16 Jun Virtual Reality Church – The Beginning
The Short: Don’t have time? Here’s the gist…
- We recently had the first-ever virtual reality church service.
- Our new ministry has a vision for innovation.
- We want to see the church innovate to new levels to curb the decline of spirituality in the western church.
- We believe in taking the good news of God’s love to where ever people are at…even in a virtual space.
- VR has porn. The porn industry is innovating. When will the church innovate in this new medium?
The Long: Have time? Read more…
We had a historic moment recently. The first-ever virtual reality church service went live in virtual reality headsets. If you want to get caught up on what’s the deal with VR, then I suggest you click HERE for my perspective of VR.
The new season of ministry we have embarked on has a large focus on innovation. We are dreaming, thinking, and executing new ways to do church and to spread the Good News of God’s love.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with doing things by the book or in a traditional way. We never want to communicate that old method are ineffective. Traditional and by-the-book methods and/or models are extremely important in many contexts. However, a wise man once said that “We honor the past. We just don’t live there.”
In the light of that thought, we are exploring new ways to express spirituality. The message of Jesus Christ may stay the same, but methods always change. One of these methods is virtual reality.
VR has been an amazing. Games, short films, social interactions, and interactive education have been incredible. VR can do a myriad of things. It will be difficult to predict all the things it will do.
VR even has porn. You heard me right. Virtual porn. I haven’t experienced it, but from what I read, virtual porn is here with realistic sexual experiences. The other worlds I visited have been vividly real. I recently watched Lebron James take a few jump shots at a practice, and I can honestly say that I felt like I met Lebron. He was right in front of me. If that experience was anything like virtual porn, then VR will bring the strip joint right into people’s living room like a porn flick on tv could never do. (Please note: the Oculus Store, like the IOS store, does not have any mature rated content. You have to get the x-rated content from third-party sources, and load it into the virtual reality platform.)
This is extremely annoying to me. Not so much the explicit sexual content, but rather the lack of spiritual content of any kind in VR. In all my “travels” with VR, I haven’t seen anything spiritual. Nothing. Not even a simple “verse-of-the-day app” that we could interact with. Maybe there are individuals or faith-based organizations working on something, but I don’t know of any.
(Note: Not too long after writing this blog post, I found out that one of our elders, Alistair, was developing an app for the Bible.)
Porn is innovating, but what about the church? It feels like the church has been lagging behind in this technological age. I know I’m speaking VERY generally about the church because there are many of you out there that are innovating to new levels.
But my general observation is our “theological” stances against Hollywood movies, video games, and social media have made us ineffective in those mediums. We have become irrelevant. Only recently has the church engaged in these expressions, but the quality of our work suffers from our lack of experience.
Like I said before, I know I’m speaking very generally about the church. I appreciate the individuals, organizations, and churches who are innovating. You are pushing the boundaries and taking things to a new level.
We need innovation in the church. The western church is in decline, and we need new thought leaders to step up to reach this culture in a new era. We need divergent thinkers!
We want to encourage the creators, artists, innovators, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs to exercise your gifts to express the love of God. We believe that when people experience God, they will discover Him to be good.
I feel you. Some of you might think it’s not worth it to innovate in the church. The church can be the killer of innovation and new ideas. You may have to innovate and pioneer with little to no support behind you. However, we believe that God will resurrect the innovative spirit of the church.