Archive for December, 2014

I went to church “online” this morning

December 28, 2014

I went to church “online” this morning

I was on vacation this Sunday Morning. I took this particular Sunday off because I was planning on being back in my hometown. The church where I grew up was celebrating the retirement of the man who was my youth pastor. Long after he left ministering primarily to young people (and their parents) he continued on at the church ministering to folks of all ages as well. After 40 years of faithful ministry to the same congregation, he is retiring. Today was his day. I had hoped to be there, but one of my two pregnant daughters has decided to have a baby tomorrow, so I chose not to go back “home” (of course it’s not home any more, mom and dad are in heaven). So, I had the very unique opportunity for me of experiencing church without being “up front”.

The church back home “live streams” the Sunday Morning service. Through the miracle of the Internet I got to sit in on the service. Although I have listened to or watched literally hundreds of recorded sermons, this is the first time I ever went to church online. Here are my reflections from my virtual visit.

First of all, thank God for technology. God the Creator made man to be creative, to be inventive. That common grace allowed me to experience a church service 500 miles away in real time. If I were ever hindered from attending in person the congregational worship service I would be blessed to have this available.

Secondly, I was edified by the message. I heard the Word preached. The audio was clear, the video as well. Again, if illness or injury ever prevented me from congregating with my brothers and sisters, I could still be fed.

Thirdly, it was not the same as being assembled together with other believers.
I didn’t greet anybody. I didn’t shake anybody’s hand. I didn’t ask how anybody was doing. I didn’t encourage anybody. I didn’t hug any older folks or give a fist bump to any kids. I didn’t call anybody by name or tell them I have been praying for them.

I didn’t sing. I love to hear other people sing, but worship singing is congregational. I am not the audience. God is the audience. I am the worshiper; I am a part of the choir in the pews who praise our Lord and Savior. Sitting at home, I didn’t sing, I listened. I didn’t worship, I observed.

I didn’t know what to do during the prayers. I didn’t pray along. It felt weird to close my eyes, so I watched someone pray, but I didn’t feel apart of it.

I didn’t participate in the offering. I didn’t check to see if the church has an online giving option. Maybe they do and I could have given. But I didn’t.

Sadly, there are many who physically attended church this morning who can say the same things. What a shame, I hope next Sunday this doesn’t describe you.