Building community through an online church
Part four of Indigitous’ interview with LifeChurch.tv’s Alan George
Can you experience true community online? Can you have a real connection with someone you don’t see face to face? Alan George, online pastor for LifeChurch.tv, spoke with Indigitous about facilitating connections and community through their online church.
“Because of social media, because of technology, more people are connected together than ever before,” Alan says. In this social media age, cynics tend to downplay those connections, saying that online interactions are superficial. Like the typewriter and printing press before them, the Internet and social media are simply methods of communication. The quality of that communication is up to you. It can be as superficial as counting the likes on your selfie or as meaningful as praying together about your struggles.
LifeChurch.tv’s online church focuses on creating those meaningful connections through its chat rooms, emails, small group suggestions, and more. Most notably, when someone submits a prayer request, they are connected to the prayer team, where they will have one-on-one prayer with someone online. If they want to continue praying on that subject, they will always have that conversation with the same person. That’s the kind of personal connection people search for in brick and mortar churches.
LifeChurch has 61 different services during the week, but if you attend the same service schedule, you will encounter the same volunteers and staff, just like you would see the same people sitting in the same seats if you return to a physical church’s 10:00 service. Through prayer, joining the same people each week for worship, and more, community at an online church can be just as valuable as one offline.