It’s true. It has its own fake services, its own fake Bible studies and its own fake classes that you can take (not really). It says that it exists in Oceanside, Ca. but it really exists in cyberspace, USA. It is a virtual church. It has a virtual congregation (as in it doesn’t exist) and it is a virtual 501c3 non-profit organization (as in it doesn’t really exist, has never officially been organized and doesn’t really have a 501c3 certification). I hired a virtual pastor, Pastor Nobody. Mr Nobody has been a part of our lives (or not) for many years. I first met him when my kids made a mess and I asked them, “Who made this mess?!” They told me “Nobody.” I thought he would be great to pastor this church since virtual pastors are great for virtual churches.
You may ask, “Why would anyone do this?” Here is the reason. If you are new to the Church Planting Maniac, let me tell you a little about what I do. I founded a ministry, Vituramis, that provides cloud software to ministries that allow them to function better, faster and more efficiently. We’ve provided everything from application systems to Campus ministry management systems to social networking environments for discipleship ministries. Lately we decided to focus on serving church planters. After all, church planters need help. They are undertaking a risky venture with few resources. We feel we can help. We have a church planting system already available (see cms.vituramis.org). Another more advanced system is on the way for larger churches. So why the fake church? I’m getting there. Patience, patience.
I frequently get asked if I can provide a demo system for people to play with. I wish I could but the fact is that you can’t get a real sense of the features from just messing around with a system. For that, you need a demo. Still, I totally understand how interactivity helps to understand something, thus the virtual church. (I named it Solid Ground because it sounds cool). This only shows the part laymen interact with, called Web-Access. It integrates with the church website. Web-Access is intentionally kept simple so that laymen don’t have a big learning curve. The part with the real power is the desktop App (meant for professionals in ministry) but that is a whole other demo. The point of this virtual church is to show how seamlessly the Web-Access integrates with your church website.
If you want to see the virtual church, go to cmsdemo.vituramis.org. Click the login link. (You don’t need a log-in and password.) Go to the Bible Studies page and click the link to add yourself to a Bible Study. Go to the classes page and add yourself to a Class. You’ll find the experience interesting. If you are a Church planter and you find it of interest, let me know via email or in the comments. Next week’s topic? Finding expertise.