There is no doubt that the last 15 years have served to move the Internet and its associated tools and online “relationships” to the center of American lives and American ways of interacting with each other. It’s also no secret that many unchurched and dechurched Americans have emotions about church that range from disconnected interest, to pain and resentment, to outright fear. Factors ranging from scandal to the efforts of the enemy have contributed to making it difficult for many to walk in the doors of the church “that first time.”
Additionally, the very concept of the local church is built on the foundational teaching and belief that both proximity and human witness are critical components of attracting the unchurched to walk in the doors. So if more and more people are spending more and more of their lives online, it follows that establishing “local” churches “where people are” online, can be one part of a strategy to reach the unchurched and dechurched and bring them into fellowship and church membership.
And for church members who are temporarily out-of-town, or unable to attend services for health or weather reasons, a community worship experience can serve to keep them not only up-to-date on church teaching, but also in fellowship with church membership and pastoral resources.
I agree and thanks for your post. May I add that the challenge for those like you who see this possibility is to get fellow ministers to also see the potential and possibility of using the web, then of course obtaining the skills to use it to make the web the kingdom of our Lord and Christ would be the next essential step.
Its possble, but I have many friends in the ministry who hang out of facebook while leaving their websites high and dry. The spiritual responsibiilty as stewards of the web is not something many would consider, but a wise investement with our time into worth while projects can reap a mighty harvest if we pursue it it due season.
The making of joint partnerships with fellow preachers online is something preachers should consider to make global evanglism possible.
The Lord bless you.