For centuries, people have been gathering to pray together. Going to Churches regularly has become an important part of many people’s lives. However, there are often scenarios that make it difficult for people to gather in physical structures. At such times, people have to make use of the technology available to them.
Over the past years, the concept of online churches has become quite popular. A study reveals that 64% of parishioners say that their church’s website is important in facilitating participation and attendance.
The ongoing pandemic, which demands people to maintain physical distance, has popularized it further. Thousands of new online churches have come up in the last couple of years with so many people joining in to pray together.
Online churches are quite similar to physical churches- people gather to pray and engage in religious discussions. The only difference is that instead of the people in attendance consisting simply of a few dozen from the same town, online churches allow people from every corner of the world to come together to take the Lord’s name.
Despite its rising popularity, the concept has faced some criticism from people who believe that online churches do not serve the purposes of a physical church. However, that is not the case.
Here’s how an online church is Biblical:
- The Bible doesn’t define Church simply as a physical structure
In the entirety of The Bible, there are several different occasions that represent the Church in many different forms. There are many metaphors used in the New Testament when talking about the church.
All of these metaphors provide different imagery and thus, it can be concluded that there is no definitive way of describing what a church should look like. A Church is a place where people gather to pray to the Lord. It can be a physical structure and it can also be an online platform.
- It allows for the creation of genuine bonds
Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
This statement establishes a very important criteria for the churches – there needs to be a place where people can come together, mind and soul, and worship the Lord. An online church allows people to create strong bonds. In some cases, stronger bonds than those that can be created in physical churches.
It is necessary that people create these bonds with each other because only once they do, can they commit themselves fully to pray to the Lord together.
Online churches allow pastors to facilitate bonding between different people because of the various activities that can be done at any point of time instead of waiting for the weekly gatherings in physical churches.
- Online Church increases the space for worship
It is important to create a space for worship that is accessible to a large number of people. While physical churches are a good way of ensuring this, online churches boost this space manifold as any person, anywhere in the globe simply needs access to the internet to be a part of it.
Thus, the space of worship, which was until recently limited to the number of seats in the churches, now knows almost no bounds. Planetshakers church, for example, has thousands of people from different countries attend their online prayer sessions.
Online churches are making the act of worshipping God more accessible to people all over the world.
- They make it easier for people to be a part of a service at any time
One of the biggest restrictions of physical churches that an online church overcomes is that people don’t always have to wait for the weekly sermons or prayer services. They can get access to the recorded sermons at any time. They can also schedule a prayer meet on any day.
This allows the devout to worship the Lord whenever they are feeling like it instead of having to wait for particular days. It leads to people becoming more devoted to God and thus, the true purpose of the Church is fulfilled.
These were some of the main reasons why online churches should be considered biblical. Online churches serve all the purposes of a church as described in The Bible and in several cases, are more beneficial than physical churches.
Article by Born Realist