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, ...1