There was a comment on the Madison Christian Church Facebook page from a member of our church who is a missionary serving in Tanzania. Her simple comment: “An APP, huh?” As I thought about it, the thing that amazed me about that comment was that a missionary serving 8,000 miles away in an eastern African country could be so connected to what is going on at Madison Christian Church in Groveport, Ohio. (Please get and use our APP, which is available for both IOS and Android, absolutely free.)
The APP is just a part of the effort on our part to have an effective online presence. We are acutely aware of the fact that over 90% of our first-time guests have already checked us out online before they ever consider coming through our door. They do that just like you check out a business or restaurant online before you go there. (They have already formed an opinion of whether the music is inspiring, whether the preaching is boring, etc.) They know who the staff are because they have already seen our pictures and read our bios on the church website.
Here is the gist of my message to you: Please use the APP and website as a tool in your hand for outreach. We still have CDs, but the day has long past when you need to hand someone a CD and ask them to play it to check out our church. It is infinitely easier to point them to this website or to the APP.
It is a pleasure to see people use these tools. I have the utmost appreciation for one of our couples currently wintering in Florida who are “on mission” by turning the living room of their Florida home into a Worship Center on Sunday morning. They sweeten the pot by offering the folks a great breakfast – but they fill the living room at 10:30 and the folks all watch our worship service on live stream. I know of a college student to goes to a very liberal institution of higher education who, with the full consent of the university, uses a classroom on Sunday morning to project our worship service on the screen. He invites his friends who are at all stages of belief and unbelief to watch the broadcast. (I have great picture of that classroom.) I know that on Sunday – and during the week on demand – missionaries are watching our worship times in Africa, Romania, and Honduras. I have a picture on my phone of one of our people who is homebound due to illness. His caregiver is sitting beside him holding the Ipad and together they are watching the live stream of our service on Sunday morning. And yes, my mom, age 89, in her room at the Canton Christian Home, navigates the technology on Sunday morning and watches our service live. These are fantastic uses of the available technology.
It is easy to become troubled by some of the damaging, even evil things that are made available to people by technology. At the same time, I am thankful for the ways that we have “’harnessed” the technology for good and the gospel.
We are so blessed. Aaron Crabtree works tirelessly and devotes untold hours to continually improving and upgrading our online presence. Scott Roseberry is also involved in our online activities, and additionally he has invested many hours and a number of personal vacation days in upgrading our sound capabilities, which are so essential. Stephan Johnson plays a major role in getting our product onto the screen in an amazing way for viewers to utilize. Barb Long devotes incredible amounts of time as a volunteer producing the slides that are used in our worship times. Additionally, Ramona Bussard and Michael Woerner, along with Barb, do a great job running the slides in our services. On occasion, I will see J. D. Stillion and Mark Sibbalds contributing to the work that is being done in the technical booth on Sunday morning. We would be “up the creek without the paddle” if we did not have these amazing folks so willingly doing what they do.
So, wherever you are – take the next step. If you have never even glanced at our online presence – take some time and look it over. If you know what is available but have never encouraged someone else to use it – use the technology as a tool to reach others for Christ and the church. It’s never been easier!