It’s hard for me to believe that we are living in a country where people like Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Sanjah Gupta would feel it necessary to launch a campaign encouraging people to “just say hello!” The campaign’s launch follows an increase in medical conditions that stem from or are challenged by increased and sustained loneliness.
Seeing news of this type of launch in early February, unearthed a thought I had been having off and on around the decline in church attendance within an actual building, with internet church services on the increase. I suppose it is convenient enough to sit at a computer and call up either your home church or another church that you find interest in. I did so earlier this year following a revival at a church from my hometown. It was great, but I would have enjoyed it even more if I could have been there in fellowship with all those that were attending the services live.
I can’t help but ask the question, are our churches losing the message of fellowship, or am I overeacting? Fellowship is critical in our lives and in our churches. Let us be reminded of Hebrews 10:25, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
With no limitation of miles and even the ability to sow tithes these sites also include interactive giving, everything you need is right at your fingertips. The concept is a great one and when traveling or under the weather, what a great way to say connected. Except I wonder as we continue to advance in this area of worship what risks are we facing if any? Is the goal for an internet worshiper to utilize the tool on occasion, or are churches tracking the hits on the site with a goal of sustaining large numbers of internet worshipers.
The message of faith, encouragement and love is most important and how a person receives that message is less important as we continue to meet people where they are. But there is one thing that the internet services cannot provide and that is the benefit of working together in committee in service to others. Our churches have always been at the core of many of our lives, trading those experiences in at the computer causes pause for me.
Tanya M. Wilson is an inspirational speaker and writer living in Charlotte N.C. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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