For centuries, churches have served as gathering places for communities around the world. Now worshippers are also gathering in a digital space. Here’s a look at how an innovative church is connecting people in the 21st century.
For centuries, churches have served as gathering places for communities around the world.
Now worshippers are also gathering in a digital space.
Here's a look at how an innovative church is connecting people in the 21st century.
[ Bell ringing ]
♪ Amazing grace ♪ How sweet the sound
Christ himself went into the community.
Christ has asked us to go into the community.
[ Whirring ] [ Electronic tune plays ]
The people are on their mobile phones.
They're on their tablets.
That is really where we need to go.
♪♪ It's an on-demand society now.
We want to worship when we want to worship.
But that's an overall culture thing.
Netflix, Hulu, video on demand.
We expect to have a God on demand.
There's constantly been technological updates in which churches get new stuff.
I mean, Billy Graham pioneered the use of film as a medium.
His message is simple -- a fervent call to Christianity as the remedy for modern evil.
Technology is basically a form of religious competition.
If you've got one church that doesn't have any new technology and its members are aging and it seems to not be growing, and they see the church down the street growing rapidly and getting younger members because it's using apps or putting itself on social media, then more than likely, the church that's aging will pick that up as a way to compete with them.
But you cannot have religion without moral community, so an app will be used as an extension of some form of moral community.
To our wonderful online congregation, who is watching today, thank you so much.
If you would take your phones and open the LifeAustin app or your iPad or your message notes...
We use technology to help bring the community together.
We tested out online streaming onto Facebook, and it fortunately became a great success, and our members wanted that every week after that.
We try and direct as many members as we can to follow through our mobile app.
We extend our services through our mobile app.
We have prayer requests.
It is designed in such a fashion to encourage members to group.
It really is an extension of what Life Austin really is.
The technology changes how humans interact, but they will always interact to have community.
So it just reshapes the ways in which religious messages are distributed, so it's just another way of supplementing what already happens.
♪♪ Technology will change the way individuals interact with each other.
We see it all the time through social media.
I do see communities forming online.
Welcome to 'Yoga with Adriene.'
I'm Adriene, and today we have an awesome heart chakra for beginners' practice.
This is an amazing little ditty for anyone who's wanting to open up not so much here or here but right here... I really do consider the practice online a spiritual practice.
So we may not be there in person all the time, but through this online community, we absolutely are feeding off of each other's energy, and we're absolutely learning from each other.
At the root of it, this is time for you to connect to yourself and... If we're going to be living in a digital age where we cannot escape, then how can we figure out ways to be wise and invest our time and energy in things that serve us?
So how can we master the art of essentially plugging in to unplug?
How can a Facebook 'like' comment and that comment going back and forth, how can that translate to an actual relationship online?
I don't believe my generation, Generation X, can get into that.
Millennials and the generation following -- I do believe that that's where we're going to, making these connections online.
It seems a little bit backwards to log on to YouTube, of all places, to get your Zen on or to have your centering moment of the day, but there's something for someone to get out of it.
Even if we're not identifying it, they feel a connection.
I think what'll happen in the future is the same that's already happened already, which is that these new technologies will allow for existing congregations to reach out and try to bring people back in.