• LifeChurch Creates a Virtual Church on Second Life

    I’m writing this for the benefit of my friends and the masses that are similar to my friends – i.e., those who have no clue about the latest and greatest news on the Web. I’ve briefly mentioned Second Life before, so use the site search engine on the right to find the other post.

    Second Life is no joke. You may mock people who join online communities, but it is the wave of the future. When Reuters creates a website for the sole purpose of covering virtual community news, you know it’s worth a second glance.

    LifeChurch, an Edmond, Oklahoma based church, is one of approximately twenty churches that have already bought Second Life real estate and formed virtual churches. The idea is to reach people wherever they may be.

    My first reaction was that there’s no way a virtual church will thrive as an actual community of believers or as a successful evangelistic tool. I thought of the Christians who would jump on the Second Life bandwagon under the guise of “reaching the lost”, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them.

    Perhaps I was too hasty. I’ve joined Second Life and look forward to seeing the sites, so to speak (that is, if I ever complete the stupid training exercises!). Unlike other Christians, I’m not a member for any reason other than sheer work-related curiosity. Too many SEO and interactive marketing companies are still playing catch up by joining MySpace. Forget that. MySpace is old news. It’s so old, in fact, that I don’t waste my time on it unless I want to search for new music. That is the #1 contribution MySpace made to my life: free and convenient access to music sampling.

    Second Life represents Web 3.0 technology. It’s not been said much, but it’s true. Virtual communities are the new frontier (to be followed shortly, no doubt, by 3-D holographic virtual communities). You don’t have to participate, and you won’t be “less cool” if you don’t, but you will be clueless.

    And for those of you who still think Second Life is “just a game”, Second Life users spent nearly 1.5 million dollars within the past 24 hours (according to Reuters). Major brand names, including sportswear and automobile manufacturers have swept in to take advantage of the virtual advertising space.

    This whole thing is huge. You’ll see. Soon enough Second Life will have its own doomsday prophets, referring to it as the path to Armageddon and the Antichrist… I know it sounds premature, but it’ll happen. I have absolute faith in the paranoia of the public.

    Though I have to say, be careful if you decide to venture out into the virtual space of Second Life. There is a lot of X-rated stuff going on there that can sneak up on you. That’s actually one of the main reasons why LifeChurch has a presence there. They know that it’s a place for people to hide their sins, and they hope to be a light in the virtual darkness. Kudos to them for trying. As long as they don’t attempt to become the virtual TBN, I wish them the best.