Cue the Star Wars music. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away it is a period when Church Online in Alberta is viewed as a Rebel outpost. Well, it wasn’t really that long ago. How about February 2020?
A few outlier churches live-streamed their Sunday service as a means to connect with congregants on holidays or confined to home by sickness or infirmity.
Even fewer churches empowered a staff member or volunteer to serve as an online “pastor.”
Entrepreneurial churches considering an online presence were constrained by the dark side of the Force that worried online services would weaken onsite attendance. A high quality online experience would be a temptation for people to stay at home in their pyjamas and absent themselves from authentic community.
The anonymity of online couldn’t provide authentic community, or host communion or small groups or children’s ministry and certainly water baptism was beyond the mind tricks of the most progressive pastoral Jedi.
COVID-19 became the Church’s hyperdrive into hyperspace. Over six short days, 90% of Alberta churches were awakened to the Force and went online. Duct tape, toilet paper rolls and iPhone cameras became the midi-chlorians of ministry.
Within a few weeks time the improbable became second nature. Online Sunday services, children’s programs, small groups, Alpha, prayer meetings, devotionals, communion and yes – even water baptism – became online realities.
People are rising up all over the galaxy. The Resistance is growing in strength. New outposts are establishing as threats to the Phantom Emperor.
Church Online is not episode X in the Spiritual Wars saga, soon to be relegated to history.
The saga will not end. The story lives forever.
May the Force be with you.
APPLICATION: What do you think about Church Online? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.
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