Monday, November 12, 2007

The virtual church, part two

i don't know all the reasons why i'm stuck on this right now, but i just can't let it go...

i read an article in usa today this morning talking about the rise in church websites. it said that over 88% of churches over 200 have websites and many of them are using their sites as a way to recruit new members.

the article, just like the ongoing discussion among church leaders, debates some of the pros and cons building cyber connections. the fear is that people are already disconnected enough...and don't need an even easier way of keeping their distance. the upside is the willingness to face the reality that this is a digital age and people will simply use the most convenient and efficient way possible to make good decisions.

apparently, smart churches are using the web to showcase who they are and give discriminating church shoppers a clear and appealing look at their product. the truth is, i don't particularly want to be a pastor of a dumb church, so we are rethinking our website...since we are part of the 88%. here's what i'm also thinking:

i believe that jesus is the son of God, incarnate, sinless, killed, buried, raised from the dead, the perfect atonement for my pathetic life, giver of purpose, the key to the mystery of life and the king who will return and reign for eternity. i also believe that the church is his holy bride, his body, God's chosen for the purpose of living out his priorities and message for all of history.

with that said, it kind of hacks me off that there are people who say they believe this stuff, but don't care enough to invest themselves particularly deep into friendships with others who believe this stuff. consequently, we shop for churches.'s only monday!

1 comment:

Binxy said...

Every church should have a solid web presence that includes a lot of rotating content, useful tools that interact with what the church is doing (calendars, outlines, downloadable sermons, necessary forms, etc.)

...but I don't think we should promote an internet-only church environment as it encourages people to become too isolated from others in their "church", to uninvolved outside of the "fishbowl" and to fake with themselves and with others.

Being in a 3-D church is difficult. You have to learn how to work with others effectively, how to not let people push your buttons and how to appreciate everyone for the unique way God wired them. But the payoff of championing those things is tremendous and the resulting work that is done is amazing.

You simply do not have the obligation or the opportunity to mesh as a true functional body of believers inside of a virtual church as you do within a 3-D church.