Lately I have observed something that may be a good thing. I’m not sure.
In 1955 Robert Schuler started a church in a drive-in theater, so that people could come and have the church experience without getting out of their cars. That developed into the Chrystal Cathedral which was a mega church in the greater Los Angeles area. Their message was very positive but had little to do with Jesus, but the premise remained such that people could come sit in their cars and experience what is commonly called church. There was no community being built.
In recent years, most churches record the morning message and make it available on-line for those who are not able to attend. I am sure that in a lot of cases, this can hinder community.
When I speak of community, I am speaking of the body of Christ building up one another.
More recently I have seen mega churches broadcasting their messages live, with the stated intention of reaching people that may not even be in their area. Others make their messages available on their website or on YouTube. Also with the hope of reaching those who are not in their area with their message.
In recent years I am drawn pretty definitely to the message that we are to be followers of Jesus life and teaching with a view to becoming more and more like him. (Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 8:29)
As I find Christians round about, I rarely find those who are interested in discipleship that requires a change of lifestyle. Most of the churches that I visit just seem to promote good behavior and ascent to specific doctrines. Discipleship is not required.
If someone is interested, there are churches that do promote discipleship, however they may be in another state or country. Thanks to technology we can find teaching that encourages discipleship.
Some of these churches also encourage the formation of small groups in your local area. These groups are for the church to function to encourage and build up one another. Also, they can be involved as a group in the community to do beneficial service for the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus.
The question is, can these electronic churches be a benefit to the Kingdom of God. I think there is potential if we who want to grow and have not been encouraged by the classical church, will take initiative and promote in our area what we have found.
What do you think?