We are in the process of unveiling new ministry and worship opportunities at Emmanuel for Sundays and Wednesdays beginning September 2, 2007. Without going into all the details, one of the most signficant changes will be switching to three 'live' services on Sunday morning 8:30; 9:45; and 11:00 a.m. instead of just two (currently our third service uses remote telecast of the message). The 11:00 a.m. service, beginning September 2, 2007, will be broadcast live at 11:00 on the internet via 3:16 Networks. 3:16 Networks began as a joint venture with The North American Mission Board and is now the leading provider for internet broadcast streaming for Christian ministries. 3:16 Networks will broadcast our worship service live , and will also archive all previous worship services on our website. 3:16 Ministries will produce podcasts of the weekly sermons, and our church members will be able to receive vidego weekly devotionals and ministry updates from our staff via their email. Alan Riley, the director of web operations for 3:16 Networks, is a wonderful businessman with many years of service as a worship leader in Southern Baptist Churches. I have been very impressed with the 3:16's incredible technological infrastructure, their employees desires for real Christian ministry, and their vision for internet broadcasting to spread the gospel message around the world.
One of the advantages of entering live broadcasting is the ability to broadcast not only worship services, but funerals (at the request of families), weddings (again, if requested by family - so that Great Grandma who can't make it to the ceremony can watch it on a computer) and other church wide events via the internet. We plan to broadcast 'live' the Sam Storm's Conference in October, with guest worship leader Daniel Brymer, and we would encourage you to join us for the conference on your computer at home. 3:16 Networks is the same company that broadcast the Southern Baptist Convention in San Antonio, and has had the live broadcast of our convention for the last few years.
This is where we could use a little help from our net friends. Dr. Cyril Kumar, Emmanuel's missionary to Bangalore, India, and now on staff here at Emmanuel while obtaining his Master's of Divinity degree at Southern Seminary, is implementing some of the technological advances we need to make in order to move our church into a new and broader phase of ministry at Emmanuel. Dr. Kumar has been working on our internet site and has so far proposed changing our home page from this -- to -- this design which will offically launch on September 2, 2007 (the scroll links are not yet operational).
Here is where you can help Dr. Kumar and our staff with some of the design work on our site by making a few comments that relate to the following questions.
(1). Have you ever watched a regularly scheduled worship service of another church via the internet (either live or archived)?
(2). Would you watch 'live' a Bible conference, revival service, or special event of interest to you if it were offered via 'live,' real time video streaming through our church's web site?
(3). When you go to a church's web site, what is it that you look for first?
(4). Do you have any specific suggestions on making a web site more user friendly?
(5). If you were a member of a church that provided the ability to real time 'live' broadcast weddings or funerals so that anyone, anywhere, could watch the service or ceremony, would you take advantage of that ministry opportunity for you and your family?
Feel free to answer any or all of the questions, or give us comments that aren't even related to the questions above. We would be interested in your thoughts. Sometimes the best nuggets of advice come from people not affiliated with our church. This post will remain up until late Tuesday night when I will post from Richmond, Virginia regarding the first day's plenary business session of the International Mission Board trustee meeting, which will be held next Monday through Wednesdsay, July 16-18, 2007, in Richmond, Virginia.
In His Grace,