Written by Jase Clamp Sunday, 04 July 2010 17:57
Wikipedia is one of the top ten largest and most used websites on the internet. They are the largest provider of content on the internet. The majority of other highly used sites (like Google) just let you search content. Wikipedia has over 20 million pages of content.
I have to admit I've always been facinated by the Church. There are such a large number of churches in the United States. 100s of 1000s of pastors throughout the country put significant effort into preparing a sermon each week. The sermon lasts 20 to 40 minutes on average and combines Biblical perspecives with current events. I would just take a rough guess that for every official news source, radio, tv, newspaper reporter, even novice blogger, there are at least 10 more pastors.
I was driving around recently and passed a church. I've never been into the church and I probably never will because I'm already engaged elsewhere. Seeing that large stone building really reinforced to me how closed churches can be right now when it comes to information, giving people open access to the information divulged therein on a weekly basis. It's not like they are trying to be closed, I don't think the tools are readily available enough right now to make churches as open as I'm contemplating here.
So how would I change that?
Very simple concept...
100 words per minute.
The shortest sermon = 20 minutes
250 words per page.
Roughly 300,000 churches in the United States.
If 20% of churches participated in having just their Sunday morning services transcribed to text, in one week there would be half a million pages of content. Just in one week. It would take less than one year (48 weeks) for the Church to outpace Wikipedia and be the largest provider of content on the Internet. I think that is pretty remarkable. These are just based on 20% involvement with 20 minute sermons at one sermon per week. Most churches have 2-3 sermons per week, most are longer than 20 minutes. In all reality, based on 20% involvement, it would be more like six months for the Church to be the largest provider of content on the web.
All Biblical perspectives on current events. I think that is pretty amazing. I've often thought what a great resource the collective messages throughout the United States would be if they were all searchable (and commentable and editable and discussable) in plain text. It just seems such a waste to me that they all get read out and never utilized again. Now if we could only have a technology that makes this possible.