Zoom, Zoom

video conferencing

Nearly 20 years ago, Mazda made commercials with the theme, “Zoom, Zoom!” (search YouTube). Now the word Zoom is solely related to one thing—video-conferencing technology of the day.

I have been in higher education for eleven years now. With that, I have been teaching through the use of video-conferencing tools for about five or six years. And I’ve also taught in all kinds of settings—traditional classroom, hybrid, online, live video, accelerated, full-semester. You name it. [Are there others?!] But what we are experiencing now during the Coronavirus pandemic is quite different, especially when it comes to video-conferencing and education. Continue reading

Post-Coronavirus & the Technological Challenge

patrick-ward-503767-unsplash

One of the wise practices I believe churches (in general, but not all) are taking up in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic is honoring the stay-at-home mandates issued by city mayors, state governors, and even the federal government. I do not believe this is an infringement upon our first amendment rights, nor is it persecution. Persecution would be if the stay-at-home mandate was issued only for Christians (or any religious group, for that matter). Rather, this is something being issued to as much of society as possible, all to protect from the spread of the virus and to help flatten the curve, as we await possible vaccine options to be uncovered. In a sense, we could say there is an aspect of loving our neighbors as ourselves through this practice of staying at home.

With that, churches have typically moved their services to online streaming on Sundays. Or, as in the case of my own church and others, we are recording the service and posting the videos, all in an effort to help ease technical difficulties.

Through all the streaming and videos of church services, what is interesting to note is the rise in church “attendance” over these past weeks. I put the word attendance in quotes because it is somewhat challenging to track this in the time of the Coronavirus, mainly because all one has to do is watch the video for a few minutes and he or she can be tracked as an attendee. Still, the numbers are saying attendance is up quite a bit. Continue reading

Is It Time to Rethink the Church Website? (Part 2)

church website sample

I recently re-posted a link to an article I wrote a couple of years back entitled, Is It Time to Rethink the Church Website?

What I have suggested is that church websites may be geared more toward the already initiated, meaning those who are a) already a part of the church or b) those who are looking for a new church (what we may call “church transfers” due to being displeased with a previous church, moving cities, etc). However, the unchurched and de-churched are not really looking for what we might usually find on church websites: statement of faith, sermon series, upcoming activities, leadership team, or donate button – if they are looking at all.

So, my question is: How can we consider being more “missional” with our church websites, engaging the non-Christian landscape.

The re-post has caused some good interaction through social media channels – both agreement and disagreement. But a bigger question has arisen as well (and the same question came up two years ago): What alternatives would I suggest to the current church website model? Continue reading

Amazon to Release New Kindles

This week, Amazon announced the release of their new Kindles, with the company moving mainly to touch screen (though non-touch screen will still be available) and even announcing the release of their high-octane Kindle Fire.

As you can see in the picture above (click on the pic to enlarge), the prices range from $79 for the most basic Kindle and $199 for the most advanced product, the Kindle Fire. Continue reading

Favourite iPad Apps

I’ve had an iPad now for coming close to a year. It’s becoming an all-purpose device for me with regards to Bible reading, journaling, reading books, preaching from and communication device.

Mark Stevens, over at Near Emmaus, just purchased one and was asking for some of the better apps we all liked. I am no app-junky who downloads hundreds of apps, but I did list my top 10.

So here are my top 10 apps on my iPad (though not in any particular order, rather than the Kindle app being first): Continue reading