“It’s simple technology — it’s about communication,” he said.
Another feature is that children and parents use a computer to check in to Kingdom Kids, where children play and learn. Parents have a security card that’s scanned; no one else may pick up that child.
For training sessions, Vineyard uses the “Go to Meetings” software on a computer; attendees in Danville, for example, can see and communicate with trainers in another city.
In addition, the church uses Facebook — http://www.facebook.com/vineyarddanville — and a website — http://www.thevineyardchurch.us/.
Its newsletter, V-News, is a video e-mail that helps keep people informed and links the five campuses. Some people prefer to watch a video rather than read an article, and V-News includes a mixture of videos, such as one from a weekend service.
Sorrell noted that people also may pay their tithes through the website’s online giving program.
Another feature is that Vineyard is showing History Channel’s “The Bible” series each Sunday night on its big screen; discussions take place during the commercials. About 50 people have been attending those sessions.
Four employees in Urbana and tech people in Danville keep all of the technological tools running smoothly.
Reaching the people
While the high-tech world doesn’t appeal to everyone, Sorrell said the people who attend Vineyard like it. “We’re speaking a language that people like,” he said.
“You have the high tech and the high touch. We want to participate in both,” he said.
For example, using technology frees up time for Sorrell to visit with people.
“This allows me to focus on important things — the people. It allows us to invest time in people,” he said.
Last summer, he and church members gave out hot dogs at the Danville Mass Transit transfer station — with no signs or literature, just food for people waiting on buses.