Ministry Today – Serving and empowering church leaders

When it comes to developing cutting-edge technology, two congregations are proving that it's possible for churches to lead the way., based out of Edmond, Okla., has long been known as one of the most innovative and fastest-growing churches in the United States. Yet while it continues to expand throughout its 13 physical campuses across the country, its latest inventive online development has opened doors to virtually every corner of the world. staff members recently rolled out, a free group chat translation tool that allows participants to communicate in real-time using up to 45 languages. Developed in-house as a Web-based Google app, isn't just for members, but can be used by any business, church, mission group or individuals hoping to expand its message globally—or simply to communicate more effectively in such languages as Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi and Spanish.

"In our increasingly global society, language barriers have remained major hurdles to bringing people together," said innovation leader and pastor Bobby Gruenewald. "Our hope is that will set conversation free by empowering communication between different cultures and creating new opportunities for important discussions."

Meanwhile in Honolulu, New Hope Christian Fellowship has followed last month's highly anticipated release of Apple's iPhone 3GS by offering live streaming of its services to all iPhone and iPod touch users. After two weeks of test runs by New Hope's tech team, the church began offering full—and free—streaming of its services this past weekend.

"Typically, churches are years behind other organizations when it comes to technology and innovation," New Hope's technology and innovations director, Michael Sharpe. "We have tried to reverse that trend and pioneer new ways to spread the gospel using the most current tools available. We don't mind the long hours and stress that comes with innovating because we know that if we can come up with something useful, it can be used by other churches around the world."

By using the new iPhone 3.0 software that incorporates HTTP live streaming, New Hope says it is the first nonprofit organization to offer iPhone streaming.

"We are always looking for ways that we can leverage technology to reach people where they are at," said Peter Thourson, New Hope's interactive developer. "[Now] users across the globe will be able to continue to attend church regardless of where they are." [, 6/19/09;, 6/30/09]

Leaders are readers! Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Ministry Today, Charisma and SpiritLed Woman all for $24. YES - I'm a leader!

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Discouragement can be a serious struggle.

    Guard Your Spirit Against These 4 Crippling Attacks

    Are you struggling this Valentine's Day with one of these discouraging issues?

  • Some of the toughest lessons reap the greatest rewards.

    10 Tough Lessons Every Pastor Should Remember in Ground-Shaking Trials

    One is that your suffering may turn out to be the highest compliment the Father ever gave you.

  • Why Many Christians Misunderstand This Crucial Leadership Trait

    Great leadership doesn't start with a great education, although that is incredibly valuable. ...

  • Worship leaders, keep your team's attitude in check.

    This Can Quickly Erode a Worship Team's Culture

    God has given us talent and He calls for excellence, but excellence with this is not honoring ...

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • Your Source of Unlimited Kingdom Energy and Power

    Jesus said that we can do greater works than He did and that He will do whatever we ask in His Name.

  • What reasons can you think of that leaders might not choose to delegate authority?

    7 Reasons Some Leaders Dump Delegation

    These could have a lot to do with stalled growth and low team morale.

  • A 'What's in it for me?' mentality could bring your church down.

    The Mentality That May Be Killing Your Church

    And we wonder why so many congregations are stagnated, plateaued or declining.

  • These seven responses can get you on the right track.

    Responding Like Jesus When Your Church Kicks You Out

    It's a pain that many in the ministry have felt at least once and maybe more.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders