Streaming your church service online right now is very popular right now. Why? Because Internet.
But we’re still working out a lot of the kinks. There are still questions. Lots of them, like these:
1. If I’m watching a sermon online and I open up another window and answer some emails at the same time, is that a sin? Isn’t that the cyber equivalent of doodling in your bulletin? If I have a really big monitor, does that change your answer?
2. What if the emails are from people I’m in a Bible Study with, so technically speaking, I’m participating in fellowship? I’m not multitasking, we’re doing life together!
3. Do I have to stand up when the worship leader calls us to our feet? If you’re my neighbor and you’re walking your dog, is it weird seeing me stand up and down in my living room?
4. If I don’t like the worship songs that day, can I DJ myself with some songs I like from iTunes?
5. If I have a bad connection or the wrong version of flash or my computer crashes, is it safe to assume that I can blame that on the devil? If so, can I put him on notice?
6. How long can I pause the sermon, go do chores/answer the phone/find more comfortable socks to wear etc. and then come back without it seeming like I’ve left church?
7. There are only two occasions in which I wear a belt: A business meeting at work where I want to look smart and church. Do I have to wear a belt to attend online church?
8. Is it weird if I’m still shy about singing with my hands raised during online church? Should I still be doing the ninja in my own home? Is that something a counselor can help me with?
9. If I watch the sermon on a podcast, do you mind if I fast forward through the first few minutes of the sermon where you recap last week’s message for the people that weren’t there? I was there. I remember. I don’t need the recap.
10. Someone once told me they consider eating at Chick-Fil-A to be tithing. Now that I’m using my computer to attend church, can I consider a new Mac purchase to be like one big, silvery cool tithe?
11. Will you please not cut off the podcast before or in the middle of the closing prayer? People at home like closing prayers too. (I’m talking to you Matt Chandler.)
12. Is there anyway that you could create a frame around the video player that has a graphic of someone giving someone else a back massage during church, someone coughing and the heads of the tall family I inevitably manage to sit behind every Sunday so that the experience will feel more authentic?
13. If you ask us to hold hands with the person next to us for the closing prayer, should I extend my hands out like a mime, or instead hold my own hand?
14. Can you please stop telling me hello at the beginning? I know you know I’m here online. You built an entire website, hired a streaming company, timed your sermon perfectly and told me that this was available. At this point, I am well aware that you like me and know I exist. We’re good.
15. What do we do we communion? You can’t make communion jokes. That’s in the book of Joel, so I’m just going to leave it right there.
16. Should I mill about in the foyer of our house with my family to recreate the after church conversations you always have.
17. I usually lose a fair amount of the grace I gained in the sermon trying to get out of the church parking lot. To recreate that, should I just go sit in my car in the driveway and yell a little?
Those are the questions I have.
Does your church have an online version?
Would you have asked something different than me?
What do you do online when it comes to church? Blogs? Podcasts? Video sermons?
Are you currently doing anything church related online?
So many questions!
What would you ask your pastor about online church?