Did any of you catch Bob Hyatt’s article, Virtual Church is STILL a Bad Idea? I must say, my own experience leaves me inclined to agree. Virtual conversation can compliment real community, but it can’t substitute it. Virtual conversation can open up new possibilities, but those possibilities becomes most crystalized in face to face communion. I say this having met up with a few “facebook friends” in the flesh only last week. Meeting in the flesh is not equivalent to meeting in cyberspace, it’s far better.

4 thoughts on “Community, let’s get real

  1. I just wanted to add that I think that given the decline of the church in the West (with some denomintaions going into extinction (mainly in the UK that I know of for instance Methodists, Salvation Army, Scottish/Presbyterian State Church, Welsh State Church) I think it good to be exploring all our possibilities. Virtual church could be absolutely vital for the underground churches especially if the Christians in the West ever get persecuted as harshly as churches in some countries do. I do think that we should not succumb to convention when it comes to any form of church or whether it should be called church. There are even a number of missional applications for virtual church possibly call it virtual mission. Is it to early to think of church as evolving in a sense? Otherwise do not stop experimenting. Though yes I do agree with the whole get together to fellowship face to face, there is no replacement for that, but as more people decide to pull out of traditional church I think that it is good we are exploring new forms of church. Hopefully this simchurch, etc could keep people in contact where otherwise they would not even try.


  2. The whole equation may change in ten years, when teleconferencing becomes as cheap and easy as phoning.
    But for the moment I’m inclined to say, if face to face is essential then anything without face to face ain’t quite it, irrespective of how important a compliment it may be.


  3. I agree Matt. Blogging definitely can enhance and facilitate communication and community to some extent, but it can’t replace face-to-face relationship building which is much more multi-dimensional in nature. You can’t share a Fosters (or a Heineken etc) with a computer screen name, unless of course if you wanta get electrocuted or something like that.
    Meeting you face-to-face at Black Stump and chatting over coffee added much more to our friendship. It was much more personal. You get exposed to eachother emotionally, physically, visually, communicatively etc. and can actually intersect eachother’s faith journey’s more holistically, practically.
    Keyboards and blogs have many limitations to them as well as their obvious benefits.


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