Sunday, December 17, 2006

Maybe I'm in the wrong line of work

A nice religious post for Sunday morning...

Is staying home and watching church services on TV the same as actually going to church to participate in worship? I've had this conversation several times with people over the years, and the feeling is near unanimous - no, in order to feel the spirit of the Lord and fellowship with other believers, you need to attend church services. Staying home and watching church on TV doesn't quite cut it.

Business is good at The Crossing, a non-denominational megachurch in Quincy, Illinois. So good, as a matter of fact, that they're looking into expanding into the neighboring communities. They've found an abandoned grocery store in nearby Macomb where they intend to start holding services next year.

But is it really church, or are they going to just be watching TV?

(Rev. Jerry) Harris said while the Macomb church would be a separate entity in a physical sense, the two churches would be the same. "Only in different places," Harris said.

For example, Sunday worship services would be interactive events, linked by satellite. Both sites would be contributing to various services and church-related events, thanks to The Crossing's state of the art technology.

Now this is not an original idea (the last original idea anyone had in Quincy came from whoever decided to bring Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas to town for a debate):

Harris said The Crossing specifically studied the workings of a similar church in Oklahoma. Just like The Crossing, the church in Oklahoma began with a handful of people and contemporary approach and is now a church of 20,000 that is simultaneously linked together for services — not only in different cities, but different states.

So now I've got this idea. We're going to start by expanding the banquet room here at The Hill. We'll bring in a couple of big-screen TV's, and every Sunday morning they'll be tuned to Rev. Maury Davis. Interactive? We've got a telephone and an Internet connection, what more do you want? Then, I apply for my IRS exemption...