Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28: 18-20
Churches Using the Internet To Spread the Faith
For an increasing number of Americans, the sky is the limit when it comes to receiving religious information online.
With the Internet’s ubiquitous existence in many people’s lives, Americans are no longer going online for only entertainment, news or communication. The Internet has changed the way that many consumers receive and distribute religious material and conduct faith-based activities as well.
In the early 2000s, Pew Internet Research polled more than 1,000 religious organizations and reported that 83 percent of respondents said their church’s use of the Internet helped congregational life, and 63 percent said that e-mail helped the church connect more with its surrounding community.
By 2004, the same research firm reported that nearly two-thirds of “wired” Americans had used the Internet for various spiritual or religious purposes. This number could grow even more with the continuing development of online technologies such as interactive streaming video players.
Greg Demetriades, chairman and chief executive officer of WhiteBlox, a developer of commercial online media players, says that large religious organizations represent one group that his company’s technology can benefit.
“Broadcasting faith-based services online is a fantastic way to provide 24/7 spiritual support and develop an even stronger sense of community,” said Demetriades. “In addition to live broadcasts of weekly services, an entire video library of services and workshops can be made available on-demand.”
Considering that religious services can be very social gatherings, the relative isolation of the Internet may at first seem like an inappropriate match.
But some online video solutions, like WhiteBlox’s, include chat rooms and viewer surveys within the player itself, so viewers can now experience a level of video interactivity and online community-building that was previously unavailable.
In addition, the Internet provides fertile ground for one of the most important functions of any religious organization: donations. With the ability to broadcast live or on-demand videos of services coupled with an easy online donation system, online broadcasting may prove to be the most divine gift of all for some religious groups.
For more information about Internet broadcasting, visit www.whiteblox.com or call 281-210-5214.