Northland Church links to a good podcast from CBS News on the church's use of technology to connect their services to home churches. It's amazing not just to see how committed Northland is to distributing their church community, but how the services grow in small groups like the one profiled in the podcast.
It used to be that my weekend pattern was the same, week-in and week-out. Saturday was for church and Sunday was to spend time at the office doing a mix of personal/work items (which is a very big overlap in my case). Part of that Sunday time would involve catching a Northland service in addition to Lakewood services. In most cases, this meant splashing the video feed on my big monitor and forgetting the worries of deadlines and other commitments for an hour or so in order to enjoy the worship for a moment and remember that there's always one bigger commitment to attend to.
The current schedule is in a bit more of a state of flux. I still enjoy the idea of Saturday being a day for rest and church, but Ecclesia is a very different environment from Lakewood. Instead of avoiding the cattle-herds of Sunday at Lakewood, each day at Ecclesia is about the same, population-wise. And since I'm now involved in occasionally running video for the main service instead of merely for a smaller ministry within the church, my "pew" is in the cozy, workaholic confines of the AV booth anyway. And when I'm not volunteering during service, I'm enough of an early bird to get a preferred seat (which is, coincidentally enough, a real pew along the back row) in the much smaller sanctuary.
There are some habits beyond church that I'd like to regain, however. First and foremost is making time for my podcast habit. That's been something that I've been working on this past week.More work is needed, but steps are being taken. Second is keeping a journal again. That tends to follow from the podcast habit, but it should also be assisted by the fact that Ecclesia tends to go through books of the Bible at a time, rather than pick out thematic messages for each week (1 Corinthians is on tap starting this weekend). To me, that lends itself more toward a note-taking type of study. Both of those habits have been about as much a part of my own spiritual growth over the last few years as church has. So a return to at least that much of what passes for normal would be a good thing. It's not quite the same as the home churches that Northland is inspiring, but it's the church I enjoy being at when I'm home.