Friday, January 16, 2015


What Is Church?

Ed Stetzer @ CT:
Come on—it's 2014.

Every church should have an online presence.

Your church people and your community are there, so you should be as well. But that is different than referring to something that happens via your website as a "church."

Can an online gathering of Christians be classified as a church? Let's think through this by asking five questions.

If a church is not online, then it is not actually engaging the culture. A church needs to be where the people gather and they are online and on social media sites.
He goes on and concludes:
As we continue down the path forged by the digital revolution, New Testament churches are going to function within community that includes online aspects. They'll do it primarily in person, but they'll also have online opportunities and an online outreach. Currently, some churches have an Internet pastor to serve those participating online. This role will only become more prominent.

Ideally, churches will have an online presence, but will strongly encourage life-on-life interaction where social media enhances rather than excuses community. This can be one more tool that we have to introduce people to Jesus Christ and His church. It is not going away anytime soon, so we cannot just ignore it. Instead, we need to learn how to use it for God's glory. If not, we will become increasingly irrelevant in a world shaped by the Internet.
Stetzer is ussually smarter than this. This illustrates the greatest problem with Evangelicalism - it confuses one thing the church is supposed to do (evangelism) with "the church." He is absolutely correct in saying Christians HAVE to be online to engage the online culture - but that is not the church - it is a necessity to do evangelism in that culture.

The church not only does evangelism (making new Christians) - it helps old Christians mature - it feed the poor and otherwise helps the needy - it is a place for scholarship - it delivers sacrament (IMPOSSIBLE ONLINE!) - it educates - it is culturally and politically active. The church is God's presence in the world - that's a pretty tall order.

Church cannot possibly be on line - evangelism can begin on line, but church - never.


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