digital awakening
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2GIo BibIe
An invention that could fill church pews with people reading iPads instead of Bibles, the interactive Glo Bible brings God’s Word to life with high-definition video and documentaries, high-resolution images, maps users can zoom in on, 360-degree virtual tours and many other features. 

Recently released by Zondervan, the groundbreaking Glo Bible combines traditional Bible text with interactive materials, allowing people to see and feel the Bible rather than just read it. The three-DVD set costs about $79 and features five different lenses for easy navigation. The Bible, atlas, timeline, media and topical features create an entirely new experience through the digital exploration of the biblical world.

Glo users have the ability to take virtual reality tours of Jerusalem in the times of Christ then view how it appears today, explore the Sistine Chapel in high definition or customize a reading plan according to their interests. The five lenses also filter content in ways never before possible because searches are based on “tags.” A user can quickly, visually and intuitively conduct a complicated search, such as finding all the Scriptures that feature what Jesus had to say on the subject of redemption during the Passover Week in Jerusalem.

Nelson Saba, Glo co-creator and chief executive officer of Immersion Digital in Orlando, Fla., says Glo explores the incredible potential of interactive media, the preferred media of the new generations. “If you look at biblical literacy among the younger generations, it’s very, very low because most of what you have today in terms of digital Bibles is geared toward Bible students and scholars, but Glo is geared to really be the alternative to the paper Bible,” Saba says. “This generation would prefer to go to church with an iPad running Glo, and that’s one of the platforms we are targeting.”

By offering the Bible in a format younger generations are accustomed to, Saba says he hopes the Glo Bible will bring fathers and sons, and mothers and daughters, together to read God’s Word. “The big hope I have with this product is [that] we’ll re-engage this generation and bring them back to the Bible like the older generations,” Saba says.

 

3.  Jarbyco.com
Specializing in text messaging, Jarbyco.com helps churches modify their Web pages so church members can text questions to the pastor during services, making church more interactive. The Chicago-based firm also gives church leaders the ability to send text messages to their congregations. No special software or hardware is required, and churches can manage the text messaging through the church Web page.

“We call it text-to-screen, or text Q & A, where the congregation, if they have questions about what the pastor is speaking about, can ask questions of the pastor,” says Jarbyco.com “textologist” Michael Forsberg. “It’s sort of like digital hand-raising. The associate pastor or production team can filter through the questions and select one—maybe overlapping ones that speak closely to the sermon—and the pastor can dig a little deeper into what people are questioning or are curious about in the message.”

A company founded in the summer of 2008, Jarbyco.com has already helped more than 130 churches nationwide find text messaging solutions. With costs ranging as low as $150 per month, the service is especially popular among church youth who like to give their feedback and keep up-to-date on church announcements via text messages, Forsberg says.

“In one way, when churches utilize text-messaging, they are speaking the language of the millennials,” Forsberg says. “Instead of seeing the church as an archaic place with pews and hymnals, they see it as a new place for community, which kind of shatters their previous notions of what the church was for them growing up. As churches utilize new methods of interactive media, online video- and Web-casting, Twitter, Facebook and texting, it allows them to engage with the millennials outside of the church walls.”

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