Question: What Have We Done So Far on the Building?

Some things you’ve seen:

An obvious development at The Crossing these last two months has been the expansion of our auditorium and foyer, along with some major upgrades to our audio and video capabilities (more and bigger speakers, larger screens, HD cameras and projectors, video production room, etc.).

The video upgrades allow for those seated further away from the stage (due to the expansion) to experience a better visual connection with the pastor preaching the sermon.

The audio upgrades (more and bigger speakers, new “guts” to the system) allow the sound to fill the entire room without feeling “loud.” We’re still learning its capabilities (through trial and error—there is a learning curve). But we’re happy with the way it provides a much more clear and even sound no matter where you sit in the auditorium.

The foyer renovations have helped alleviate that overcrowded feeling between services. Someone even asked me a couple of Sunday’s ago, “Where IS everybody?” With more doors for more people to enter and exit the building, and more space in the foyer, it didn’t feel like there were over 3,000 people in the building that day. But there were. There will be more foyer expansion yet to come in the near future, but the current changes have already made a big improvement.

Some things perhaps you’ve not seen:

The Live Stream allows people to stay connected while away

One major upgrade may have gone unnoticed to you—our Live Stream capabilities. With the new cameras installed in the auditorium for video of the sermon, we are also now able to “produce” a better experience for those watching the entire service on their computer or mobile app on Live Stream. This is seen in the auditorium only during the sermon. But it is seen on Live Stream during the entire service. And it’s staffed by volunteers who are dedicated to the creativity and skill necessary to make it all happen each service every Sunday.

One woman, a long-time member of The Crossing who has an immune system desease that makes it dangerous for her to be around crowds during flu and cold season, recently thanked us for allowing her to continue to be connected with her church each Sunday from her home. Another member told me how great it was to be able to “attend” the service from their hospital bed. Many others who are parents of sick kids have expressed the same gratitude.

Volunteers live-producing video of the worship service

So if you’re physically unable to attend The Crossing on a Sunday, perhaps because of a sick kid or some other illness or dilemma prohibiting you, the next best thing is now even better—you can Live Stream the service at live.thecrossingchurch.com (you can even go there now or anytime to watch last Sunday’s sermon), or you can use our Crossing iPhone/iPad or Android app. If you have a relatively fast Internet connection, I think you’ll be impressed with how far we’ve come in providing a high quality of experience.

I say it’s the “next best thing” to actually coming to church because, biblically speaking, nothing can replace actually being present IN the community of believers in worship. A church is the gathering of God’s people together where the Holy Spirit uniquely works in and through our lives.

The Bible says this:

Hebrews 10:23, 25 NIVLet us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. …Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.

And as we gather together in worship, we become a kind of spiritual temple:

Ephesians 2:21–22 TNIVIn [Christ] the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

That “dwelling” is the gathered believers of a church, singing to/with one another, speaking with one another, present with one another—something you cannot fully experience merely by watching a worship service on a Live Stream connection. But the Live Stream does help you stay connected when circumstances prohibit your physical presence. So it’s the “next best thing.” But not the real thing.

But by far the majority of people watching on the Live Stream are not watching it from within Columbia. We have a way of collecting data on this that’s pretty interesting. On any given Sunday, between 400-500 people “hit” our Live Stream link during one of the three Sunday services. Only about 30% are watching from within Columbia. Another 20% are watching outside Columbia but from within the state of Missouri. That means 50% are watching The Crossing’s services from OUTSIDE Missouri. Last Sunday, half of those who Live Streamed our service watched from 15 states and 5 foreign countries. No doubt some of those are members of The Crossing who are away on business or vacation travel. But I also know of some who have emailed me messages of Thanks that live in other states, even other countries, who have “connected” with The Crossing through our Live Stream. That’s pretty cool.

Leave a Reply