The Church Body and the Internet, Part 2
This is a continuation of, The Church Body and the Internet, Part 1, on my blog discussion on the importance of the Church as a whole and how it uses the Internet. What is amazing is how fast things change. The text below was for the most part written around the same time that part 1 was written, and that was only about a month ago.
Since then, changes in the way churches are using the Internet are showing up all over the place. Most recently, Twitter Church was incredible to watch. Not saying it is for all churches, but wow, these guys tried something just to see its results (see Twitter Church Hurdles?), without actually knowing what they would be ahead of time.
According to the poll taken at Church Marketing Sucks on the event (see Twittering Church Poll Results), a good percentage of people said it was a waste of time. Great, even if everyone said it was, at least they tried something different. Interesting to note that a good percentage also didn't know what Twitter actually was, so they would probably consider it a waste of time (and I do think there is a Twitter learning curve as well)
Importance of Effective Internet Use
Starting back in the early 1990's I stressed to a very large church, what I felt was the importance of an effective presence of Christ on the Internet, through the church, and it was largely dismissed (although I know the term Internet Minister was largely unheard of then). We do know that in this world, where the church is absent, Satan will quickly fill in the gaps, and the Internet can certainly be one of those places.
As the Internet intertwines itself more and more into our very existence I believe it is important for the church not to be absent and left wondering how did Satan get such a strong hold on something that effects everything we do and everyone living in an even semi-modern society.
Hopefully "the church" will have (and I think they do) technologically advanced, knowledgeable parishioners that can discern God's will and are able to reach out to those Believers and non-Believers alike through the Internet. Not to shy away from it because it is something not totally understood, or a place where Satan can obviously take a hold of the mind if we allow him to do so.
Some of these ways can include blogging, flickr, use of Twitter, (follow me here if you are on Twitter), or even some new music. Groups like Third Day and Robbie Seay Band, among probably 1,000 others, are leading people to Christ, and... they are real bands.
Share Your Story and Testimony With Others
I know over the years my wife and I have met (and hopefully ministered to in some way) thousands and thousands of people whom we have never met face to face, in countries we could never visit. Like our church has said in the Fluid series, everyone has their own "my story", and I have found that sometimes, they are far more willing to share it with someone over the Internet than they ever would be in person.
One only has to look as far as the explosion of the social networking sites to see that people want to reach out to someone and connect to other people that understand their needs on a personal level. We all know, that someone is Christ, and hopefully the church's presence will be felt wherever there is a need, even if that need is through the Internet.
How Does Your Church Use Technology?
So, what ways does your church use or embrace technology? Does it at all? There are so many different ways and methods that there are countless ways we, the church body, can use the tools we have today, to expand our reach for Christ.