Your congregation may be just a click away, but some say the devil is in the details
By G. Jeffrey MacDonald
Across the country, fall is high season for “church shopping,” as people in search of a new faith community to call home set about the task of finding one. But that doesn’t mean they’re showing up, singing hymns, shaking hands and sampling doughnuts at a different church each week.
Instead, observers say, they’re visiting church websites and evaluating congregations — often without having actually met anyone at the church. And that has some church people worried that the practice of faith is getting ever more impersonal — and consequently less powerful — in an age driven by efficiency and impatience.
Church shoppers “used to have to go to the service, sit in the back row and watch,” says Tom Bandy, president of EasumBandy & Associates, a church consultancy. “The website has just replaced that. The color schemes, the formatting, the language, the music — those things powerfully reveal who they (in the church) want to come there and who’s going to be accepted there.”
As tools for reaching potential worshipers, church websites are growing in number and getting more sophisticated…. (continued)
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6 thoughts on “Go in Search of A Church By Way of The Web”
Ya, i agree with you. save all the trouble to drive all the way to the church.
I think you might have not read the full article or misunderstood the intent of me publishing this article in this entry.
But just to clarify, my intent was to highlight a “threat” that the Church faces with technology growing more intertwined with our lives especially the digi generation.
And for my personal opinion/stand: The web should be for mere information gathering purposes, and cannot be a substitute for a church experience- being in the presence of God and His people.
For example, would clubbers go to an actual disco to party or go to a virtual disco?
Great article… Food for thought… There are always pros and cons… Double-edged sword :p
But definitely, the relationship/fellowship factor can never be substituted by a virtual experience in the long term. I cannot imagine how a Christian life can be truly fruitful without the full deal. Virtual can be good for “level 1” research and information though.
Digress a little – I wonder about the views of Christians on what they consider a good church size…
Well, there are thousands to against it, there are also thousands are for it. Relationship/fellowship factor can never substituted by virtual experience, but how can one build a relationship/fellowship when there are no opening to such a network. From what I see through Andrew Liew and my friend(Charles), they build some good friendship through online then proceed to human contact.
Internet is just another media, just like Handphone. Without it, you may have some problems contact with people.
But over-rely on it, in the expenses of not going church is quite funny.
Without Internet, those people who don’t to go church, still can say, I can study Bible at home at myself (I had once a friend that claimed he can study Bible without going to church – he also claimed to be Christian).
Excuse is still a excuse, it more about the attitude of the people using the technology.
A wild guess I think, what demotivate them to go to church – they believe that Christian are choosen to go heaven, but they see the people around the church as if they are going hell. That may be a point that really drain them.
One of the way to “sia” (disassociate) with those Christian is through online Church sermon. I think the Church-going Christian must change their attitude too.
You can not influence anyone without accepting one another. If you can not influence, with or without Internet don’t make any different. Internet is just amplifier, without you speaking -there is still no voice coming out.
I think the harvest is already, but the workers are few. It is even worse that they don’t even bother to use the harvester (Internet).
To your digress question about a good church size…
Personally I think there is no definite “good size”.
Why? Cos if too small, it could mean it is not growing by multiplication AND if it is too big, it may reveal that it is not sending out enough workers in the missions field.
But big is always better cos in the church, people are the greatest resource. With unity, more can equate to doing more for God with diverse ministries.
Bigger also increases the chances of raising up more leaders for His Kingdom in order to impact our world.
So my answer/view: Bigger size is always better and should be that way, just as how a SME needs to grow into an MNC. But more importantly growth is biblical and should occur in any church- from a seed to a big tree.
Any other views?
I was pondering about this questions because I do see pros and cons in both… So just curious about your take in it…
I guess that’s why CGs are very important… It meets the gap of the “cons” of a big church… If a person does not have a close and progressive relationship with CG members, chances of leaving church may be higher…