It wasn’t that long ago you actually had to work hard to access anything you missed at the church you attended.
You had to show up in person to pick up a CD (or cassette…remember those??) or ask someone to mail you a copy. Or you simply missed out.
Fast forward to now, and almost every church has their messages available online.
It’s always good to ask some questions when things are changing quickly.
What are the rapid rise of messages online and experiences online doing to the church and to people’s faith?
Are they acting as a front door to ministry and attracting people, or are they acting as a back door for people slowly leaving the church?
In other words, is the option of church online moving people closer to Christ, or further away?
It’s a great question every church leader should think through.
So What’s Happening, Exactly?
When the option of churches podcasting and launching online campuses became real 6-8 years ago, it looked like it was all upside for the local church
A chance to reach more people.
An opportunity to get the Word out.
A chance to reach people who are scared of walking through a church door.
And, in many ways, all that upside is still there and amazing.
But another trend has emerged that no one really saw coming. Or at least I didn’t.
A growing number of Christians seem to be watching the local church rather than being engaged in the local church.
It’s not usually a huge number, but talk to even the mega-church people behind the scenes and they’ll tell you that as many as several thousand who used to attend in person aren’t any more. They’re watching from the comfort of a bed or beach instead.
While this hasn’t killed attendance by any stretch, it has dented it. The churches that offer numerous online gateways are still growing, but they are also seeing a smaller exodus of Christians no one is sure what to do with.
And it’s alarming for many more reasons than it being downward pressure on a growth curve.
4 Questions About Church Online For Christians
If you’re a Christian and your primary experience of church is online, my question is “why”?
Here are 4 questions I would ask: