INTERNET “BROADCASTING” OF CHURCH SERVICES ATTRACTS WIDE INTEREST
One church in Keynsham, near Bristol, puts live video of their services onto the Internet, and a wide range of surfers have looked in!
The weekly cost is just a local phone call for the length of the services.
Guests have looked in from Eastern Europe, Africa, the Far East and America.
Some surfers are amazed to find a church invading their territory! “Is this a real church?” is often asked. Another question is “Who am I watching?”
The software needed is Microsoft NetMeeting, which is given away with their Windows 98. The surfers are attracted to the popular “meeting areas” set up by Microsoft and many other groups. Once there, a surfer can scroll down the list of people present, read the brief few words permitted as a description, and select a name to try and chat with, usually including live video just like a videophone. We often use the area named “ils.netmeetinghq.com”.
When surfers select this church, they suddenly find themselves watching and hearing the service. They can communicate with a computer operator in the church by typing messages. Often an interested visitor will ask to be sent an email before the next “broadcast”, so that they can join in again.
The meeting areas are used a lot by those looking for sexual excitement. These are folk who will be unlikely to walk into a church, but may be aware of real needs and be prepared to take a quick look at a church from the privacy of their own rooms.
The key aim has been to go where the people are. If more churches get into these meeting areas, the chance of surfers finding one will go up!
Come on! Let’s do it!!
ã Peter Morgan, author of “Sing And Read” song and scripture projection software. 20 May 2000
More details may be obtained from:
Peter Morgan, Email peter , Tel (44) 0117 9863991