Saturday, June 20, 2009

Can You REALLY go to Church Online?

After attending several churches online over the past few weeks, a number of questions could be raised:

  • Can you really count it as "going to church" by watching online?
  • Isn't it a challenge to build community online vs. being part of a local church?
  • Can God move through people through a computer? Can life change actually happen?
  • Can one grow in their spiritual life and disciplines online?
  • Can one give and contribute to a church online and have their entrusted resources put to good work?
  • Can I connect with people online and build relationships?
  • Could it be harder for some to stay "engaged" and drift away from having God as a priority in their lives?
  • Could this cause weekend attendance to go down (or continue to go down) at brick and mortar churches all across the globe?
  • Should church leaders invest time in understanding the online culture and the new opportunities and challenges it brings?
  • Will it be a normal reaction for many to immediately discount it as a fad and immediate try to find the negative?
  • Will it stir up fear?
  • Could it be revolutionary?
  • Can God handle both and move as He pleases?

I would answer "yes" to all these questions. More on this to come soon.... Your thoughts?


Tymma said...

I like the idea of online church... I go when I am able to but sometimes work causes me to miss church, but I am able to watch it live online.

I also like being able to go back and watch past services I had enjoyed.

I believe GOD can handle anything and everything. HE will make sure all are taken care of and have a personal relationship with HIM.

You never know maybe some people will connect better online -- than in person face to face.

Jenny Lincke MItchell said...

I think for some, traditional churches can be a bit intimidating, and for that group of people, on line church would be a good thing. If anyone is willing to listen and hear Gods Message, where it comes from shouldn't matter. I bleieve God moves through meny different venues and circumstance. Scary?? different?? tough to accept?? Yep, all those, but wasn't Jesus all of those things to folks once upon a time? Our Faith is in what, in another time, people crucified. I say remain Faithful no matter what or where, and God will shine through and will always reveal what his plan is for that circumstance.

Paul Wirth said...

I think it is amazing to use technology to the fullest for the Kingdom. I was out of town yesterday on vacation and was able to watch our service online. It was still moving and interactive via the chat feature that we use with our web cast. I thought it was amazing. We have seen our attendance grow as a result of online church because people are able to check it out before attending without feeling strange.

Adrian Jackson said...

I agree that there is a place for online church, but I definitely can't say it should ever serve as a replacement for a local community of believers. The more we tend to live our lives interacting through phones and the internet, the more we need the kind of interaction that comes from a brick and mortar church.

I think that online church is a great way to grow the community of believers but I don't like the thought of people moving from traditional church to online church. That strikes me as a step backward, or an attempt to escape the personal growth that comes from living in community.

I do believe that more churches need to enter the online church realm. I think a lot of more traditional churches will shun it as "not the way we do it", or if they do try it, won't do their homework and will go about it the wrong way and write it off as a failure as a result.

Glenda Farmer said...

You can "go" to a church in a building and not connect, not grow, not be held accountable, not be loved and not love.
I wont be 'going' to a church for the next 3 months because I will be skiing(lucky me) so I am exploring the very question you ask with my own blog .
'Course I could be wrong and have a link to Tim Kellor -why join a church.

Anonymous said...

I think online church has the potential to cause a very real and very near revival in the Church, because of the massive reach and access which are both unprecedented. I think as church leadership, we must ask how to facilitate the needs of those we draw online. What is the "next step?"

Anonymous said...

It was certainly interesting for me to read that article. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. BTW, try to add some photos :).