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18 November 2009

Online Church Anyone?

It may appear that I've dropped off the face of the planet, but it's only so I could focus on some cool projects - one of which just launched this past weekend.

The Online Campus is now available at!


  • you can get to it a few ways: / or by simply going to and clicking on the countdown clock at the top of the page.
  • Enter as a visitor (anonymous for the most part) or create an account for a full service experience including the ability to give online and register for things offered on the site.
  • Lobby gives interesting information regarding the current series and links to the Online Campus Blog so people can stay connected during the week.
  • Once inside the auditorium, you find the service agenda on the left sidebar and next step opportunities on the right sidebar.
  • Real time chat (including private chat) on the starting tab.
  • Granger notes: you can follow along or take notes of your own. Print them off or email them to a friend.
  • Audience view: See a visual representation of who is in the service (individuals and groups).
  • Who's Here tab: Find a person and connect with them via Facebook, Twitter or an email.
  • Map: See where in the world people are participating in the online experience.
  • Write on your Facebook wall or Tweet directly from the auditorium. Default message is to invite someone to the experience.

Of course I can't talk about the Online Campus without giving a shout out to our creative strategists and partner in all things web - AspireOne.

AspireOne worked with us for months to brainstorm, dream, create and develop this online experience. It was more than a project that just needed to get done. It was the birth of an idea to expand the realm of online church possibilities. Our intent is to take the social networking tools embedded in the site and allow the vision of our Online Campus Director (Mark Meyer) to explode in the virtual world.

We're at the start of an incredible journey. If you get time, stop by the campus (currently offered twice on Sunday evenings) and check things out.

I'd love to hear feedback on your experience so give me a shout if you have ideas. Email:

02 November 2009

Death is Beautiful

I had an interesting conversation with John MacMurray after he spoke at the Story09 conference last week.

With him being a nature photographer and theologian I thought I'd ask him his take on the death of nature, and why we still seem to find it beautiful on some level.

My personal belief is that there was no death in the Garden of Eden. It was perfect in every way. Animals didn't eat each other, plants didn't die and there were no seasons with temperatures making it difficult for humans to survive.

Mr. MacMurray doesn't necessarily share this belief, but was kind enough to engage me in the conversation about the death of natural elements like trees, and how we can still find beauty in them since they are inherently beautiful works or art from a loving Creator.

I enjoyed the conversation. Over the next few days I had time to ponder the fact that it's typically nature that remains beautiful in death and not things we make ourselves.

Case-in-point: Websites.

I love looking at photographs of snow, dead trees lying in forests, moss and algae eating away at things and the lines left in rock from the eroding effects of water. But there is NOTHING beautiful about a bad website.

Why? According to John, it wasn't inherently beautiful to begin with.

Don't get me wrong, humans can create beautiful works of art. But everything man creates is not beautiful just for the sake of it's creation.

I guess that's why our website is a constant work in progress...