Meditations (Web)Church

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

The tears in church are just as real on the web

with 4 comments

The NewSpring Web Campus launch was thrilling. You can read the official account at the Web Campus blog, including video.

But what blew me away was not the number of people that were gathered. Or the fact that people from all over the world worshipped with us.

It was that amid all the philosophical and theological debates about the Web church and whether web community is real and whether sacraments can be rightly administered, we forget that real people need us to make this work.

They are in real pain, they have real souls, they have real lives and real eternities.

Perry brought a tough, intense sermon today. He challenged people to totally forgive. He asked thousands in the auditorium on the Anderson Campus to write names on sheets of paper and to tear them in unison as they were set free from Satan’s grip.

Everyone heard that sound. It brought Perry to tears. And it brought the Web Campus to tears. It drove many people to seek help in our live prayer. And for one reason or another, these people were not in a local church on the ground in their neighborhood.

Sure, we could try and persuade them that physical attendance is the “right thing to do.” We could even take a crack at justifying why they should attend a local church.

Even if they are not being challenged and stretched spiritually.

Even if they are not in fellowship that encourages and strengthens them and that can hold them accountable.

Would we be successful? I doubt it.

But here’s the thing: They were at church. It was just online. And they need the church to stop arguing about whether they were really there and just figure out how we can be the church online for them; how we can help each other love God, love others and make disciples.

It’s time to stop talking about bit-rates, and web design, and the latest, shiniest new tools and to start talking about how we build genuine, Christ-centered community for the long haul.

The web has changed social arrangements forever. We cannot argue about that any longer.

In post-Christian Europe, local churches everywhere are being shut down and turned into luxury condos or bars. Physical, bricks-and-mortar church holds little to no meaning other than prejudice and anachronism for hundreds of millions of people.

We would be sinning against Christ and his sacrifice on the cross to turn our backs on them.

I plan to charge the gates of hell with our Web Campus. Who’s with me?

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4 Responses

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  1. OH! Pastor Nick, I’m in, I’m in….

    Leslie White

    February 1, 2009 at 8:55 pm

  2. The Ridge Community Church in Oak Ridge, TN is behind you 100%. My prayer is that everyone involved in this movement of God stay connected as one body; no matter what church they represent or technologies they use (or don’t use).

    I also want people to know that the web church is not just an empty attempt to stay “relevant” with today’s culture.

    The method may consist of wires and cables, but when God moves it’s always about flesh and blood.

    Yesterday’s webcast from NewSpring was exciting and I know that excitement will continue.

    Chris Hill

    February 2, 2009 at 10:00 am

  3. I came across your site today and was thrilled to see that you had just started a Web Campus ministry.

    We have been broadcasting our services live since May 2008 and are always so blessed to be able to minister to those who are shut in, without a local bible believing church or from countries that are hostile to the Gospel.

    We’re still learning and are limited in what we can do, but like you say, it’s being there for those who need it.

    May you all be blessed in your work for Him and continue to give God the glory.

    David Heys

    February 2, 2009 at 6:05 pm

  4. Pastor Nick this is going to be huger than huge. There are many people who are shut-ins, but also,there are those who are socially challenged. This is a very misunderstood group of people. They need this ministry so badly because once they are able to grasp the concept of God’s grace and power in their lives, they may also find self worth and value to venture out into their community eventually. This is a wonderful and very powerful ministry. I am very honored to be a part of this team.

    Gloria

    February 5, 2009 at 2:37 pm


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