First of all, it would BE a church online, but it wouldn’t be CALLED a church. The word church already has meaning to many people who are not involved with church. The “church” experience is what turned many people away from church to start with. My vision of a great Cyber Church is that of a mission endeavor coupled with a worship experience. An example would be one web site with many sub sites. There would be a place for the core leadership group to worship and fellowship together for the purpose of strength and uplift. Then there would be a general worship area for the purpose of outreach, including popular trends in music and video. Also included would be testimony sections by people who have been saved, and whose lives have been changed by the Gospel. Then, it should also include a sub section for home-bound people who are ministered to through traditional services, music, and approaches.
The thrust would be inclusiveness. Today’s culture feels excluded by today’s church in many cases. This is NOT to say there are not good inclusive churches, because there certainly are! These churches exist in all genra, but they are few and far between.
Recently, I had back surgery. While I was home-bound for six weeks, I tried to find meaningful ways to worship on TV, but didn’t find anything to make me feel a part of the experience. Some of the messages were good, but mostly all I found were sermons. Time constrains their ministry, but on the web, there is no such constraint!
The overriding principle of online church for me, at least, is to convey the Gospel in a non threatening way, and to offer meaningful community to those who otherwise would not have it.
That’s it for today. Please feel free to comment or offer your own ideas!