Today I was doing some research regarding online discipleship and came across a past Think Christian discussion. This discussion talks about how our culture is becoming "high touch" in light of its rapid movement toward being "high tech." It also stated that, for that reason, discipleship can not happen effectively online.
At what point is face to face needed? required? to live a life “in a bubble” called “virtual space” means little if there is not community developed – how can i pick you up and help dust you off if the only way i can speak with you is in a chat room, or in a email? How can you help me with a daily struggle to keep right with God, if all i have is a avatar and text messaging?[Quote from an email by John Naisbitt]First, lets define online discipleship. Christian discipleship is the process of encouraging and facilitating growth toward being more like Christ in your own life or the life of another. So then, online discipleship would be using the tools of the Internet to encourage and facilitate growth toward being more like Christ.
I agree with John Naisbitt that as we become more “high tech,” we will crave more “high touch” relationships. That’s why I think “virtual church” is an oxymoron.
I agree that without community, discipleship can not be nearly as effective. But does that community absolutely need to be face-to-face? In today's world of social networking, online discussions, blogs, Second Life, and online churches, do you think it is possible for true discipleship to happen online?
If so, What are some examples you've seen online that are effective at doing this?