Resurrection Online has been streaming worship since November of 2008. If you are considering launching an online worship service at your faith community, you first have clear answers to these questions first:
Why are we launching online worship?
Why does worshiping online make sense within the culture of our church?
Will this effort be supported by all levels of church leadership?
How does online worship further our mission?
How will technical issues be addressed?
Of what will the worship experience online consist?
What impact do we anticipate on the current congregation?
Who will own the initiative?
What resources, if any, will be used to provide opportunities to grow in faith outside worship?
What resources, if any, will be used to provide care and support for those that worship online?
In what way, if any, will persons be enabled or encouraged to give financially?
What will be the nature of the community encountered by internet worshippers?
“As a twentysomething, I can say with confidence that when it comes to church, we don’t want cool as much as we want real. If we are interested in Christianity in any sort of serious way, it is not because it’s easy or trendy or popular. It’s because Jesus himself is appealing, and what he says rings true. It’s because the world we inhabit is utterly phony, ephemeral, narcissistic, image-obsessed and sex-drenched—and we want an alternative. It’s not because we want more of the same.”
I resonate with the desire to experience a faith community that is real and not cool. It doesn’t even have to be cool, if it is real. A local church should strive to be real and authentic. Represent who the community actually is in any communications, remind people of who you want to become in every gathering of the people and always seek to become like Jesus.