Feb 28, 2012

Church Online?

Bruce Reyes-Chow and others are starting a new Presbyterian Church:
A Church Online

“For a while now I have had an inkling that the “social media amplifies the local church” paradigm could be flipped upside-down resulting in a powerful way to be church.” he explains. I find that to be very inspiring. And I also filled out the attached survey. Here are my answers:

Gut reaction to the formation of a church that meets online.
– Def worth exploring.

Concerns: Why a church that meets online IS NOT a good idea?
– Just as a local church can no longer be exclusively physical, a church cannot be exclusively online. I guess at least an annual meeting will evolve.

Possibilities: Why a church that meets online IS a great idea?
– Because it provides access to progressive Christianity in remote regions.

Questions: What issues must be addressed before launching?
– Can you allow dual membership with a local church or do folks need to cut physical ties in order to become an online member?

Besides a blog, Twitter and Facebook, what social media platforms do you think this church should use?
– Those can just be tools for outreach. It takes a proprietary online sanctuary that is a sacred space. A simple facebook group cannot accomplish that.

A great name for a church such as this would be…
– PC 2.0

One of the biggest concerns that I have would be a sacramental one. The signs of Baptism and Holy Communion ought to be tangible. In order to be a real mainline church you ought to be able to abide by ecumenical agreements on Eucharist and Baptism where the elements play a role that cannot be accomplished without physically touching them. I’m not saying an online church needs to be put on hold until beaming is invented but the body of Christ must be tangible at times.

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