Six months ago, I made the choice to visit an on-line church service. Nowadays, Sunday mornings from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., I am in front of the computer.
What Critics Say
To find out, I did a Google Search. I found critics, both pastors and parishioners, who felt there were major missing elements within the on-line churches. For example,
- Corporate worship, praying and studying the bible together.
- Serving one another and reaching out in mission together.
- Encouraging each other through personal face-to-face interactions.
- Taking Communion.
- God needing your physical presence in the church.
Why I Made the Choice
Hubby and I retired and relocated to Florida four years ago; and, we spent the first three years visiting church after church looking for the right one to call our home. Unsuccessful, I decided to accept a cousin’s invitation to visit her church service online in Chicago. I had two options to worship:
- On-Demand Recording at my convenience; or
- Live Video Streaming during the actual church service.
Because, I wanted to hold on to the tradition of attending church on Sunday mornings, I chose the Live Video Streaming option.
After the first visit, I knew this was the church for ME.
First, the biblical teachings, mission, and focus on social justice mirrored MY former church. I wanted to keep worshipping within the “comfort zone” I had grown accustomed to. And, these two churches embraced MY religious needs as a Black Christian seeking a positive spiritual, ethnic, and cultural experience within a church environment.
Second, the weekly Live Video Streaming church services connects ME with family members who attend this church. The opportunity to build a stronger religious relationship, though we are separated by thousands of miles, has improved the quality of my life. On any given Sunday it is possible to briefly connect with:
- Cousin G, a Deacon in the church, singing in the Men’s Choir.
- Cousin S’s young granddaughter, member, Children’s Praise Dance Team.
- Cousin S, an Ordained Minister and long-time church member.
- Cousin-In-Law D, a Deacon in the church, sitting in his designated pew.
Oftentimes, I will text, telephone, or e-mail Cousin S about a service.
Initially I had serious reservations about worshipping at an on-line church:
- Self-Doubt made me ask, “How will others view this decision?”
- Self-Awareness stepped in saying, “Who cares, it’s your choice.”
- Self-Empowerment gave ME the courage to accept, acknowledge, and embrace MY choice.
Though HUBBY supports MY decision, HE has yet to join ME for an on-line church service. I’m just waiting. After all, we have been partnering as a married couple for almost fifty-four years. He’ll come around.