Part Two of Indigitous’ interview with LifeChurch.tv’s Alan George
Through the online church, LifeChurch.tv has been able to meet people who don’t feel comfortable setting foot in a brick and mortar church. “They might not have their act all together,” says Alan George, online church pastor for LifeChurch.tv. “They may not use the cleanest language. But those are the people we’re trying to reach.”
LifeChurch.tv’s online church services have a live chat room. It’s one of the things that gives their services a community, rather than simply being a broadcasted message. Alan recalls one time in particular when a man was picking fights in the chat room, using abusive language and just trying to cause problems. One of the church’s volunteers asked the man if they could talk one-to-one using the site’s online prayer feature.
In doing so, the volunteer learned that the man was depressed over the death of his infant child and being left by his wife.
He blamed God for all of this. He was sitting in his house. He had a gun in his hand, was ready to kill himself, and he thought ‘I need to yell at a few Christians before I do this.’
After talking to the volunteer online, the man decided not to kill himself that day. A few days later, he returned to the online church and eventually gave his life to Jesus, became a regular church attender, got remarried, and started a ministry that helps teens who have suicidal tendencies.
There are people who say that online church can’t be real church, and that digital strategies can’t be effective forms of evangelism. Alan knows from experience that isn’t true. “Don’t limit God,” he says. “If God can use a donkey in the Bible, He can use the Internet.”