I recently heard about a church in California that has launched a MicroSite church model. Since they are live streaming in HD and you can seemingly access the Internet through mobile technology just about anywhere they have decided to bring their church worship experiences anywhere and everywhere that they possibly can. They put together a backpack that includes an iPod Touch that connects to a projector and a Bose Sound system. They use battery power so that power outlets are not necessary and a mobile hotspot to stream their services from. With this kit they are able to setup a church worship experience for dozens or even hundreds of people in a matter of minutes.
Are you beginning to imagine the possibilities? People can gather in a park, a community center, a homeless shelter, a beach, a restaurant, a coffee shop, a parking lot and the list could go on.
Is this really church? Absolutely! Is it church like we know it? Not at all!
I believe there is great value in church buildings and large worship gatherings. I also believe there’s great value in home churches and small gatherings of believers coming together in worship. I DO NOT believe that MicroSite churches are THE way of the future. I DO believe that they are A way of the future!
5 years ago we launched Online Church and have had more than a million people join us in an online worship service. Many of these people do not, cannot or will not attend a physical church gathering. We welcome them into our online church community as family whether they attend physically or not. While I’m glad to have any and all visitors join our online church community, I always encourage people to get connected in a physical face-to-face church community. I personally believe it leads to the deepest relational connection for any body of believers.
Technology has continued to open up new and exciting ministry opportunities for the church throughout the years. The printing press opened up opportunities around Bible engagement and transportation opened up possibilities for larger gatherings with easier travel and commutes to a local church building. More recently video broadcast technologies have opened up opportunities for MultiSite churches using video teaching. With today’s technologies of mobile high speed internet and connected tv devices like the Apple TV, it’s hard to imagine the limits of church gatherings anywhere and anytime.
5 years ago when we did our first trial of Online Church and had almost 500 people join us, I still remember my pastor, Robert Emmitt’s, response after the first service: “Well, there was music, there was a message and there was clearly ministry happening. I’d call it church.” I can’t wait to visit one of these MicroSite churches myself as I feel confident that I will have a similar experience to my pastor as I willgather with others to experience music, a message and ministry taking place. I call that church.
The church worship experience has taken many forms throughout the past 2,000 years and I believe the MicroSite Church will be A wave of the future. What do you think?