As with broadcasting and print media, evangelical Christians have been among the religious groups most strongly investing in the new media.
Charisma magazine (May) highlights some of these innovations, noting how evangelical technological entrepreneurship parallels and in some cases influences new media developments. These include evangelism efforts, such as LifeChurch.tv (the largest Internet-based church with 13 physical campuses in the U.S. and 60,000 online participants) and the France-based Jesus.net, which provides a map on its website showing where the latest conversions have occurred.
Another leading area of development is digital Bibles, such as YouVersion.com, which can be downloaded on mobile devices, and Glo Bible—interactive scriptures that could “fill church pews with iPads instead of Bibles,” writes Troy Anderson. With the growing trend of churches using text messaging, services such as Jarbyco.com allow worshippers to interact with their leaders through church websites. Similar to Twitter, Jarbyco.com allows congregants to ask questions of the pastor, and church leaders to send text messages to their members.
Anderson reports that new digital sound technology, known only as “No. 17,” transforms music and voice recordings into “real-life acoustical events.” Inventor Barry Goldfarb claims that God gave him a special vision to create a sound system that will transform churches and ministries. “When a pastor speaks, it will sound to everyone like he’s talking right in front of them, but quietly,” said Goldfarb. Another innovation, VAV Media, was started by a Christian leader and inventor, Helen Hwang, and helps churches and ministries create their own mini-Internet TV stations that incorporate the interactivity of Twitter and Facebook.