web church – in the community
a friend from tejas told me this story recently
she and her husband were graduate students in Austin and looking for a church of their home denomination, which they found. over a very short time, both of the pastors at that church left to take other pastoral positions, each time causing a split in the church. by the time the second pastor left, the church had dwindled to about 40 people. literally everyone who attended attended to a need of the church to run sunday morning, and the wednesday night bible study was, well, also everyone. it sounded basically like a house church that happened to have – 3 buildings. a lot for 40 people. that church was also in a declining area of town; no one new was coming because of the growing poor reputation of that area. the church finally ended up shutting its doors.
it’s a situation like that i wonder if a web church – church with a teaching broadcast but still a group meeting together – would be a good option/alternative. certainly many churches that have multiple campuses (campusi?) still rely on a church to have a point pastor and a staff to facilitate the operation of that building. but what if a group of people want to basically star a church for a community but are all working professionals, or have families, etc, that would prevent a team from working full time and being supported by said church. if a web based church was available, all that group would really need are leaders willing to sacrifice a little to a specific area – leading a bible study, or organizing community events, for instance. we’re seeing more and more that while a dedicated building is nice, it’s really optional.
now that we most definitely have the technology to connect people (and groups of people) around the world, why not utilize it? with a little training, even a missionary with a video camera could upload video for a home/supporting church to watch. seriously, we can do better than a slide show. i see a videocast being a huge step toward planting churches in rural/run down/unchurched areas, with the right leadership and organization.