Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Prayground.tv is an online experiential prayer exercise. It is designed to facilitate personal expression and creativity, high user interactivity, and conversation among peers in order to help postmoderns engage spirituality that is both individual and communal. The Internet has quickly become the voice for virtual community and personal expression and prayground.tv is a helpful tool in exploring the tension between the communityoriented teachings of Jesus while helping each user internalize those teachings.
Section Two will show that, based on external data and outside sources, this dichotomy is especially real in a postmodern context and needs to be addressed. Here I will demonstrate the validity of the Internet as a medium for navigating the tension between community and individuality.
In Section Three I will explore other websites that offer potential responses to this tension of individuality and community. I will evaluate other websites providing online spiritual experiences, as well as social networking sites purporting to produce community on the web.
In Section Four I will substantiate my claims by presenting materials from computing sciences and multiple-intelligence theory, along with thoughts on Christian spirituality in a postmodern world. There are legitimate forms of community occurring online, many of which have not been recognized by the church, and I will show that an online experience of faith simultaneously values individual preferences while drawing people together in prayer and conversation.
In Section Five I will present testimonials and some observations from a working prototype of prayground.tv. These will show how prayground.tv provides a practical solution to the ministry problem and facilitates a sense of community and personal encounter.
The Church must find a way to avoid deteriorating into a completely isolationist experience of faith. Too often, I hear Christians express their belief that faith is primarily-if not exclusively-individual, and we must bring that sense of individuality back into harmony with biblical community in order to be healthy, in order to be whole. Likewise, we cannot simply assign community as a remedy to personal crisis and faith. There must remain a tension, wherein the community and the individuality of every believer hold us together as ourselves. In the new world, Church can string us together without becoming a noose.
McDonald, David, "Prayground.tv: Penultimate Written Statement" (2006). Doctor of Ministry. 151.