Christianity takes a step toward the future with online resources

Online church services, new software, and audio and visual podcast streaming from various ministry websites are becoming a convenient way for people to have their fill of scripture and prayer without leaving their homes.

Podcasts and Bible software are growing in popularity.

According to socialmediaexaminer.com, Logos Research Systems created the Logos Bible Software that has expanded greatly.

“Since opening in 1992,” the website said, “Logos Research Systems, Inc. has grown from a couple of programmers in a basement into the largest developer of Bible software and a worldwide leader in multilingual electronic publishing.”

Margaret Beall, a local resident also embraces the social media approach to modern Christianity.

“I listen to the audio podcasts from the Crossing Church,” Beall, a subscriber, said. “It’s something I have never done before because I usually attend the regular services. I heard about it from my friends. But the podcasts fit with my busy schedule and I keep them right on my iTunes so I can listen to them anytime.”

 Beall said the podcasts are fantastic. “Later, I can go back and mark up my Bible if I want. It is nice to be able to go back to the lessons.”

The Crossing Church is in Tampa and holds Sunday services at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m.

Churches and campus ministries are embracing the future by offering technological ways to spread their message of salvation.

“I use the online podcasts and streaming videos all the time,” Allison Hazelbaker, a student and member of Cornerstone Christian Church at USF, said. “There is a pastor I love who preaches from Venice, Fla. and I like to listen to him while I get ready for work and things like that. I also like the podcast because you can download them on your iPod and listen whenever you need a pick-me-up, walking to class or in the car.”

Cornerstone Christian Church is a ministry at USF that holds various Bible studies on and around campus. They also hold Sunday services that are open to the public and students.

Newest software for Christian Bible study. Photo from e-Sword.net

Each week they give away copies of the Bible to help spread the word of God. Along with these Bibles, the church offers software to encourage further study.

“I found some helpful online tools on the Cornerstone website,” Hazelbaker said. “They are not podcasts but they really do enhance the services and the passages of scripture we read. I usually spend a significant amount of time online just reviewing the verses. I use the e-Sword program.”

The church offers a PC Study Bible software program and e-Sword Bible software that can be found online. A new version of the PC Study Bible was just released.

“Computer software has changed the way we can study the word of God,” Rick Meyers, creator of e-Sword, said on the company’s website.

Meyers said that since January 2011 there have been “over 3.5 million downloads of e-Sword, for a grand total of over 15 million downloads. And e-Sword has been downloaded in 225 countries around the world.”

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