, TV, on the internet, but if that’s where the philosophy of the day has taken us, then as Christ follwers, we need to go there and figure out how to reach the people where they are. In the first centruy most people hung out at the temple or close by, not today, and It’s not realistic to think they’ll come to us some day; we must go to them. I challenge anyone! Try relating to people using this tool and you will be amazed at how real it is. I find myself coming back to it, again and again, and I’m no kid.
    We do need to be more creative in promoting relationships and building a real flesh and blood connection, but in a short time you will feel in your bones, God is at work here,Tony.

  18. 22Marcin
    May 27, 2007 at 1:47 am

    As far as I’m concerned I would very much like to meet you all in flesh and blood, but because I don’t live in the States I can’t. I am grateful for what I have. Really grateful. If it wasn’t for the Internet I would probably never have met you. Also, I take your resources, I learn from you and want to, God help me, to bring it to others (flesh and blood) in my country.

  19. 23Jimmy Paravane
    May 28, 2007 at 11:16 am

    I think your Second Life Campus is amazing. I was so interested in it when I heard about it that I logged onto Second Life for the first time since I created a Second Life account. I grew bored and frustrated with it the day I created it, and stopped logging onto Second Life. LifeChurch.tv on SL gave me a reason to use SL again. I’ve been going to your LifeChurch.tv SL Campus every day since just before Easter until this last week. As I often say to my friends who ask me why I hang out at Christian sites, better the crumbs than no food at all. I stopped going every day last week. I got tired of hanging out at an empty building and watching videos. It’s a nice site, but an empty building isn’t what I was going there for. And despite my spiritual condition, nothing else in SL appeals to me. I’ve got all the darkness I can stand elsewhere online. I think this is both sides of the same coin. You can connect to people online and in Second Life that are already there, thus making it a possible mission field. You can also leave them hanging there just like you can in real life. The methodology and/or technology of the connection doesn’t matter as much as what you do with the connection once you make it. I guess that all depends on why you make the connection in the first place. For my own reasons, I won’t go to your RL campus’. For the same reasons I go to your Internet campus, I’ll go to your SL campus. I know my reason for the connection. What’s yours? (grin)