Christian Community On The Web

Christian Community On The Web

When you think about all the​ pros and​ cons of​ the​ internet one topic always seems to​ surface, the​ fact of​ community. There are both positive and​ negative aspects to​ online community but there is​ no denying that online communities have formed a​ spiritual and​ relational tidal wave that is​ sweeping our world.

The fact is​ that the​ internet allows for​ community in​ a​ unique and​ powerful way that has never been possible until this millennia. Look at​ the​ explosion of​ sites like MySpace or​ Facebook. Go to​ any college or​ high school in​ the​ U.S. and​ you will find people who are living in​ community on the​ internet. Now more than ever even the​ older generations are utilizing the​ internet to​ find communities of​ like-minded people. This networking is​ growing every day and​ is​ exciting to​ some and​ very scary to​ others.

As Christians we must do more than just realizing the​ fact that online communities are changing our world. We must actually begin to​ embrace this change and​ use it​ for​ God’s glory. it​ is​ true that the​ internet’s unique and​ powerful opportunity for​ community comes with some negative repercussions. One, the​ availability of​ all kinds of​ sin and​ temptation at​ your fingertips. Two, the​ lack of​ accountability for​ what is​ done within online communities. There are many more, but my focus is​ not on these negative repercussions. Rather, on the​ benefit that we as​ Christians can bring to​ God’s Kingdom if​ we will embrace the​ concept of​ digital community and​ use it​ strategically for​ His purposes.

I believe God frowns when His people are cynical toward new or​ progressive concepts such as​ online communities. I can just hear God saying, “Why not use that for​ my glory?” So why don’t we? I mean, why not really use it! Why not get involved in​ such a​ way that we, as​ Christ followers, become some of​ the​ forerunners in​ this digital age instead of​ always the​ tale sniffers?

When we see something like online communities exploding across the​ world, most of​ which seem to​ be ran by people who could care less about Christ…why as​ Christians do we not get some unction in​ our function and​ start figuring out how to​ compete? the​ apostle Paul was a​ competitor! He competed for​ lost souls by which he became all things to​ all men in​ hopes that he might win some for​ Christ. (1Cor9:22) He also said he ran this race of​ life as​ to​ win the​ prize! (1Cor9:24) Sometimes I wonder if​ we get more excited about our kids little league soccer competitions, Sunday afternoon football, or​ climbing up the​ corporate ladder, than we do the​ competition for​ lost souls!

Paul was a​ great winner of​ souls because he was available. Simply, he was willing to​ do God’s work in​ God’s way! (K.P. Yohannan) Paul didn’t limit God’s avenues of​ reaching the​ lost, he was on the​ cutting edge.

It is​ time as​ Christians that we make online communities a​ priority! Very simply, we are losing the​ race. a​ whole generation is​ being impacted in​ online communities and​ we are sitting on the​ sidelines booing! if​ we are going to​ bring the​ transforming love of​ Christ to​ all nations and​ fulfill the​ Great Commission (Matt28:19) then we must not forget about the​ new nation of​ “the World Wide Web”. So far, it​ is​ our great omission within the​ Great Commission…But I believe this is​ changing...

What must we do to​ continue the​ change? First of​ all, get involved in​ a​ Christian online community. Use it​ as​ a​ tool to​ disciple and​ edify other like-minded people. for​ the​ more experienced and​ those with bedrock integrity, get involved in​ a​ non-Christian community like Myspace or​ Facebook and​ let your light shine! Further, make your voice heard. Support the​ pioneers who are out there trying to​ make a​ dent in​ the​ internet for​ Christ! Encourage your local church to​ put a​ budget toward online marketing or​ to​ partner with an​ online Christian ministry. Lastly and​ most importantly, support Christian online community! We need more places on the​ internet that are safe. Places where you can tell your kids that it’s okay to​ chat, it’s okay to​ get advice. Support online communities that you feel are spreading the​ gospel and​ if​ you can’t find one start one! Online community is​ here to​ stay. Question is: in​ the​ online arena, are you a​ contender or​ a​ spectator? Let the​ Gospel ring loud in​ all our communities! Christ in​ us, the​ hope of​ glory! (Colossians 1:27)

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