I was discussing virtual church with some folks over the weekend, and found myself actually defending it! I have been a consistent source of curmudgeonry in class this semester, as I perceive the virtual church is conducting a hostile takeover of the brick-and-mortar church I love so much. It is not that I have been wholly opposed to churches engaging in online ministry; it is simply that I saw virtual church as merely supplementary, or a "remedial" form of church useful only so long as people finally saw their way to "real" churches Sunday morning. The very fact that I am in this class and fascinated by my friends' snazzy videos and insightful blogs belies my interest in online ministry and how church life may be drastically different in the not-so-distant future.
So when some folks were discussing virtual church (at my insistence), it became aparent to me that felt defensive as I listened to their banter. "What's the point, it's not even real anyway." "People are just too lazy to get out of bed Sunday mornings." "No way people are paying attention to their computer screens as much as in the real sanctuary."
All things I've thought or said since taking this class.
So while I'm not sold out on the virtual church being "as good" as traditional, locational, physical church houses, I cannot allow others to tear it down: 1) to the point of being completely ineffective, and 2) without ever having looked into the matter themselves.
God keep us from jumping to conclusions before considering as many factors as possible.
Proverbs 18:13: "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him."