Owing to technological advancements, it has become common for people to engage in activities right from the comfort of their house instead of having to go outside. The ongoing pandemic has furthered this practice. From working to attending school, everything is taking place online.
Religious institutions, too, are adapting to this changing world. The concept of online Churches is becoming increasingly popular across the globe. However, there are still a large number of people who are not familiar with this concept and have a lot of questions about it.
If you are one of them, go through this article to know all about it.
1. What is an Online Church?
The first thing you must know about online churches is what exactly are they? An online church can be a simple weekly video conference wherein members gather to discuss religion or make use of social media to put out sermons as podcasts.
Basically, using the internet for purposes of praying and engaging in religious discourse is what an online church is. One of the most common activities of online churches is to allow the devout to view live sermons on the internet. These can be pre-recorded or be streamed in real-time. It all depends on the congregates using it.
2. Online Churches are practical even if not for the pandemic
It is true that the popularity of online churches has seen a major surge in the last few months because of the pandemic which demanded social distancing to be maintained at all times.
Hundreds of new online churches have come up and thousands of people have become a part of them. This has led many people to believe that online churches’ popularity will be limited only till the pandemic lasts.
However, it is untrue. Online churches were gaining popularity even before the current crisis. It was because of the practicality of the concept. Many people are unable to attend church regularly because of busy schedules. Online churches make it easier for them to be a part of the service.
3. They often attract more audience than physical churches
A church has limited space. Thus, at a time, only a few people can be in attendance. This causes many people to miss out on the service and eventually, their habit of going to church is lost. Online churches can avoid this.
They can make church services available to everyone in all corners of the globe. This means that their audience which until now consisted of a few dozen people could now potentially expand to millions. A study from the Pew Research Center reveals that about 46% of the U.S. population has seen someone share their faith online.
Planetshakers Melbourne church is a fine example of the popularity of online churches. Their online service is regularly attended by hundreds of young people from all over the world.
4. Online churches offer more creative ways of engagement
Many people stop coming to church over a period of time because they often find the proceedings repetitive. By going online, churches can keep people more engaged.
There are several activities that can be done on social media platforms or on the church websites which would keep the audience coming back and thus, more people would end up being a part of the sermons on a regular basis.
Keeping people updated through social media is also a great way of making people interested in regular church activities. Online churches can also introduce ways to make children interested in learning about various religious practices.
5. The process of setting up an online church is quite easy
The reason many physical churches don’t think of going online is that they believe that the process is quite complicated.
However, it's quite the opposite. With so many platforms available on the internet, it hardly takes time to go online. Members of the Church who might not be quite familiar with technology can also easily adapt to it without much hassle.
Despite what some people believe, online churches are here to stay. The concept has become popular in all parts of the world and thousands of Churches are making use of it to help the devout congregate with ease in these tough times.
Even after the pandemic, online churches will help people who are unable to leave their homes in order to attend church physically due to various reasons.