Do you sometimes watch church online?
I saw something in the last two days that convinced me that online church isn’t church at all.
For the last two days I’ve met with women under a huge mango tree in a village called Zebilla.
We had a Women’s Conference and I didn’t know until today that they came from many different churches as far away as Burkina Faso.
Think of sardines and add the worst pictures you recall from America’s Great Dustbowl.
Add goats, an abundance of packages, the aroma of unbathed people, crying children, and a careless driver.
Now you have something approximating public transport in this area.
The women of Zebilla and the nearby villages hosted the other visitors in their homes overnight, but they didn’t really know them well. The women and their children were welcomed as family, the family of God. Sisters in Christ.
A few have met at Church Conferences, but most only knew 2-3 others.
The connection among them seemed close, familiar, and I was shocked that most were strangers.
They were so excited to be together.
To talk with each other and in western terms, connect.
Connection is a strength for us as believers and I don’t see how that happens while ‘watching’ church online.
These women had prepared food for the newcomers and brought mats so their children could nap.
How are you gonna get that online?
What do you think about watching church online?
Is it possible to have fellowship without being at church with others ?
To minister to one another via the internet?
Do you think it’s an logical extension of tech progress or a trend that will cost us a crucial part of what God intended we experience at church?
Is the allure laziness, or convenience, or non-participatory spiritual entertainment?
Or would you chalk it up to an unbalanced focus on the sermon at the cost of what Ray Stedman called, ‘Body Life’?