Friday, January 08, 2010

Virtual Church Poll Rant

I stumbled across a poll on, a sub-site of Christianity Today. I must have been linked it from somewhere...because I have no idea how else I would have ended up on a Christianity Today site.

Anyway, here are the poll results as they stand right now:

The way I see it, that is 75% of Church leaders taking this poll who react negatively to the virtual church "trend," and only 25% who react positively.
Yes, I lump caution into being a negative response, because it's immediately defensive.

To be honest, I'd imagine the numbers on a larger scale are far more skewed than that, this is only a small sampling of 121 people at the moment. But these are church leaders. These are people who influence and direct the opinions of those in their congregation.

And honestly, things like this sadden me. Because the church shouldn't be so far behind.

I'd love to think that the church was full of innovators, creatives, designers, and others who aren't afraid to venture out into unknown or new territories. But we aren't.

What we are instead is a people who are afraid.
  • we fear new
  • we fear change
  • we fear learning
  • we fear stretching
  • we fear growing
  • we fear risk
  • we fear taking God's message to the ends of the we'll argue about what the ends of the Earth are, so that the interwebs don't count
How in the world do we end up on that side of the debate about whether online church is acceptable? About whether or not we can find authentic community with people without being physically present with each other?

How is this still our mentality while online communities and experiences dominate regular life?

We're sitting back worrying about embracing a technology that has become ubiquitous over the past 2 decades that we don't realize how absurd it is and how far behind we are.

While we do that, the world moves on without us.

Sure, we'll embrace this "trend" (blech at calling it a trend) eventually. Like the church eventually does with every medium after shunning it. But as we do, we'll be late to the party as always and another few decades behind the next big technological shift.

We're just starting to get into "online church" now that the rest of the world is interested in going mobile. When we finally get into that....where will the rest of the world be?

Maybe something like this:

So what do you think? Am I just making a rant out of nothing? Do you have any thoughts about online church?