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The Future of Church is "Small"
By James Lawrence - March 11, 2014

I spend a lot of time thinking about the future of the Church, and every once in awhile, the future comes to me in the form of a practical idea or opportunity. I don't really understand how that works, but I've learned to listen to that voice when it calls. The MicroSite is one of those ideas.

Last March, Rock Church decided to rent out Petco Park's Park in the Park to offer a Good Friday experience to the downtown community. One of the ideas that came from those early planning talks was to broadcast the Good Friday service live to various locations around San Diego. But these weren't satellite broadcasts; they were LiveStream broadcasts to wireless devices that project onto small, portable screens...a MicroSite.

What happened in the coming weeks was an epiphany of sorts. We brought church to the street, and the EvenHere Movement was born. Since that time, Rock Church has developed a scalable broadcast and viewing system in support of this ministry initiative. From our main campus in Point Loma, we encode in real-time, broadcast in HD to a web browser which is then viewed through an iPad. The iPad connects to an HD projector and projects onto a 8'x12' screen anywhere we want to put it.

And I do mean anywhere. The people are coming. Some are local residents. Some are living on the streets. Many are the disenfranchised and marginalized living under the radar of our prosperous culture. Some arrive drunk and weepy. We embrace them, feed them, and tell them about Jesus. No amount of technology can love a person. But with MicroSites standing physically at the intersection of church and culture, we’re doing it.

In the past nine months, we've held dozens of church services for groups as small as 10 and as large as 100. They've been held in hair salons, garages, food kitchens, bars, gyms, and elderly homes. In every case, people worshiped, prayed, cried, and celebrated what God was doing. Rock Church plans on having more than 200 active Sunday MicroSites operating in San Diego County by 2020. In a super-size-me, mega-church world, we're thinking "small."

I wonder if the future of the Church is not about large buildings and sold out conferences, but about small churches on the street.

I think the future is here.

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James Lawrence
James Lawrence was the Executive Pastor of Technology and Innovation and led the Rock’s Executive Leadership Team. He is a pastor, technology entrepreneur, and product designer, living at the intersection of technology forces and Kingdom forces.
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