It is hard to believe but it is already happening. Where else but in the land of eternal innovation – USA? Read this report and let me know what you think of a church using this as an outreach to this internet-savvy generation; as a supplement(not substitute) to actual community.
The Internet has become the hottest place to build a church. A growing number of congregations are creating Internet offshoots that go far beyond streaming weekly services. The sites are fully interactive with a dedicated Internet pastor, live chat in an online “lobby,” Bible study, 1-on-1 prayer through IM and communion. (Viewers use their own bread and wine or juice.) On one site, viewers can click on a tab during worship to accept Christ as their Savior. Flamingo Road Church, based in Cooper City, Fla., twice conducted long-distance baptisms through the Internet. The move online is forcing Christians to re-examine their idea of church. It’s a complex discussion involving theology, tradition and cultural expectations of how Christians should worship and relate. Even developers of Internet church sites disagree over how far they should go. The sites share the same basic approach: rock-style worship music and a sermon recorded at the in-person weekend service that is quickly mixed with live or recorded greetings expressly for online viewers. The phenomenon is so new that no one has an exact count of interactive online campuses. The Leadership Network has found at least 40.
1) What uses do you see in this as the Christian population ages and the shut-ins increase in number?
2) Are there theological “trespasses” or is it all a matter of variable “methodology/culture”?
3) Can there be true ministry and fellowhip without handshakes and physical presence?
4) Which church in Singapore have the resources and philosophy of ministry in place to make this internet “church plant” offshoot a reality in Singapore?
5) What if this technology could be combined to create an internet church hub with a house church network (in Singapore and beyond) to dispense with the need for expansive and expensive church buildings?
Hmm…all kinds of possibilities and questions running through my mind as I read the above report.