How to Launch Online Worship or an Internet Campus for Your Church

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This is a collection of posts from this blog that you might find helpful when considering beginning online worship or an internet campus at your church. These are collected blog posts from my experience as Pastor of Resurrection Online.

Before Launch

Launch

Continued Development

Church Online within The United Methodist Church

My apologies for a lack of regularity in blogging. I have been in the midst of ending my role in Congregational Care and beginning my new role as Internet Campus Pastor at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. I am excited about the possibilities of building a Christian community online where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians. You can worship with us at http://live.cor.org – a site which will be continue to be updated in the months ahead.

Will you please send me an email at andrew.conard@cor.org with “Resurrection Internet Campus” in the subject line if you have ideas to share about  shaping the future of church online within The United Methodist Church?

I hope to hear from you soon.

Transition: Pastor of the Resurrection Internet Campus

Beginning November 1, I will be pastor of the Resurrection Internet Campus. Here is the news from the communication to our congregation on Friday.

Did you know that over 1,000 people per weekend worship with us live, on line? These are home bound, folks who are sick, members who are out of town, members who didn’t make it to worship and people who live in other cities. We now have a group of residents at Tall Grass Creek who gathering together to worship using the live webcast every week? We have persons in other parts of the country who want to use our live webcast to start “house churches” or to offer a contemporary worship option in the evenings for their congregations. We anticipate that in the Kansas City area the live web stream will be the entry point for many younger adults who will start worshiping with us online before they ever set foot on one of our campuses. With the appointment of Steven Blair we will focus Andrew Conard’s full attention to developing our Internet Campus and ways to use our Internet webcast to welcome new people to faith and to shepherd them.

You can read the entire email here.

I am excited.

Transition: M-R Pastor of Congregational Care

This week, Bishop Jones announced that Rev. Steven Blair will be appointed to Resurrection on November 1 and will be responsible for those whose last names begin with M through R. You can read the full update to Resurrection here.

I have known Steven for several years and he is an excellent pastor and a great communicator. I believe that his presence at Resurrection will have a positive impact on the entire congregation. I am excited to have the opportunity to be on the same staff and continue to learn from him.

I will be ending my role as pastor of Congregational Care and beginning a role as pastor of Resurrection Internet Campus. I am excited about the potential for in this role and believe that it will be a key part of continuing to build a Christian community where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians.

In between the ending of one role and the beginning of another is a time of transition. Over the next 44 days, I invite those of you who are currently part of the M-R pastorate to set up a time to meet with me if you would like to have a one on one conversation about the transition. I hope to arrange an event before November 1 to give you an opportunity to hear about my new role and have an opportunity for closure as I depart my current role.

I care about making a good transition.

I have some ideas about what might be most helpful, but also look to you for guidance. In past pastoral transitions, what has been most helpful for you? What has not been helpful? What guidance do you have for me for making a good transition?

Road Trip for Worship Online

At the recent National Church Leadership Conference, I had the opportunity to be a part of a workshop about pastoring an online network church. The presenter, Reggie Kidd, is part of the leadership at Northland, A Church Distributed. He shared a video which I found to be fascinating, encouraging and hopeful. What do you think?

Internet Campus – What’s in a name?

Is internet campus the right name for what we are seeking to do at Resurrection?

I have been leading a strategic project team for 2009 around the following goal:

In 2009, we’ll expand our connection with online worshipers, launch a pilot “house church” using the live web stream and explore opportunities for launching additional campuses in Kansas City and beyond.

I will become internet campus pastor on July 1, with the above goal being my primary job description. I am not sure that the word “internet” is the best descriptor for a network that would include online worshippers and micro churches (house churches) that would physically meet. So here is what I have been pondering in my mind:

Resurrection Network Campus (Pastor)

Network could refer to internet, but it could also refer to a network of physical groups that meet to worship, grow, give and serve.

What’s in a name? What do you suggest?

Internet Campus Pastor – July 1, 2009

One month from today, I will transition from my role as pastor of congregational care to internet campus pastor. Here is the official announcement in the senior pastor’s eNote:

Andrew Conard will move from his responsibilities of congregational care for persons whose last names begin with N – R and instead he will focus on developing ministries, small groups and providing care for the 1,100 people who are currently worshiping with us online each week and expanding our “Internet Campus.” I’m excited about this as it marks a significant investment in the future. I am convinced that within five years as many people will worship with us online each week as worship in our Sanctuary. We are trying to understand what this means and how we do ministry in this new digital age. We’re also looking at starting “house churches” where people might worship via the webcast in homes.

I am thrilled to have this opportunity and very excited about the potential. I have been working with Clif Guy with a strategic project team made up of congregants – staff and non-staff since the beginning of the year to chart the direction for the ministry.

I am committed to living and leading the purpose of the denomination and the purpose of Resurrection in this role:

  • … to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
  • … building a Christian community where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians.

This is going to be a lot of fun.

SP5 – Homework for Internet Campus

This week was the first meeting for Strategic Project 5: Internet Campus / House Churches (SP5) at Resurrection. It is a team of high caliber individuals and I am excited about what will come out of our work together. Clif has posted homework for the team at this post – Internet Campus Project Team homework #1

I invite you to join us for the journey.

Speedlinking – March 6, 2009

Kansas House Church Charge – A New Appointment

On or before July 1, 2014 an elder within the United Methodist Church will be appointed within the Kansas Area to oversee a network of house churches across the state that worship via a live internet stream.

These house church will consist of 12-20 people who meet together for worship, hold each other accountable to discipleship, seek to invite others into relationship with Jesus and watch over each other in love.  As the house church grows to more than 20 people, the group will form two groups and continue to have the opportunity to grow. Committed lay leaders will be trained, equipped and sent out to create and lead these communities of faith in their neighborhood, town or county. This lay leader will be responsible for collecting money for God’s work, visiting the sick, encouraging and discipling members of the house church.

An ordination track elder in the United Methodist Church will be appointed to the Kansas House Church Charge which will consist of up to 12 house churches. This elder will be present with the house church in worship at least every other month to offer the sacraments of communion and baptism. This elder will also be responsible for the equipping and discipling of the house church leaders.  When the elder is overseeing more than 8 house churches, the Kansas House Church Charge will become two appointments to allow the churches to ensure that the equipping, leadership and discipling of the house church leaders is manageable.

This model…

  • would be a catalyst for making new places for new people within the United Methodist Church.
  • is scalable from the house church to the annual conference to the global church.
  • could provide a spark to plant churches that would build a physical building.
  • has potential to help revitalize the denomination.

What is your initial reaction to this potential new appointment?

Thanks to @clifguy for the conversation that lead to this post.

DVR Church (1 of 2)

My wife, Nicole, and I immensely enjoy our DVR courtesy of our U-verse subscription. Some of my favorite shows are The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and The Office. It is great to be able to watch whenever we want.

Is this the right thing for the church?

At Resurrection we recently began live streaming of two of our worship services at live.cor.org. This is a live stream of the worship experience that is actually happening at our central campus. But what if it was not happening live physically? One approach is to have the worship service being broadcast online taped from a previous service. This lowers a technological barrier and makes worship “live” in that it is being experienced at the same time by people via the internet.

Is this the thing to do?

I keep going back and forth as to whether this actually matters or not.

Click in Remembrance of Me

Click in Remembrance of Me is the title of an article that was published in Newsweek on November 3. I invite you to check it out as it provides my first exposure to online church or internet campus being addressed by what I would interpret to be a mainstream media outlet.

While having previously found a United Methodist who was willing to baptize via the internet, this was the first reference that I have seen to a United Methodist willing to give communion via the internet. The site which is referenced in the article, holycommunionontheweb.com, appears to have been taken down.

Another perspective to throw in the mix as we continue to think about an internet campus at Resurrection.