Online churches and ministries are a growing phenomenon in today’s Society. No longer do we have to travel across the world, across town, or even across the street to hear a great sermon. I must confess, that I have missed church services on Sundays, on a few occasions, because I knew that at 12 noon, I would be able to listen to my pastor’s message in the comfort of my own home, without the distraction of people around me. But therein lies the problem, or potential problem, some Pastors, Christians or lay ministers and Churches maybe anticipating. Some Pastor’s and Christians are reluctant to encourage their parishioners to access web ministries for fear of missing bodies on Sunday mornings.
Fewer people are attending church services, as it is, for various reasons. The reasons vary in nature, but quite often, it adds up to distractions and excuses. Ministries are already competing with the aforementioned, so having to address a new distraction can be daunting. Churches and ministries may feel the pressure to perform, or run the risk of losing valuable members. People have options, and they are using them. These choices now include staying home and still hearing the Word.
There is however some legitimacy to Ministry leaders’ concerns. The church is a living organism that thrives from its moving parts-loving, encouraging, serving. How will the church survive if everyone is watching church services from a distance? Who will take care of the children in the nursery, the youths in the teen services, as well as the young adults in the college outreach ministry? What about the food program for the poor and the Monday night elderly social? The biggest and probably the most pertinent question is, who will finance, through tithes and offerings, the work and ministries of the church? Churches in the United States are closing at a rapid pace, so how will they survive this new onslaught of online churches and ministries.
The good news is online churches maybe a “saving grace.” While there maybe numerous pitfalls from the above indicated issues raised, as well as the possibility of an increased number of snake oil sales men attempting to wrap themselves in Bible pages, all is not lost. Having an online ministry can be an asset rather than a liability.
-Online services can give your ministry needed exposure for survival
– Online services can help small, not so financially equipped, ministries fulfill the “Great Commission”
-Online services can bring in the needed finances to keep ministries afloat
– Online services gives you a more diverse and larger audience
-Online services can serve as a source of encouragement to your members who may be sick and or shut-ins
-Online services can help parishioners on vacation stay in touch or up to date on what’s going on at church
-Online services can be a way for parishioners, who may have to work, to not miss Sunday services and weekly Bible study
-Online services can be an outreach tool for those who would not have attended church
-Online services can assist parishioners to engage in interaction with the global church, in order understand the diversity of God’s kingdom, as well as meeting the needs of God’s church around the world.