Meditations (Web)Church

A year (and a bit) in the life of NewSpring's first Web pastor

Is the modern church ready for radically personal ministry?

with 3 comments

The church has made a lot of progress technologically in connecting with people.

Blogging, twittering and webcasting pastors are real and transparent. And, with minimal effort, they are reaching far beyond their sanctuary walls with the Gospel. Praise Jesus!

But does the church care enough?

I don’t mean missions. I don’t mean social justice.

I mean do we invest enough personally in people’s lives?

Why do I ask? Because the same research study about online friendship that made me conclude that people who hate social networks are hypocritesalso said that online friendship — and by extension community – is fundamentally about “trust.”

We invest time and effort in them in the hope that sometime they will help us out. It is a kind of reciprocal relationship … What we need is to be absolutely sure that a person is really going to invest in us, is really going to be there for us when we need them…It’s very easy to be deceptive on the internet.

If the church, the body of Christ, is about anything, isn’t it supposed to be about soul care? Isn’t it all about loving one another?

Aren’t all Christians supposed to be Samaritans who invest personally in picking people up and helping them heal spiritually when they’ve been beaten up and left for dead by a brutal world? All of us? Not just those supernaturally gifted with mercy?

In the always-on, life-streaming world of Twitter and other social networks, we’re going “back to the future” of a village life where everyone knew everyone. But is everyone going to be caring for everyone?

Do we even know how?

It’s a question I’ve been thinking about a lot while casting vision for our web campus live prayer team, which will be on hand during each of our services to handle questions, pray for people and generally “listen” to people in need.

It takes a lot of skill to navigate the struggle, the pain, the confusion in another person’s soul. And respond in a way that’s helpful and loving.

And I wonder how we’re supposed to know how to do this well, effectively, if we’re not trained to.

We all know that if people are uncomfortable doing something, they just won’t do it. Could we end up being the worst kinds of hypocrites, talking about love and community and this time shutting our open doors right in people’s faces?

The one problem it seems to me with all this relational opportunity in online social media is that we better be good at doing relationships.

Is our modern church anticipating this by setting up the infrastructure to coach, guide, and support this new era of radically personal ministry?

Lots of questions here. Am I onto something?

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Written by NickCharalambous

January 6, 2009 at 6:43 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Does it happen any other way??? Than ‘radically personal’…??? Love the blog!

    Brad

    January 6, 2009 at 7:24 pm

  2. Yes, you are.

    -joe d.

    January 6, 2009 at 8:15 pm

  3. loving the new look, btw…

    nic, love your stuff. keep it going. the time you spend is valuable and i love reading it.

    human3rror

    January 7, 2009 at 8:27 am


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