The Internet Doesn’t Have to Be the Devil’s Playground

Ah, Monday.  The day full of tackling projects and trying to make a difference in the world.

Today’s partial agenda: help North Side impact the world when our building’s doors are closed.

Many people see the internet as the Devil’s playground.  In many ways, it is.  While you can waste a lot of time on here and get into all types of awful stuff, there is also a potential like none other to reach people for Christ.  I have this saying: “The Church never sleeps.”  Somewhere in the world, the church is always on the move.  Through the internet, we can reach people faster and cheaper than traditional models.  Someone who works swing shifts can be impacted by the ministry of this church even if they cannot attend the Sunday service.  Someone on the other side of the world could benefit from something we post long before.

So today, I am spending some time brainstorming about how we can impact more using our website.  We have made many dramatic improvements over the years, but we still want to take it further.

Here’s a list of some ideas or possible improvements dancing around my head:

  • Sermons on Video
  • Whole Services on Video
  • Streaming Services Live
  • North Side Radio
  • Online Seminary (take NSU video courses online at your convenience)
  • North Side Social Network (wouldn’t replace Facebook, but a way for members to share needs, prayers, and stay connected but stay secure)
  • Secure Prayer Rooms

I want your input! What do you wish we had?  What have you seen somewhere else you wish North Side did on our site?  What do you like or dislike most about the list above?

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.

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36 Comments

  1. Travis Agnew

    I need your input! Tell me what ideas you like in this note about North Side's website or other ideas you come up

  2. Teresa Nicole Dove

    I like the idea of streaming services, since I don't have a car and can't make it to North Side and I'm leaving Erskine after this semester, I'd love to be able to watch the ser

  3. Mike Leigher

    Maybe putting The Compass online for viewing, or even just some portions of it (such as the Daily Bible Devot

  4. Mike Leigher

    Also, perhaps moving the Calendar from in the "About Us" section to a more noticeable location on the web

  5. Mike Leigher

    And what about a map of the church, or a virtual tour to help familiarize new people with the location? Even an imbedded map from Google Maps would help people who are trying to locate the c

  6. Travis Agnew

    Very good stuff, guys. Keep it c

  7. Joyce Smith Hendricks

    I know my mom who is in a Nursing Home in Clinton is anxiously waiting for our services to be on dvd video. She has been listening to the cd's for years. Now since our son's small Baptist church in Enoree has their services on video she has said a number of times how much she wishes North Side's was on vide

  8. I need your input! Tell me what ideas you like in this note about North Side's website or other ideas you come up with.

  9. I like the idea of streaming services, since I don't have a car and can't make it to North Side and I'm leaving Erskine after this semester, I'd love to be able to watch the services!

  10. Maybe putting The Compass online for viewing, or even just some portions of it (such as the Daily Bible Devotions).

  11. Also, perhaps moving the Calendar from in the "About Us" section to a more noticeable location on the web site.

  12. And what about a map of the church, or a virtual tour to help familiarize new people with the location? Even an imbedded map from Google Maps would help people who are trying to locate the church.

  13. Very good stuff, guys. Keep it coming!

  14. I know my mom who is in a Nursing Home in Clinton is anxiously waiting for our services to be on dvd video. She has been listening to the cd's for years. Now since our son's small Baptist church in Enoree has their services on video she has said a number of times how much she wishes North Side's was on video too.

  15. David Wilkes

    I like your initial ideas and Mike&#0

  16. Hayes Grier Richter

    I'm not down with the lingo, but as a former out-of-town listener, I would love to see the music and announcements along with the sermons. I like the idea about the virtual tour too; it would make the big church less intimidating to newcomers (ie- I think it would take me 100 years to find the nursery if I was new). It would be cool to have links to different ministry opportunities, and maybe a little video of that ministry in action/contact pe

  17. I like your initial ideas and Mike's.

  18. I'm not down with the lingo, but as a former out-of-town listener, I would love to see the music and announcements along with the sermons. I like the idea about the virtual tour too; it would make the big church less intimidating to newcomers (ie- I think it would take me 100 years to find the nursery if I was new). It would be cool to have links to different ministry opportunities, and maybe a little video of that ministry in action/contact person.

  19. Julie and Tom Shirley

    We would love to be able to access the whole service including the Worship Music!!

  20. Mike Leigher

    Travis – had some more thoughts this morning. First: The blogs are great. There really are some excellent posts in there. Could there be a better way to organize the posts, or provide better links to archived information in a topical manner rather than by person? Second: Is one type of "general newsletter" sufficient to reach all of the audiences out there? Perhaps different newsletters for the youth, young adults, etc might be a good way to help keep different groups involved in different pro

  21. Mike Leigher

    Also…I'm not sure if anyone else has this issue, but the audio from our sermons can be difficult to hear on my computer sometimes, even with the volume turned all the way up on my com

  22. Mike Leigher

    Please don't consider any of this to be criticism! The web site really looks great. A lot of people are putting a lot of effort into both content and design. I've just been doing my best to look for any potential opportunities that I could

  23. Travis Agnew

    Not at all, Mike. I love it – keep bringing the

  24. Travis – had some more thoughts this morning. First: The blogs are great. There really are some excellent posts in there. Could there be a better way to organize the posts, or provide better links to archived information in a topical manner rather than by person? Second: Is one type of "general newsletter" sufficient to reach all of the audiences out there? Perhaps different newsletters for the youth, young adults, etc might be a good way to help keep different groups involved in different programs.

  25. Also…I'm not sure if anyone else has this issue, but the audio from our sermons can be difficult to hear on my computer sometimes, even with the volume turned all the way up on my computer.

  26. Please don't consider any of this to be criticism! The web site really looks great. A lot of people are putting a lot of effort into both content and design. I've just been doing my best to look for any potential opportunities that I could find!

  27. Not at all, Mike. I love it – keep bringing the ideas!

  28. Mike Leigher

    Okay, now what about the possiblity of some topical Q&A for visitors to the site? Perhaps having some basic answers to what the Bible has to say about things like love, marriage, finances, etc. would be good for people that don't have much experience with the Bible, or the church, and have been directed to the web site to check out what we're all

  29. Mike Leigher

    It might also be important to consider just what the function of the web site is and needs to be. Who are the visitors? Are they attendees and members? Should the web site also be geared towards gaining the interest of persons who don't go to church? If so, how are they going to find the web site? Is it advertised somewhere where they might come across it and want to find out

  30. Mike Leigher

    Another useful tool is a message board system. Allowing the site's users to interact with the church and with each other through a message board will greatly increase the use of the

  31. Mike Leigher

    One last thought for tonight…what about a section for helping to get people involved with the church. I'm sure there are plenty of opportunities for people to volunteer their time with the church. For someone that doesn't know where to begin, it might be helpful to see a list of things they can volunteer for, and a way to contact the correct person so that they can get st

  32. One last thought for tonight…what about a section for helping to get people involved with the church. I'm sure there are plenty of opportunities for people to volunteer their time with the church. For someone that doesn't know where to begin, it might be helpful to see a list of things they can volunteer for, and a way to contact the correct person so that they can get started.

  33. Okay, now what about the possiblity of some topical Q&A for visitors to the site? Perhaps having some basic answers to what the Bible has to say about things like love, marriage, finances, etc. would be good for people that don't have much experience with the Bible, or the church, and have been directed to the web site to check out what we're all about.

  34. It might also be important to consider just what the function of the web site is and needs to be. Who are the visitors? Are they attendees and members? Should the web site also be geared towards gaining the interest of persons who don't go to church? If so, how are they going to find the web site? Is it advertised somewhere where they might come across it and want to find out more?

  35. Another useful tool is a message board system. Allowing the site's users to interact with the church and with each other through a message board will greatly increase the use of the site.

  36. Got this in my inbox:
    The ones that stuck out to me the most was having videos of sermons and live streaming on the website. My father rarely is physically able to attend church, so even though our current internet connection is to slow to utilize it, if we ever got a faster one it would be very nice.

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