May 122013
 May 12, 2013  Episodes Tagged with: , , ,  1 Response »

Social Media Church features a conversation with Oscar Soto, the Online Campus Pastor of Christ Fellowship (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida). We take an insider look at how Christ Fellowship reaches as many people online as they do offline, how they do 16 online services every week, online training, translating messages into American Sign Language (ASL) for online ministry to deaf, and more!

Show Notes

Connect with Oscar Soto on Twitter @OscarSotoJr and on Facebook at; on Christ Fellowship’s Online Campus at

#article Click ‘Pray’ to Pray: How Evangelical Megapastor Joel Osteen Is Saving Souls With Facebook (Huffington Post, 5/9/13)

#webinar Sign up for the free Leadership Network webinar, “Top 3 Tech Trends Impacting the Church” - Thursday May 16th (2:00pm ET/ 11:00am PT) with a panel of thought leaders from Google, MonkDev, Social Media Church, and Menlo Park Presbyterian Church to discuss the trends of Social Media Engagement, Mobile Implementation, and Crowd Mobilization.

Beyond Digital Initiative of Leadership Network - The two primary components of the Beyond Digital initiative are the Beyond Digital Leadership Community and the Leadership Network Hackathons.  The Beyond Digital Leadership Community is a two-year, peer-centered learning community that brings together innovative church leaders who place a high strategic value on digital tools, tactics, and spaces for accomplishing their church’s mission.  These are churches that have “gone digital” to a high degree, but also recognize that having an app or an internet campus isn’t the extent of their digital reach.  The result of the Beyond Digital Leadership Community will be the deployment of the most innovative digital tools of our time for the accomplishment of the timeless mission of the Church. Code for the Kingdom, Leadership Network’s Hackathons, will involve a series of creative contests designed to help churches engage and release the information technology innovation of the general public, without constraints of geographies, church membership, and cultures, to produce solutions that will advance the Kingdom.

Mar 052013
 March 5, 2013  Episodes Tagged with: , ,  1 Response »

This episode of Social Media Church features a conversation with Dr. Tim Hutchings, currently a research fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Open University and editor of the Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture. Tim discusses learnings and insights from rigorous academic research about online churches, what kind of people worship online, explores whether online relationships are real or not, and much much more.

Show Notes

Connect with Dr. Tim Hutchings on Twitter @tim_hutchings

Participate in Tim’s current project, CyberBibles: New Media and Sacred Text. If you’ve tried using digital media to help you read the Bible, please fill out this survey – and encourage your friends to do the same. This survey is part of a new research project that aims to find out how digital media are changing Christian attitudes to Scripture. If you have ever read the Bible on a computer screen, listened to it on your MP3 player, joined an online reading group or downloaded a Bible app to your mobile phone, fill out the survey. Learn more about this research project.

Tim contributes to the Big Bible Project blog, i.e. Cyberchurch Theology (part one of, um, more than one)Cyberchurch Theology, Part Two: The Problem With CommunityHow Not to do Online Evangelism

Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture - a free online publication

Considering religious community through online churches” published in Digital Religion: Understanding Religious Practice in New Media Worlds by Heidi Campbell (Routledge, 2012) – features a case study of St. Pixels (Church on the Internet) and

Creating Church Online: Ritual, Community, and New Media by Tim Hutchings – to be published May 2013 by Routledge, based on his Ph.D. research, an ethnographic study of five Christian communities that met online, using new media to create forms of worship, teaching, evangelism and debate. The study focused on ritual, authority, community and the relationship between online and offline activity.

Creating Church Online: Networks and Collectives in Contemporary Christianity” (by Tim Hutchings) is published in “Digital Religion, Social Media and Culture: Perspectives, Practices and Futures”, ed. Pauline Hope Cheong, Peter Fischer-Nielsen, Stefan Gelfgren and Charles Ess (Peter Lang, 2012)

#excerpt Creating church online: A case-study approach to religious experience, in Studies in World Christianity 13(3) (2008)

Scholar’s Top 5: Tim Hutchings’ 5 recommended resources on the topic of online Christian churches

Jan 082013
 January 8, 2013  Episodes Tagged with: , , ,  3 Responses »

Dana Byers is our first special guest in 2013 on the Social Media Church podcast, and she shares about her top learnings from years of experience in doing online ministry globally with Blue Door Ministries, as well as her ministry as Online Community Pastor at

Show Notes

Connect with Dana Byers on Twitter @danalbyers and her blog

Dana Byers authored The Art of Online Ministry (a Kindle eBook)

#blog: How Urbana 12 Changed my Life too (

Previous episodes of Social Media Church with Episode 14 with Alan George, Episode 10 with Brandon Donaldson

#video: 3 Online Ministry Indicators Dana’s observations from successful online ministries

#podcast: Dana Byers shared key insights to minimalism on the Beyond the To Do List podcast

#video: watch the raw video of this conversation with Dana Byers and DJ Chuang

Dec 182012
 December 18, 2012  Episodes Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »

Listen to this espisode of Social Media Church to hear a conversation with Douglas Estes, author of SimChurch: Being the Church in the Virtual World (Zondervan, 2009.) We talked about his insightful perspective about churches using technology, and what he thinks might be next for the church in a virtual world. I like this book’s approach, because it wrestles with issues of ecclesiology and technology. I also read an excerpt from the book on this podcast, a particularly poignant thought about what it really means to be “present.”

Show Notes

Connect with Douglas Estes at, @douglasestes on Twitter and Douglas Estes is currently the Lead Pastor at Trinity Church, in Mesa, AZ, a suburb of Phoenix. is the book’s website

Sep 112012
 September 11, 2012  Episodes Tagged with: , ,  3 Responses »

On this episode of Social Media Church, we hear from Alan George, the Church Online Pastor at, sharing the back story of how someone not technically-inclined became an Internet Campus Pastor, the big surprise of pastoring online, how to coordinate and mobilize a large team of volunteers, the missional use of technology, and what might be dreaming up next.

Show Notes

Connect with Alan George on Twitter @alanvgeorge and Facebook

Episode 10 of Social Media Church – Brandon Donaldson tells all about how launched its Internet Campus

Church Online – worship experiences online

Church Online Platform – a free tool to help you launch an online ministry – track your church data

#news: joins the YouVersion family and’s newly formed Digerati Church to Church Team

more resources for your church – and yes it’s all free

Aug 072012
 August 7, 2012  Episodes Tagged with: , ,  1 Response »

Social Media Church features on this episode the back story of how started its Internet Campus (now called Church Online). Brandon Donaldson shared the story on a November 2008 Leadership Network webinar, A Closer Look at Internet Campuses. Brandon started as’s Internet Campus Pastor in 2005, launched it in April 2006, and continued in that role through mid-2011, when Alan George took on the role.

I’ve excerpted just the relevant portions from the webinar audio pertaining to and included the Q&A relating to (The full webinar also had a presentation about Flamingo Road Church’s Internet Campus, now known as Potential Church.)

At the time of this episode’s publishing, there are less than 100 U.S. churches with Internet campuses. Hearing this back story can be most helpful for the other 300,000+ churches to develop their use of social media and the Internet to extend their ministries.

Show Notes

A Closer Look at Internet Campuses – watch video of entire webinar and webinar show notes ‘s Church Online now runs 51 online worship experiences every week, and has since launched its Church Online Platform for free so your church can run its own online worship experience too

DJ Chuang’s List of Churches with Internet Campuses or Livestreams


Jul 242012
 July 24, 2012  Episodes Tagged with: ,  2 Responses »

Social Media Church connects with Nathan Castleberry for a conversation about being deputized as the second Internet Campus Pastor at Potential Church, a multi-site church that started in Cooper City, Florida. Potential Church was formerly known as Flamingo Road Church, and launched an Internet Campus to hold worship online back in 2007.

Show Notes

[update 7/25 10:30am PT] podcast audio changed to have better quality (previous edition was muffled and we sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher )