Is Online Church Really church? No is it REALLY church?
Chris Brogan, social media marketing guru and self confessed spiritual seeker attended Lifechurch.tv this weekend and blogged about it.
“Some of you might be thinking that an online church might feel cold. On the contrary, I felt totally warm and invited. Lots and lots of people were chatting in the live chat window. There were people standing by for live prayer online. There were tons of people on Twitter watching the chatter, too. It was VERY alive.”
43 people commented on his original post, which you can read here.
Many of the comments centered around the question of whether online church was equal to or similar to offline church (did you catch the homo-ousias/homoi-ousias joke in there? read here if you feel left out):
“I don’t think it can replace the face-to-face interactions of a local church, but it’s a great way to spread the word and attract people to the circle.”
“As a member of a small (300) member rural church, we have found our website to be one of our greatest outreach tools. Our proximity to a military base provides an influx of new members on a regular basis, and we have found that most of them locate us through the website.”
“I hope that this is not what’s next. The important part about going to church for me is the community, the opportunity to sit and think over the sermon, and the time for peaceful reflection. I don’t think that you could get the same thing from sitting looking at a computer screen.”
“I’ve checked this out a few times and enjoyed the experience. Really cool to realize that a “church” originating in Oklahoma can reach and connect folks around the globe. I’ve “attended” alongside individuals from India, China, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and all over North America.”
I’ve seen online church work both as a complement and supplement to offline church. My guess is when we see strong use cases for both many of us can stop wondering if it’s one or the other.
What are your thoughts about church online?