Thanks to the internet, we can now do things effortlessly from the comfort of our home, including attending church services. Originally, the main purpose of the internet in the church is to supplement the traditional form of Christian worship. It’s an extension of the traditional church delivered in a digital format (audio, video or social media) to your preferred device (laptop, desktop, mobile or television).
What is the future of the church?
As we continue to forge a strong digital revolution, the church will also have to join the revolution or be left behind. If the church is going to take the gospel to people and really step outside its walls, then it has to have an Internet component that allows it to be accessible from anyone, anytime, from anywhere in the world. With many churches offering online worship services and sermons how critical is the physical attendance in a church?
Online church broadens the reach of a local church. People who move out of a particular community or country can stay connected. People can tell friends and family who live in other cities to watch the services online as a means of spiritual outreach. Invalids can also attend church service without being physically present. There are stories of people all over the world becoming Christians by watching a church’s online services.
But the church transcends just getting and giving information about Christ. The church is a community of believers who share life together. Some of the tenets of Christianity – service, and love cannot be done in isolation. You cannot visit the poor in isolation, you can’t teach service and humility in isolation. Hence, the contrast between the online church and the physical church.
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day overtaking.” Hebrews 10:25 NIV
There is no hard and fast rule that makes online worship services good and bad. But one thing I know and we should all embrace is that it’s here to stay. Disregarding people’s desires to connect online isn’t going to work. Instead, we will all have to try to take advantage of the positives and be on guard for the negatives.