One of our recent polls asked for your general thoughts about online church. The vast majority of you said you’d like online church to disappear from our culture just like hypercolor t-shirts. It’s an argument I understand. There is a lot of debate on whether online community is as genuine as in person relationships.
And good number of folks say they’d try it if their church offered it. Beyond that there were a handful of folks who have tried it out and even a few who go to online church regularly.
In general, I’m not opposed to online church. I look to LifeChurch.tv as a prime example of how this sort of ministry can work well. They were the first church, I believe, to enter the Second Life world. (Second Life in an online fantasy world where people can go, create an avatar and interact with other virtual people.) LifeChurch.tv built a virtual church there where they have regular attendees who have created a community. (And many of them tithe regularly.) I think it’s fair to say there are people in that group that may have never gone tochurch if it weren’t there online.
Beyond Second Life, LifeChurch.tv is like many others who stream services online. In fact they look at online as one of their multi-site campuses. I know churches, including my own, who resist putting worship services online even thought they have the technology because they believe if it’s online people will quit coming to the physical church building. Studies show this isn’t typically how it works out. Again the online crowd is usually people who wouldn’t have attended a church building in person.
For me, using online tools are just another way to build the Kingdom.
Here’s your chance to give your opinion beyond the poll. What are your thoughts on online worship services?