While many people believe in God, church attendance continues to decline for many reasons. For instance, 30% of people say they’ve left a congregation due to issues with the members or services offered.
If you have difficulties connecting with a local congregation, joining an internet church could prove the best option for you. Attending digital services allows you to come together in worship without the inconveniences and arguments that often discourage us.
Before you make a decision to join internet church services, you should understand what you’re getting into. You should know what’s included with an internet church and how it all works.
What is Internet Church?
Internet church also called a digital or online church, involves joining a church service online, as the name implies. You can join in with many of the aspects of the service without having the need to leave your home.
These virtual church services can also include joining Bible classes or other group meetings with the same convenience. If you participate online, you can even find options for virtual giving to help the services continue.
Why Internet Church Services?
With the decline of church membership, especially among millennials, there’s a need to offer new options. Only 28% of millennials admit to attending services at least once a week.
With changes to technology, it’s easier than ever to offer more convenient options to gather with the church. For instance, changes to smartphone technology make it possible to use your phone to record and stream the services with ease.
The History of Online Churches
Churches have turned to the internet to increase membership since websites gained popularity. With simple website layouts, churches could market their services and share news about the congregation with members and potential visitors alike.
Some churches even took to creating member forums to share prayer and news among the congregation. As technologies increased, churches took to creating blogs to share sermons and Bible notes for people to find.
As audio and video became popular, many preachers started adding recorded sermons for members to listen again or to share their messages to help people learn more about the church. Now technology makes it possible to stream services live for people to join in at home.
Types of Virtual Church Services
Virtual services can take place as a separate option from a local congregation, or could involve a virtual congregation. Both options make it possible to watch the sermon from your home but might take different forms.
Live Streaming from Local Congregation
Some local congregations offer a digital option for those unable to attend the regular service. They can stream the service live on their website so non-conventional members can take part.
Facebook live offers another live streaming option. This allows the congregation to offer the service to social media, making it easier for people to find and follow the stream.
Some congregations even use church apps to offer services through mobile devices. This makes it easy to follow even for people on the go. Generally, these services get offered at the time of the original service, but the video can get downloaded to watch later.
Fully Digitally Churches
Some churches have moved to fully, or nearly fully, digital service options. These digital churches offer opportunities to participate completely at your convenience.
These internet churches also offer opportunities to connect with people all over the world. In fact, many involved see it as a new mission field where the work of spreading the word proves easier than ever before.
This option works well for people with children or busy lifestyles that make it difficult to attend at normal service times. The streaming of services works the same as the options for local churches with the ability to offer many streaming times. This also allows for chatting and other options to connect with other members at any time.
Benefits of Digital Services
Whether you take part with a stream from a local congregation or an online one, there are many benefits to online church services. This includes benefits to members and church leadership combined.
Digital services allow you to connect with other members any time you need them. With this option, you have the ability to reach out no matter what time of day. This also means you can attend services when it’s convenient for you.
You can attend services whether you’re an early or later riser. You can even attend services if you’re sick without worrying about getting others sick or what you look like.
You also have the option of knowing and learning about people from different parts of the world. This allows you to understand different cultures and make connections as many people believe the church was meant to connect.
Disadvantages of Digital Services
While the convenience of digital services might persuade you, it’s important to remember the disadvantages of online church services as well. You can’t make an informed decision without addressing potential issues.
The biggest disadvantage involves the lack of participation on your part. While you can join with the singing and sermon, you can’t participate in other aspects of the service. Online services leave you out of Lord’s supper and baptism services.
You also lose out on the personal connection. While you can communicate online, this leaves out the one-on-one interaction. This also keeps you from the personal touch of others near you.
Online services make it more difficult to meet like-minded people in your area. This makes it easier to isolate yourself and can easily leave you out of local events if you’re not careful.
Technology Makes Life Easier
Just as internet church allows more convenience in our lives, technology continues to make every aspect of our lives easier with each advance. From the church to business, to home life, technology opens new doors each day.
Would you like to keep up with new technological advances? Keep up with what’s changing by following our technology news and tips.