Virtual Church?

Wow!

I don’t know how I managed to do it, but I managed to miss the tenth birthday of the First International Church of the Web by just over a week. What a shame.

I think this “church” represents probably most pastors’ worst fears about how the web is used in a religious way. Perhaps it would help to state the obvious:

  • A church is people. There is an immense difference between naming an application, a website, a Church, and using an application to help a Church. I realize this is a “duh” kind of statement, but when people act like something online can only be a detraction from a church I think they are assuming that these sorts of abuses are the only kind of uses the web has.
  • It is easier to foster and nurture a community with technology than it is to create one. I can’t help but notice that a bunch of hokey stuff is being offered in the hope that someone will click on one of them. But when you have people who are already part of a group, then you don’t need to desperately try to attract people; you just help them connect and communicate.
  • Your site is due for new design in a lot less than a decade! Even though seven doesn’t count as early in a decade, I can’t stop myself from thinking, “Oooh, that is so early-nineties.” Running your own website can be great. But if you don’t stick with it the results can look pretty bad pretty soon. One of the nice things about using an online service is that they are always making improvements to attract more customers, in graphic design as well as in other features.

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