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Church ... Virtually

Why internet campuses are making us reconsider our assumptions about ministry.

It's Sunday morning at one of today's most innovative and fastest growing churches. Coffee is served. Ambient music fills the room. A screen displays a countdown clock announcing the service will begin in five minutes. People chat in the lobby while others sit in prayerful silence.

The worship leader appears and greets the congregation. A woman turns to her husband and says, "I can't hear. Would you turn it up?" He obliges, clicking his mouse to increase the volume of his laptop speakers. She gives a nod of thanks and settles in to worship.

Welcome to virtual church.

Recently a number of churches have made the leap beyond multi-site and satellite campuses. They have launched internet campuses, making every living room, dorm room, or coffeehouse with wi-fi an extension of the church.

The trend started in 2007 with a handful of churches and has grown to dozens of congregations today. Some are large and highly visible churches, such as North Point Church near Atlanta, while others are small, ...

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