‘While we in the church are still asking, “How can I make my website cool?” and debating whether or not people can develop relationships and community on the Net, some 3 million people a day are using the Net for spiritual purposes.’
The above quote appears in the May/June 2000 issue of Next-Wave Magazine entitled “The Church-Internet (dis)connection,” and is scribed by none-other than our than our brother-in-ions, Andrew Careaga. His quote, and assertion, are partially based on the findings made in a survey produced by the Pew Internet & American Life Project published in a report dubbed CyberFaith: How Americans Pursue Religion Online. The other portion making up Mr Careaga’s opinion comes via experiences and observations made at the Search Party 2002 conference held this past may in St. Louis.
These two inputs, the conference and the report, conspire against each other in such a way as to produce a rather potent question – and warning – from our e-vangelist friend:
“We in the church must change our way of thinking about the Internet. If we don’t, we’ll end up with our own subculture online, just as we have in ‘real life.'”
Anyone who’s been ingesting the tangy theology tidbits offered up on my site should hear a similar tone ringing in their ear. Especially when it comes to issues of style over substance – if one can call ‘Jesus Junk‘ stylish in any way, shape or form. One need only look at the disgraceful display of church web sites that make us look like a herd of confused athelete who have taken their eye off the goal and as a result, scored one for the other team.
In other words, before you can effectively implement the stuff mentioned on my site, you need to first deal with what Andrew is saying in his article. I know, I know, pretty heavy stuff for a Sunday morning – but Mr. Careaga admonishment requires the type of deep reflective thinking — and prayer — required on the Sabbath. If it helps, think of this as more a sermonette than a Sunday school lesson.