Two snow days in a row. How fascinating, even if you're not 8 years old and have to go to work (like me). It's still fun.
So what will you do on your snow day? I guess you could explore the still-new Connexus web-site. As soon as you get there, you'll notice the message from December 2nd is uploaded and on line. Which means you can watch my message from the Barrie site last week…but it also means that the Orillia people can see the message on-line before it gets aired next weekend (December 9th) in Orillia.
Which raises an interesting question — why are we posting the message on line before it plays at our other campus? Wouldn't that just demotivate people from attending? (Why would I go if I've heard that message?)
Some thoughts on that, because we actually talked about that at some length when we were designing Connexus:
- Previewing a message or parts of a message can help you decide who to invite to come with you. How many times have you gone to a service only to think "I wish __________ was hear with me to experience this." Now you can call him or her up days in advance and say "I really want you to be here this weekend." In fact, in the experience of some other ministries, being able to preview a message actually increases interest and builds attendance.
- Some things are better on second hearing. Because I've been involved in ministries with multiple services for years, I've often sat through two or three services in a row hearing another communicator give the same message. It's amazing what you catch the second or third time around that you might have missed on first hearing. God is present when His Word gets preached.
- Uploading messages supplements, but doesn't replace, real community. It's true that we live in a downloadable universe. You can actually preview all the songs we would sing Sunday on an iPod, download the video of the message and engage in virtual church. A tight schedule might produce that from time to time, but in my experience, it's just never the same as being live in a room with other people when a service "happens". God is somehow present when we gather and lives intersect in a way he's not present when I sit in a chair at home all by myself. He's there both times, it's just different. And in my view, He gathers in community in an irreplaceable way. Watch it on line, but experiencing an event happens when we gather.
- You don't have to watch it. If you love surprise, just show up Sunday.
The real reason we went with the immediate up-load is that we hope it increases the number of people who get invited to join us Sundays.
By the way, when you're online, make sure you click the little "connexus community" text on the media player (next to the play and pause icons). It will take you to the blip.tv site where you can watch it on a bigger screen and subscribe to the feed on iTunes, or blog the video, or get an RSS feed so that the uploads come to you.
What do you think about the experience? Feel free to post your comments/views on the blog.