Have You Heard of Online Church?

Online Church Pic

Over the past year, God has really been impressing on me the opportunities to spread the Gospel online.  I started hearing about Online Church, thought it was interesting, but did not put much stock in it.  Then an interesting thing happen.  I began experiencing the positive impact of an online community.

Over a year ago, while on a mission trip, both a missionary and a friend, who was with me on the trip, mentioned Michael Hyatt to me.  I started reading his blog and listening to his podcast.  I also read his book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, which is all about building an online community, what Hyatt calls a personal platform, in order to promote a product, service, or cause.

The MichaelHyatt.com platform has begun to impact my life personally, professionally and even spiritually.  He is a Christian and talks regularly about his faith. What hit me though, was this question, “Why not do this, but with church?”

This may sound crazy to you, but many people are already doing it.  Of course, a lot of these people are connecting with an online church community that is part of a physical megachurch.  However, I think there may be potential for the average church to get in on this.

Some of the questions that must be considered are:

  • Can you do church online?  Does this count?
  • Is this a good thing or hurting real discipleship?
  • Is this encouraging community or individualism?
  • Does this furthur the Great Commission?
  • Are people growing in their relationship with Christ?
  • Can people connect meaningfully with other Christians in community?
  • Is outreach and missions a feasible priority?

I have opinions on some of these but am still processing the whole idea.  Later this month I am headed to eConnect, a conference designed to help churches and ministries use online tools to spread the Gospel.  I look forward to hearing what God is doing in other places and seeing the future potential of online church and ministry.

What advantages do you see to doing church online?  Please share in the comments section.

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8 Responses to Have You Heard of Online Church?

  1. Matt Lockwood says:

    Think it’s an interesting idea and one I also recently thought of, but more towards the discipling/mentoring aspect. I think it would have some advantages towards reaching some of the unchurched and some who aren’t the biggest fans of “going” to church, but the biggest concern I can think of would be that it would seem to possibly be more impersonal than anything, making me wonder if a deep relationship w/preacher or mentor would happen, and if it would be able to foster the close relationship w/God, since that’s the main purpose. Just my two cents- look forward to hearing others and suggestions!

    • Adam Suter says:

      Me too, Matt. I’m definitely not thinking that church is only about an event. Certainly you could put messages and worship online, but building a growing healthy community online would be key. The reason I find the whole idea fascinating is because I think discipleship is a daily activity. Most people are not connected to their church daily, though. So I see technology as possibly filling that gap.

  2. Kathy Bodenheimer says:

    i think it a good idea. You could reach people who are not sociable but do want to be fed spiritually. Also shutins and elderly would definitely benefit. It is not for everyone but neither is a physical church for everyone. Definitely something to think about!

    • Adam Suter says:

      Absolutely, Kathy. Ironically some people tend to be more honest, open and social on Facebook and Twitter than in person. It is something to think about. I’ll post an update after my trip.

  3. I’m excited to hear you start your journey! I’d encourage you to go for it, let’s not segregate ourselves from doing ministry online! Some resources for you:

    http://jaykranda.com

    http://socialmediachurch.net

    http://livecampus.io

  4. Adam Suter says:

    Thanks Wes. I’m sure I’ll have all kinds of questions after the eConnect conference.

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