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Modern ways to attend services?

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  • Modern ways to attend services?

    I don't mean changing the message, but the ways in which a church is attended. Vicars and Priests traditionally visit those who cannot attend in their homes, but there are also services in old folks homes or hospitals for those unable to get to a church. Our original church streams its services online for those who are unable to attend due to distance, due to many serving overseas etc. As we have not found a church we would join in our new location, we currently follow those so that we are at least part of a church.

    Do you think these changes are a good thing and an advantage to modern technology or should church services be limited to the traditional locations and methods?


  • #2
    Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
    Do you think these changes are a good thing and an advantage to modern technology or should church services be limited to the traditional locations and methods?
    Good compared to what: :) ... sorry, I couln't resist.

    Let's start with the middle of the road case. A typical person who could choose to attend church or not with no real restrictions other than a busy life and a self-imposed schedule of what he/she wants to do with their time.
    1. They could say a few words while listening to (whoever replaced Billy Graham) on TV, mean it, and color the job done. A Church of one, saved, and picking up bits and pieces from here and there. Maybe someone will tell them about 'A Purpose Driven Life' and they will pick up a copy and read some of it.

    2. They could decide to 'get some Church' and dedicate an hour and a half every Sunday (except Superbowl Sunday, or when relatives are visiting from out of state) to spending some time with God and hearing a good sermon.

    3. They could make some friends at Church and find that going to church actually makes them FEEL better ... about themselves and everything. They can't quite explain it, but they decide to start attending the Mid-week service and they attend Sunday Service because they Want To, not because it is something that they should be doing.

    4. Something clicks inside and for some reason they just can't get enough. They show up early on Sunday for some coffee (that is only fair) and conversation (that is the highlight of their week) before the service. They not only listen to the sermon, but they follow along in their Bible and take notes on the bulletin to check things out later. After service, they go out to lunch with some of the people from Church and talk about God and life and all sorts of things. Sunday is now a 9 AM to 2 PM part of your life. Tuesday Night, you meet for a small group Bible Study. Wednesday Night is a mid weeh Worship service. Then comes the long wait for next Sunday, only reading a little from your Bible every night gets you through. You can't explain it, but you can't get enough.


    Let's stop here and look at some outlier cases. There are people who for health reasons are shut ins. None of these options are available to them except maybe #1. That's pretty sad and a very hard place to be. Technology might give them some of the other things, but cannot provide complete community. Places like THIS (The Protestant Community) can help. However, they are not the Church. They cannot fully replace the fellowship of people meeting people. So if Technology can help meet SOME of the needs of a shut in, then it is a good tool for the Church and the Kingdom. If the Church (that's us, the people) abandon our own because we think that TV or the Internet is Fellowship, then Technology is a bad thing.

    Let's take a less extreme case. Someone who works nights. Your schedule is hopelessly backwards from the rest of the world. You work 4 PM to Midnight, so all of the evening church activities happen while you are at work and the Sunday Service happens in the middle of your 'night'. We have people who make that effort to get up in the middle of the 'night' to attend Church on their day off because Fellowship means that much to them. Can you imagine making the effort to attend the equivalent of a Midnight to 2 AM service every week? And then going out to eat with some friends at 2 AM before heading home to go back to bed?


    The issue is "one another".
    We have lots of verses about what we are called to do and be to one another. Most of those cannot be carried out remotely, so a 'Virtual Attendee' will be limited in their ability to be "God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10) So it is probably better than nothing, but cannot replace the need for real fellowship.

    God Bless,
    Arthur
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    • #3
      God's intention was for churches to meet together regularly so their members could get to know each other and help each other spiritually. This hasn't changed and those who are able should continue to do this. However not everyone is able to do this so the other methods you mentioned are a good way to reach these people, but these things should not become a substitute for attending church for those who are able to do so.

      I live in an apartment building where residence is restricted to those who are at least 62 years old or disabled. Many of the the residents can't attend church so we have church services every Sunday afternoon with different area pastors preaching. I attend these services but I also attend a regular church Sunday mornings. i believe that attending the services at our building would be good enough for those who can't attend church; I would be disobeying God if I only attended them because I am able to attend a regular church and if I want to obey God I must do so.
      Clyde Herrin's Blog
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      • #4
        When I first became a Christian, I was a misfit. Yes, I did try going to church, but I was very self conscious, and often uncomfortable. I tried several churches for the first 3 years, and no matter what I tried, I didn't seem to fit in. There were some very rough nights because of all that...

        I had satellite TV for several years, and I watched several broadcast sermons over the years and learned a lot. I also read (and still do) my Bible daily and learned to pray daily. I decided from the outset that the Bible says what it means and means what it says, and I grew steadily in Christ. So the major loss I have suffered has been social, but not in the least spiritual, and if I had to do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing.

        Jesus Christ is alive and well up in Heaven, and He is capable of finding us anywhere we find ourselves -- if we are willing to be found. Any relationship takes 2, and if we do our part, the Lord will do His part.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Meg View Post
          When I first became a Christian, I was a misfit. Yes, I did try going to church, but I was very self conscious, and often uncomfortable. I tried several churches for the first 3 years, and no matter what I tried, I didn't seem to fit in. There were some very rough nights because of all that...

          I had satellite TV for several years, and I watched several broadcast sermons over the years and learned a lot. I also read (and still do) my Bible daily and learned to pray daily. I decided from the outset that the Bible says what it means and means what it says, and I grew steadily in Christ. So the major loss I have suffered has been social, but not in the least spiritual, and if I had to do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing.

          Jesus Christ is alive and well up in Heaven, and He is capable of finding us anywhere we find ourselves -- if we are willing to be found. Any relationship takes 2, and if we do our part, the Lord will do His part.
          If you ever visit Spring Hill, Florida ... stop in at New Beginnings Life Center and I'll introduce you around to all of the other misfits and baptist expatriates. ;)
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Meg View Post
            When I first became a Christian, I was a misfit. Yes, I did try going to church, but I was very self conscious, and often uncomfortable.
            Have you every thought that you are supposed to feel somewhat uncomfortable at church? The church is a place which Christ uses to sanity us. We have our edges smoothed. We have our weaknesses strengthened, and our strengths used in aid of others, which you have completely denied your neighbor by remaining to yourself.


            Originally posted by Meg View Post
            I had satellite TV for several years, and I watched several broadcast sermons over the years and learned a lot.
            Unfortunately, most of the worlds worst charlatans and heretics can be found on TV. There is a very small percentage of good teaching on the airwaves, but very little. It's generally a dangerous place to be.

            Originally posted by Meg View Post
            Jesus Christ is alive and well up in Heaven,
            The Church is where Christ dwells. It is His Body, as we are told.

            Originally posted by Meg View Post
            if we are willing to be found.

            With no other way of saying thing this, other than directly, in some way, you are, "unwilling to be found". By not subjecting yourself to the under-shepherds who God has given you for your edification, you are unwilling to reveal yourself in such a way as to be fully known, and to fully know. You are in hiding, and that prevents some discomfort, but it also stunt's your growth, and leaves the church without your unique gifts.

            Also, we are compared to sheep, and sheep are never, "willing to be found".


            I would urge you to reconsider your position, for your own good, and for the good of the brethren.

            Peace,

            TB



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            • #7
              Brian, I am sorry you feel that way. You don't know me, you don't know what my life has been like, and you don't know my level of growth in Christ. You also seem to absolve the church of any responsibility in taking a vested interest in new Christians. I have heard just about everyone called a false teacher at one time or another, but if someone is reading, studying and obeying the Bible, they will be able to tell who is real and who is not. I would dearly love to contribute what I have learned in Christ in the church environment, but so far I have been unable to find a church that cares enough about people who repent as adults and badly need to understand what Sanctification is and how it works, to take such folks seriously. Furthermore, unlike some churches spoken of elsewhere, churches in my area expect everyone to arrive on their own. If you don't have the gas money to go, they don't miss you.

              The Bible, prayer and the Holy Spirit are of great high value in changing a life. I am willing enough to "reveal myself"... My question is does a broken down half crippled older woman on a fixed income have any value in church when all I have to offer is a deep understanding of what it means to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind" and to stand in faith in the face of nearly impossible struggle?
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              • #8
                Originally posted by atpollard View Post

                If you ever visit Spring Hill, Florida ... stop in at New Beginnings Life Center and I'll introduce you around to all of the other misfits and baptist expatriates. ;)
                Oh how I wish... I am in Colorado. One thing that doesn't show is how badly I miss talking about the Lord and how He changes everything about how we see ourselves and each other, how He heals the impossibe pain, how He makes beauty out of ashes... I would so dearly love to be involved in a group of people who "get it"...
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Meg View Post

                  Oh how I wish... I am in Colorado. One thing that doesn't show is how badly I miss talking about the Lord and how He changes everything about how we see ourselves and each other, how He heals the impossibe pain, how He makes beauty out of ashes... I would so dearly love to be involved in a group of people who "get it"...
                  Are you in CO Springs? If so, I will have a lovely woman pick you up every Sunday, and drive you to church, and then feed you lunch after service, on top of it. ;)
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                  • #10
                    I know some people who are too physically unwell to attend services use Skype and conference calls and such, similar to how students watch lectures while taking their classes online.
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                    • #11
                      I believe these alternate ways of worship are great for the elderly or the sick that can't make it to Sunday Service. Whether their Pastor visits them at home or they view the services online or Tv, they still get to praise the Lord in their own way.
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                      • #12
                        I think it is a good thing. Certainly there are those who cannot make it to church or a Bible study that might actually benefit from it. But, I think there is some importance in being literally surrounded by your fellow man.
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                        • #13
                          I am not so very well versed in the Bible that I could quote verse/ chapter and book wise. But I know of one verse “Whenever two or more people are gathered in my name, I am there.” So there needs to be a community when you worship.

                          However, it is a good practice to have long distance worship for those who are able to attend the church for any reason. Although I would prefer to go to Church than listening to the sermon alone.

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                          • #14
                            These days the churches have low expectations and when you expect less from the members,the less you will get-including attendance. Thats the thing with church and the young people today,they can see past gimmicks,and do not want the church to be something its not,like a entertainment venue or some kind of nightclub. I think kids are looking to be more rooted today, and become more involved in the traditions of the past.
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                            • #15
                              I think there is nothing wrong in attending church through online because it is the grace of God we want. If it comes in any form there is nothing wrong in embracing it whole heartedly. :)
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