Digital Church conference shares lessons learned

Mar 18, 2013 | New Media Project


Despite the onset of a major winter snow storm upon the New York metropolitan area, approximately 75 people attended the one-day conference, Digital Church: Theology and New Media, at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York on Friday, February 8, 2013.  The conference profiled the work of the New Media Project in its first phase.  Video of the conference is available.

Research fellows and case study guests shared their best insights into the impact of changing communication patterns and tools on church life and leadership.  Union faculty members Serene Jones and Daisy Machado responded to presentations. 

Eugene Cho, pastor of Quest Church in Seattle and guest presenter, said that new media helps his church with evangelism, but they think of it more as "creating windows for people to look in and see what you are about," than marketing or proselytizing.  Tony Lee, pastor of Community of Hope AME Church in Temple, MD, said he thought of new media through the lenses of "God's provision, position, and push," meaning that he hoped his church's use of new media will have an impact in the culture.

Research fellow Kathryn Reklis described how new media enables people to say, "'I am here,' even if they are not proximately here." And that this can form real relationships and real community. Another research fellow, Jason Byassee, added his observation that "Christianity has always been a virtual body," existing in many different locations but community through that day's media. He referenced Paul who taught passionately about the Body of Christ being one body with many members. 

Those who were not able to attend, may view video of the event presentations on this site.


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