Today: Thursday, January 23, 2020


But is it church?

Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. - Jesus in Matthew (NT) 18:20

Church on the Net can be seen as a church plant on the internet , simply a stepping stone towards ‘real' church, or something in-between, but we should be careful not simply to see it from a churchgoer's perspective. This site is for people who are not yet engaged with God or church.

We appreciate that we can't offer everything that a physical church can. But we can:

  • offer a safe and anonymous place to explore the faith
  • be open 24/7
  • take away the difficulties of not knowing what to do in a church
  • allow people to be self-directing
  • offer answers without wondering why the question is being asked.

The New Testament Greek word for ‘church' is ekklesia , and ekklesia simply means ‘gathering'. Jesus promised to be with people wherever they gather in his name. We know that church isn't about the building, or the ritual, but about the people—the body of Christ. Church is about relationship with God and one another and, however we feel about this, people are increasingly relating to one another over the internet.

If you already know what it's like to be part of a church, then of course this won't feel like church to you; you'll miss sharing the bread and the wine, the fellowship, and the pastoral care. But if you aren't familiar with church life, then Church on the Net can be a place to learn, and to encounter prayer, worship, further reading and exploration, and some answers to your questions. It can start to break down barriers to God. And all of these are equally part of the life of the church.

Some of the members of Church on the Net simply can't or won't attend church in a building. So they can feel comfortable here, finding a spiritual home in the same way that countless non-churchgoers turn to Songs of Praise every Sunday night on BBC TV.

We can also encourage people begin to feel comfortable about a ‘real' church. We can explain the different Christian denominations, and different styles of church, and how to choose a church that's right for them. We can encourage people to follow a course of Christian study.

“If 'church' is what happens when people encounter the risen Jesus and commit themselves to sustaining and deepening that encounter with one another, there is plenty of theological room for diversity of rhythm and style, so long as we have ways of indentifying the same living Christ at the heart of every expression of Christian life in common." (Archbishop Rowan Williams.)

So, is it church? You decide.

There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord… The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ… And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
1 Corinthians (OT), chapter 12, verses 5, 12 & 16

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah (OT), chapter 43, verses 18-19

If you have any further questions about Church on the Net, please contact us.

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