So, I’m toying with the idea of forming an internet church; consider this post somewhat R & D.
Now, we’ve had the COVID lockdowns, and those are somewhat loosening up. A lot of churches went digital (or closed down) during those, and many now have a greater capacity for digital churching.
Yet a lot of what I see with that is detachment; people aren’t engaged, and really can’t be much in the old format of TV church. In some ways for the famiky its like house church since its at home, but there’s no fellowship, no active participation in ministry, etc.
Het it seems like (gauging from a number of churches I’ve been to) that most of them are somewhat disengauged generally. I mean, typically you have more opportunity to fellowship before/ after the service but as far as active participation in ministry, there’s little. Also the fellowship ussually remains strictly at church conversation, people seem to rarely do fellowship meals afterward, or that sort of thing. (One local church we’ve gone to sometimes has a meal every other week after the service, which I think is pretty cool.) That is: community? Well… I don’t see that much of it happening at the local church level where I’m at (maybe that’s different for you?).
So… online church… woukd it be possible to form an online community – like, actual community? It’s easy enough to livestream, or post a sermon video, or a worship set, but could an online community-oriented church work? I suppose there would be skype sessions that could be used as prayer meetings… for that matter could the message be skyped instead of livestreamed? (Say, assuming you wanted a more conversational format in the message (for smaller groups)?)
I think it could be cool to have an expanded, global community church, which the internet forum would be able to do. It would need to be format appropriate, and make use of the technology available…
Personally, I think that ministry is all about relationship, and church is largely about community, and the synergy of believers coming together to worship together and build eachother up.
How is it then brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all thigs be done unto edifying. (1 Cor. 14:26)
Yet typically online church seems to be little involved; watch the stream, have a sandwich & move on.
Is it possible to have a community church online? Something more than a posted message, or a livestreamed youtube Q & A?