ministry renewing the church

My Response to Top 12 Questions before Launching Online Worship

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A couple weeks ago I posted the Top 12 Questions before Launching Online Worship and received the request that I share some of our responses to these questions from Resurrection Online. These will be brief responses. For each of these questions there were long conversations that lead to these conclusions. In addition, the answers to these today may not be the same answers to these questions in the future. In any case, here goes…

  1. Why are we launching online worship?
    1. To build a Christian community online where non religious and nominally religious people are becoming deeply committed Christians
  2. Why does worshiping online make sense within the culture of our church?
    1. As a church, we try to do all things to connect with those that are not already connected with a church. We recognize that connecting with those that frequent online communities is a growing edge for our church. Resurrection Online begins to address these two areas.
  3. Will this effort be supported by all levels of church leadership?
    1. Yes. This idea was first initiated by our senior pastor and continues to be supported across all levels of church leadership.
  4. How does online worship further our mission?
    1. Online worship helps us connect with non and nominally religious people, as well as, helping our current congregation stay connected in an effort to become deeply committed Christians.
  5. How will technical issues be addressed?
    1. The Pastor of Resurrection Online will coordinate the efforts of our IT and Communications teams to address technical challenges.
  6. Of what will the worship experience online consist?
    1. Audio and video stream of worship, attendance form and online giving
  7. What impact do we anticipate on the current congregation?
    1. This will be a resource for those in our current congregation who are sick, out of town or have limited mobility to continue to worship with Resurrection.
  8. Who will own the initiative?
    1. The Pastor of Resurrection Online
  9. What resources, if any, will be used to provide opportunities to grow in faith outside worship?
    1. The Grow. Pray. Study. Guide will be available and additional opportunities for online classes and small groups will be developed.
  10. What resources, if any, will be used to provide care and support for those that worship online?
    1. The Pastor of Resurrection Online will be responsible for providing care and guidance for those that connect with Resurrection Online.
  11. In what way, if any, will persons be enabled or encouraged to give financially?
    1. Those who worship online will be able to give online through PayPal or through our church database.
  12. What will be the nature of the community encountered by internet worshippers?
    1. This will be a community of people seeking to become deeply committed Christians. It will consist of some members of our current congregation, digital natives, church leaders from other churches and others who are seeking God online.

How would you respond to some of these questions? What would be a better response?

By Andrew Conard

Christian, husband, son, brother, homeowner

5 replies on “My Response to Top 12 Questions before Launching Online Worship”

I will be very interested in seeing how this goes. I am glad to see that there is “top-down” support because history suggests that any project that does not have such support will not do well, even with its “bottom-up” initiative.

But how will you do communion? How will the preacher and the worship team know that there is a spirit amongst the “congregation”? To me, it seems that an on-line presence cannot communicate the spirit that can fill a pastor, musicians, and congregation.

Will I feel the same listening to the music on-line as I do when I am in the congregation on Sunday morning and my feet are tapping and my body is shaking because the song stirs my soul?

As you pointed out, there is a need for this but it is the way that will best reach the people?

DrTony – It will clearly be a different experience online. There is no way to recreate the same spirit of being in the physical space. However there is much good that can come with making the opportunity for someone to connect with God through worship that might not otherwise do so. Communion is a question that I continue to consider. No one clear answer has solidified yet.

I agree that good can come from this. But I also think that in a time and age when we are moving so much to an on-line presence, it takes us further from the personal contact that is (or should be a part of) the worship experience.

It may be, as I write this, that it will be more of an evangelical enterprise than anything else, calling people to God through Christ, calling them to make the committment of body and soul. And in doing so, bringing them to experience with others the true Spirit. That may be the challenge of this all.

DrTony – You may be right. I always want to make a clear pathway and invitation toward in person community, while recognizing that not everyone will be willing or able to accept that invitation.

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