Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Virtual church

i was doing some online reading the other morning and i came across this website. it's an internet church. you can sit in the confines of your comfortable recliner and do church. you can watch and listen to the music. you can watch and hear the preacher. you can give your offering online. you can even go into the virtual lobby and meet people by having live chats with others you are doing church with. amazing.

at first glance, it seems so wrong. but times have changed. people have changed. we live in a culture of people that connect through their computers. myspace. facebook. personal websites. bloggers who have their own private audiences. i'm still processing this, but i can't help but think that this could be the perfect front door for a disconnected digital generation.

while i'm thinking, here's a question: why do people come to church buildings on sundays if they have no real intention of entering into meaningful, honest, committed friendships? what's the point? if all you are looking for is a sermon, some music, and a place to give your money, why bother wasting the gas? maybe the internet church is just what you're looking for...

3 comments:

Nicole said...

Maybe people feel freer to be themselves and be genuine in an online church, that they are less likely to be judged since they're not face to face with others? I still prefer being in a church with others, praising with them and meeting new people and seeing old friends; I don't think online church would work for me. I guess it might for some, though.

P.S.- Hi, Mike!

Binxy said...

People choose virtual church because of these two words - Psychic Distance. With an online church you are in complete control of you and what you do, what you are asked to do and how things affect you. You never have to plug into something unless you want to. You aren't necessarily burdened by the needs of others and you are less likely to have to live out your life showing that you Love God, Love Others.

Instead in a virtual church the new stained glass barriers are the walls built around our capacity to care and be cared for.

When you are in church IRL - people happen. They are the one tangible that often say/do, don't say/don't do things that by no intention affect someone else.

Barna states that most people leave a church because of 2-3 people...

...Yet how much research is done to figure out why people come to church, STAY in a church and in this case - even plug into a church that they can't just tune out and log off of.

As soon as we all recognize that we are simply "Divine Nobodies" (thanks for the book, Jim Palmer) - we will begin to shed religion to find God, break the stained glass barriers in order to serve Him and leave the building to really belong to the body of Christ.

Plus, virtual hugs can't compare to the real deal.

Greg said...

So interesting. I had heard they were doing that, but forgot. I think I'm going to attend and see what it is like- well, at least once!

See you man!