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The Church and The Connected

One of the defining characteristics of our generation is our connectedness – or at least a perception of connectededness. Thanks to sites such as Facebook or Twitter, we can simultaneously broadcast our thoughts and feelings to the masses and maintain more intimate or personal relationships at the click of a button.

These tools are doing more than simply connecting us, they’re informing and empowering us as never before.

And, I’m afraid, they’re creating a society that is leaving the church behind.

We don’t need a church to give us mission or an opportunity to serve. We can send a text to The Red Cross and change the world.

We don’t need a “community” of people that we see once or twice a week. We’re connected to 1,000s of friends via Facebook or Twiiter, many of whom we dialog with more regularly than fellow churchmates.

We don’t need weekly sermons. We can download podcasts from preachers all over the world and from years gone by and listen to them anytime we want.

We don’t need potlucks. Fried chicken and Velveeta shells and cheese aren’t that good for us.

So what do churches have that we do need? A couple of things come to mind, but I’m interested to hear what you think.

11 CommentsLeave a Comment


  • Reply

    Brad

    5 years ago

    Came across your blog from another blog. :)

    I am a simple thinker, but I would answer a fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit, which equals a changed life.

    • Reply

      Todd

      5 years ago

      Brad, thanks for the comment!

      I think you’re on to something, but I have to ask, is an encounter with the Holy Spirit only possible in the context of a church setting?

      Just curious what you think.

      Thanks again!

      • Reply

        Steve

        4 years ago

        Over the past 5 years I’ve experienced Church gatherings that form in the midst of a basketball game, work, watering the lawn, at a Ranger’s ball game, and on a roof to name a few. The stories I’ve heard through the testimonies of friends let me know full and well that two people chatting over a beer can lead to four strangers joining in and a baptism before midnight by the two being open to the million different unorthodox scenarios in which someone could stumble into the conversation and be made to feel they are accepted as a person and that their input is more valuable than the conversation they went there to have. To realize 1st hand that the unchurched have more to teach you about God and are more transparent than many pastors forever changes how you can digest the idea of doing Church. If one “goes” to Church for 25 years of their life (like myself), then one day finds himself “doing” Church, they’ll begin to be open to it happening anytime and anywhere. My problem is slowing down enough or beating back my selfish “plan” to use my time enough to notice Him working.

  • Reply

    Brad

    5 years ago

    Not at all, Todd. But there is something special about seeking God’s presence together with other believers. It is something the world can never offer in my opinion.

  • Reply

    John

    5 years ago

    Great post! You touch on several areas that I’ve wrestled with lately. I think some are culturally/generationally driven, but surely some of the above stems from disconnected Churches.

    I’m not talking about Churches that don’t have Twitter/FB/etc accounts. I’m talking about Churches that simply don’t care enough to fully connect with their flock. They’re completely comfortable with engaging with their members once/twice a week in designated services but often lack real & lasting relationships with them.

    I believe the issue to two fold. I think both Church leadership/members need to get more involved and members/guests need to take more initiative to get plugged in.

    To answer your question, I think Churches offer deep relationships with broken Christians just like you and me that are trying their best to better understand and receive God’s love.

  • Reply

    Deb Brown

    5 years ago

    Todd,
    My church is small – about 40 active members. I do my best to not miss a Sunday. It’s my family. These people pray for ME, care for ME, want the best for ME. We don’t live church on Sunday – we live it all week. I get that from a small rural church. Some churches are connected, and that is great – if they are using it to reach out to those who need their prayers and cares.

    As Christians, we are asked to witness. I invite friends and strangers to join me on Sunday. And that is great — but I’m finding more value in just having conversations about Christ. And I can do that online too. And I can do that right in my community.

    So the point to all this rambling is – let’s take some of the bling out of being a Christian. Let’s just talk to each other and those looking for an answer to a question.

    @debworks

  • Reply

    Darin

    5 years ago

    Can you leave church behind? Does it just become a new manifestation of church? I don’t know but it is interesting to think about.

  • Reply

    Robin

    5 years ago

    I’m hearing ya with all this “white noise” that drowns out community. It will be interesting to see what shapes the church continues to take.

  • Reply

    Collier

    4 years ago

    I found (and stay connect with) my church via Twitter. But even if you took away the gadgets and technology, the home groups, community outreach, and one-on-one discipleship would continue. As it was in the first century, so is it now becoming today: church is ment to be a daily lifestyle.

    I will add however (something John MacArthur points out) that the faithful, systematic teaching of scripture is the distinguishing aspect of Christian “community”.

  • Reply

    Steve

    4 years ago

    If there was a “like” button on the 1st comment, I would have clicked it and left you with a link to a great book I just finished called “The Forgotten God” by Francis Chan: http://amzn.to/bVxihY

    Technology cannot replace the fellowship of Christ’s body, but I do believe it can serve as an effective tool in outreach and organization of that which we are commissioned by Him to do. But absent the Spirit, the relevancy of what we call church will continue to fade despite all the fellowship & technology we can package. In short, I have no clue what it looks like & I’m not sure our mission is helped by nailing down a specific look or holding onto a specific expectation of any kind. The Body of Christ that is the Church is amazingly beautiful when we focus our strength on living the Truth and let the Spirit surprise us with whatever wardrobe fits the occasion. Who knows, He may even toss us a pot-luck every now and again so we can talk about the old days and share a laugh or two over a cinnamon roll & mashed potatoes.

  • Reply

    rick buckle

    4 years ago

    To summarize a lot of social psychology into a few words, I would say we need Church (a building or gathering spot for regular meeting) because being together makes us feel better about what we believe. Granted the same thing can be said for the new American Nazi party meetings but it is this social (tribal) interaction that sanctions our belief system.

    Stay home if you want, just don’t tell me it’s important AND you’re too busy.

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