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70,000 Worshipers Dump TV for Church

Tech-savvy Oklahoma megachurch is now Life.Church.
70,000 Worshipers Dump TV for Church
Image: Life.Church

One of the country’s largest evangelical churches is giving up on .tv.

Last year, LifeChurch.tv lost its $185,000 bid to distribute .church, one of the newest domain names on the market.

This month, however, the Oklahoma-based multi-site megachurch, which draws 70,000 weekly attenders to its 24 campuses in 7 states, adopted that new domain and a new name to match anyway.

Their new site, now known as Life.Church, debuted last week. It’s one of 12,998 websites with the .church domain.

Bobby Gruenewald, Life.Church innovation pastor, is pleased with the change.

“We believe the transition to Life.Church creates the opportunity to share and talk about the church in a natural way,” he said in statement. “Plus, it’s a more effective way for people to find and identify us as a church, too.”

Life.Church wasn’t the only faith-based group vying for the right to distribute new domain names. Several other groups were more successful with their bids.

The Vatican controls .catholic, the American Bible Society owns .bible, and the Christian Broadcasting Network runs .cbn.

Donuts Inc., a for-profit company, owns .church.

“We were pretty bullish on .church because we know that there are many in the faith-based community that maybe weren’t able to get the name they wanted with legacy domains like .com or .org,” spokesman Mason Cole told CT.

Donuts Inc. currently has 183 domain extensions, including .email and .company.

Its most popular domain, .guru, is used by 66,000 sites.

Life.Church, one of the pioneers of multisite video teaching, is known for its innovative use of technology.

In 2007, Gruenewald created the popular YouVersion, a free Bible app which has been downloaded more than 150 million times and offers more than 1,000 different translations. (Read CT’s Q&A with Gruenewald.) Live.Life.Church, a site offering worship music, teaching, and one-on-one prayer through private chat, draws more than 110,000 unique visitors each week.

CT has frequently covered how YouVersion users engage with the app, including a Holy Week Bible reading surge in South Sudan, Palestine, and Myanmar, and its top 10 most-shared Bible verses (not John 3:16). Other lists are compiled by Bible Gateway and the King James Bible Online.

CT has spotlighted YouVersion's volunteer army, profiled its rise among other "social network gospels,” and interviewed Life.Church senior pastor Craig Groeschel.­­­

CT has also examined the relationship between faith and technology, including how the world of new Bible coders will change how you think about Scripture, how interconnectivity helps us better engage the Bible, and how Protestant senior pastors use the internet today.

Image: Life.Church

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