Does it Matter?
Updated: Jun 26
Does face2face church matter? This question is not new, people have been asking it for years, perhaps even from the church's foundation. Lately the question is stimulated by the pandemic, as are other things like the up kick of food and grocery deliveries.
I get it! It is so much more convenient to attend church in your pjs. The clothing choice gives new meaning to the slogan "come as you are." Yet, many people are not, coming that is, either online or face2face according to church surveys done across the country. The once removed orientation of online worship has drifted to a disconnect from the value of pausing to worship with the church each week in person.
Is this healthy? Does it matter if people are less connected or not connected at all by attending worship in person? I think it does, and yes I know I'm a pastor with a vested interest, but here is my case in brief.
I believe humanity needs all of the healthy interaction face2face it can get. Attending online does more than social distance the touch, it social distances the relationship. For years we have seen a growing trend of people meeting people to date online and with growing frequency the dating turning into a marriage commitment. There is a reason the couple does not keep it online, but begin a face2face relationship. I believe God has designed us with a need for such physical intimacy. Meeting with the church in the same room fills our spirit.
Also, the distance affirms a false impression of a God who stands in the distance. He does not! He steps toward me and puts an arm around me to provide comfort and support, and offer wisdom for life choices. Intellectually, we know this, based on Scripture, but the decisions affecting our spirits are not made simply out of intellect; they are more heavily influenced by an emotional intellect. Do we feel God in the distance or up close?
I love my church! And I love seeing my church every week online or in person. But, the face2face is far more deeply, spiritually, fulfilling.