the road ahead


Re Wired
December 15, 2008, 12:11 am
Filed under: business, ministry, spirituality

rewired-picRecently The Alban Institute issued an article talking about the Internet and the Church. The blinding speed of the internet’s impact on the local church is very important and significant for those who are involved in ministry to people of all ages.

From the study I was encouraged that for many the internet is the best way to connect to others. Here is the challenge. Can real community take place on the internet? Can Facebook become a powerful third place to gather with others and to enjoy community?

There are some very good examples of church’s that are doing a good job on line as part of their strategy for ministry. LifeChurchTV is a great example of a fully designed Internet Church experience. Recently the church covered a series on practical Atheism. In addition the church is working to integrate web communities to the local communities of the church.

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6 Comments so far
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Great possibilities for the use of the internet in fanning the flame of community! While I can definitely see many of the one anothers of the New Testament lived out through internet community, it seems that only a shadow of what God meant for community can be lived there. Hard to imagine the full expression of love one another, serve one another, or bear one another’s burdens being lived out without direct flesh to flesh connection – let alone greeting one another with a holy kiss! 🙂

Comment by wdn

The internet has flattened the world and the church along with it. It can serve as a source of encouragement, teaching, study, evangelism. I’m energized about what the church can do through the digital domain.

While we might not be able to greet one another with a holy kiss, we can bless someone far away with a holy digital touch that otherwise, he would’ve never gotten.

Maurilio

Comment by Maurilio Amoim

What an opportunity for creative, multi-level outreaches via Internet thru target groups or felt-need topics. We must keep in mind, though, the isolation and level of unreality that living on the Net can instill in some personalities. While wired outreach and communication are a crucial part of our world, nothing compares to one-to-one caring, communication, and personal touch. Let’s work diligently at both but never diminish the importance and effectiveness of an in-person arm around the shoulder.

Comment by djb

I think the internet is a great place to find information, interact with people who are not in our community and conduct transactions. I am very discouraged that this tool would take the place of true community or church attendace. I am scared of how we could use this tool to not even have personal face to face contact with people let alone serve in God’s church.

Here is what could happen if we are not careful:

Fewer mission trips because we can witness and share Jesus online.

Never attend a worship service because we can watch preaching & teaching online and tithe through automatic withdrawl.

Never look into the eyes of the hurting person looking for Christ.

Never shake the hand or hug the person who comes to know Christ as Savior. How do you baptize online? Ship water and have them pour it on their head. What happens to emersion?

Never hold a print version of God’s word because it is on an Ipod or online. What would Martin Luther think of this? There is something about hearing the pages turn by believers in a church when looking for scripture.

Never hearing the true voices of worshippers sing praises to the Lord live. Think of how sweet that sounds when you are standing in person.

Never being able to bow down at an altar with a fellow believer touching their back or shoulder as you pray softly for them.

Never handing a tissue to a believer as they pray and cry for their family members or life’s problems.

Never being able to shake the hand of your pastor, holding his hand tight saying thank you for speaking to my heart.

I hope someone may read this who is only participating in church online will try the real thing.

I am so glad my church has an online presence to give people information. It does help our members know about services times, classes available and changes in normal activities. I am glad for the videos online and the podcasts. But in NO way does my church want the internet to take the place of being there in person.

Comment by Marsha Pursley

The internet perhaps can be viewed in two ways! Much of what the aforementioned comments note.

However, is this God’s doing?? Is this solely man’s doing?? Or is God allowing this in His Sovereignity?? I would suggest the later! Romans 1
discusses a falling away at the last half of the chapter; and much of this occurs on the internet.

Can goods things come from this. Yes. People can be Truefaced, be unmasked, share their deepest, troublesome heartaches. There is no face to face confrontation, perhaps more acceptance, grace and mercy. This would be the second way!

The Old Testament shares of the Tower of Babel, folks talking, thinking, being the same, with the ultimate goal of surpassing God’s heavens. Is the internet the new, “Babel”?

Look at the many forums we as Christians have joined, we Facebook, Facepaint (:>), we Twitter, we Google, we Yahoo, we Blog and are Blogged, we enjoy these, and yes they are fun. More than half of what I know about folks on my Facebook, I learned from We participate, is there a line to be drawn?? Is this something to be judged and stayed away from??

Comment by David Brownlee

MLuRQ8 Thanks for good post

Comment by johnny




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