Online Church?

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Can the church be the church online?

I’ve felt closer to you people, my online community, than I’ve felt to people I know in real life.  Honestly.  And it’s a bit frightening to me.  I’m not sure what to think of this new reality.

I’ve met bloggers in 3-D.  Most recently, Badguy from The Most Excellent Way.

See the proof?  Badguy, me and Phat:

badguy1

It was a great evening with constant conversation:  getting to know one another, life stories shared, encouragement given, challenging thoughts exchanged concerning our faith in Jesus.

It felt like church.  Community in Christ.

Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well.  ~Philippians 2:1-4

I could easily confess the times I haven’t done this well.  Too many times to count.  But today, I want to focus on getting it right.  We had a good time sharing our common faith. 

I am glad to know it can be done.  All too often we don’t enjoy that type fellowship as we go to our local church week after week.  The building is not the church.  It’s just a gathering place.

This past Thursday night, we gathered at La Madeleine’s in Plano, Texas.  We ate fattening desserts over endless cups of coffee.  (Thank the Lord for decaf!)  We closed down the place.  But for Texas, that was only a few minutes past 10pm.

We had church.

It all started online…

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17 responses »

  1. Ah, so cool that you got to meet a blogfriend in real life! Love the photo! It is strange how we can connect with someone online. I think it is maybe even easier because we can share our real thoughts, and often in ‘real life’ people get hung up on chit chat and they can’t seem to move on to the authentic (that’s my experience anyway, that it takes people a long time to reveal themselves in ‘real life’). But I do think that nothing beats the real live version of seeing a person and being able to talk and have coffee and hug! So if blogging can fast forward a friendship and you are lucky enough to meet, then blogging can certainly create community and church but it’s sad about the distance.

  2. I love seeing the joy in this photo! (and your beautiful self)

    I am so so so grateful that the church has been online for me. Not only actual sermons like the ones I watch from Cross Point, but the church of you and so many who are dear to me.

    I am so blessed that I’ve always had church in my real-life relationships, but I have to say that those have deepened because of the church I have experienced in my online friends. I have more experience to share now and new things to discuss with those that sit in my living room. It’s made both physical and online relationships deeper. For sure.

  3. I agree, Rain. It can be easier because we’ve already pushed past the fake impressions, we’ve moved on to sharing, if we’re real on our blogs. Blogging can certainly fast forward a friendship, no doubt there.

    I hear your thankfulness, Gitz. It is good to have the connection, especially when we are limited. The church inside our homes…in our living rooms…that’s the best connection to me. But, if I can only get it online, at least I know it’s the real thing. Oh, and thanks…the joy was truly present.

  4. I have to agree. I’m not sure why God has opened up the online world to me in such a way (perhaps because He knows it’s easier to connect with people via my fingers?!) but He has indeed. It is wonderful to feel the Church – as a Body – moving and operating from all points of the globe.

    And can I say? That picture of you made me catch my breath! You are SO beautiful!! So great to ‘meet’ Phat too!! Wow. Thanks for posting the picture!

  5. You know I know what you’re talking about. Yes yes yes….

    You’re beautiful! You have the best smile and cheekbones and nose. Just wanted to say that. 🙂

  6. Hey, Annie! I’m not sure why God has allowed this venue, but I’m so thankful for it. My life has been changed by the interaction and you’ve been a major part of that…for me. Love you!! 😉

    Well, Hi, Mandy! I was thinkin’ I could use a nose ring. 😛

  7. Love this picture and the word here Michelle. My online church had to be my most enriching, refining, and encouraging church … ever. Its also cool that we can “go to church” any time!

  8. Thanks, Gch. When can you get here? Or how do I get there?

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  9. oh yes!!! i agree! 100%.

    we are the church. so that means we are the church wherever we go, right? not just a building on sundays.

    and feeling closer to your online community friends? i totally relate to that too. im past the trying to figure it out part and im just embracing it and loving it!

  10. Hi Michelle, I’m really happy for you that you got to meet a blog friend in real life, and that God is creating these friendships … Like others have said, you’re beautiful Michelle, there’s such a lot of joy and warmth in this photo, it’s a really nice one! 🙂

  11. Hey, Tam! “Feeling closer to your online community…just embracing it…” It still confuses me. I want to see, hear, smell and touch you people!!! Oh, yes, I do. 😯 It’s much better in 3-D.

    “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!!”

    Thanks, Birg. It was a great experience. Hopefully, someday you’ll come to the States…well, Texas, that is! 😉

  12. That’s right up our alley!!!! This is exactly lhe intention of the church in Acts before man came along and made it into a small business!

  13. Pingback: On-line church? « SKUNNY DROPPINGS

  14. i know sis! im hoping one day, here on earth, we can share a great big fat hug!!

    mmmm – that would be most amazing!

  15. Hey, Selena. Thanks for the “shout out.” What happened that man decided to change the plan? I’m thinking it’s all about power.

    The cheesecake is the best around, Nor. We’re having more tonight with my brother and his wife. Most events are greatly improved when a slice of cheesecake is available!

    Amazing, indeed! But Tam, I’ve had a glimpse of you through vimeo and you can’t do fat!! Now…me…that’s another story! 😯

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