Technology is wonderful! Because of technology, you can watch FBC Vidalia no matter where you are in the world. Not only that, you can hear, watch, and sometimes interact with pastors and preachers throughout the world instantly. There has never been a moment in history when great quality preaching is so accessible.
However, there is a danger with this luxury. The danger underneath this convenience is that an internet church will replace your actual church. I am not just talking about that well known preacher’s church. It is possible that our own church’s Facebook live will replace our church.
Watching church online is not attending church. If you are physically able to attend church, my plea to you is that you make the commitment to be with a specific body of faith in person, every week.
Here is why:
- Your local church is built to challenge you. The job of the preacher is to take the inspired Word of God and apply it to a specific group of people through preaching. When I preach, I preach from God to the people of FBC Vidalia. There are specific sins, struggles, needs, goals, and challenges distinct to our people. Yes, we are challenged through many of the megachurch streams, and they are beneficial for us, but God intends for every Christian to submit and grow under the authority of a specific local church.
- You need other people, and they need you. The greatest area of growth in your life won’t come from simply listening to a sermon. Spiritual growth happens when you invest into intentional community with others. Church is more than an event and more than a video. The church is a body of believers who exist for each other and for Jesus Christ. My hope for every person at FBCV is that they commit to more than attending “Big Church” and will join a small group which will challenge them to grow in their faith walk. It is when you allow people to speak into your life on a consistent and regular basis that you will see your relationship with Christ grow. The people that happens with is the Body of Christ, the church.
- You need to serve through your church. The church is more than a show to watch or attend. It is a body to belong to. Jesus never intended for the church to be an experience or a self help seminar. God’s design for the church is to be a body equipped by the preaching of the word, challenged in mutual relationships which serve His mission in its community. Your growth will be stunted if you are not serving as a part of God’s church.
I am not saying that you should not listen to David Jeramiah, Dan Darling, John Piper, Matt Chandler, Albert Mohler, David Platt, Tony Evans, Jen Wilkin, or any number of quality podcasts and sermons. I am pleading that they should be kept for what they are, a supplement to your attendance and involvement physically in a specific local church.
I am thankful for our Facebook live but firmly believe that it should be for those who are on oil rigs, home sick, or are physically unable to make it to church. Here is my plea. For your sake, don’t attend an internet campus. Go and be a part of Christ’s Body in person.