7 Reasons Why Church Online Can't—and Shouldn't—Become the New Normal...

In the church world these days, there is much talk about the "new normal." We can thank the pandemic for this.

If I've learned anything from the "new normal" of interacting with others on Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, and watching church services with my family from my home on Sunday mornings, it's this: This "new normal" can't—and shouldn't—become the new normal.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not against using the latest technology. I usually embrace it early. Because our ministry is connected to lots of wonderful people all over the USA and the world,  I was Zooming way before it was cool.

So I'm not against the latest technology that keeps us connected at some level. It's a useful addition. However, the latest technology can't be a replacement for the incarnational ministry we see in the Bible—and especially the disciplemaking way of life we see in Jesus.

It's precisely this spirit we see in the book of 2 John. In John's day there was this hot, new, cool technology called paper and ink. It was all the rage. You could actually send a message to someone without being present. Mind blown. What does John do? He uses it. But he doesn't want letters to replace face-to-face ministry. In other words, John doesn't jump to the conclusion that letter writing is now the "new normal." Instead, John writes, "I have much more to say to you, but I don't want to do it with paper and ink. For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete" (2 John 12—and see 3 John 13).

Did you catch that? "Then our joy will be complete" (italics mine). John implies the new technology of paper and ink alone is incomplete. Paper and ink is a good addition to our disciplemaking friendships, but the new technology will never be able to replace actually being together.

In the spirit of 2 John 12, I offer the following...

7 Reasons Why Church Online Can't—and Shouldn't—Become the New Normal...

1. Because church isn't only about theology—it's about weology.

2. Because church isn't just about a lot of talk—it's about living as disciples who make disciples—who make more disciples.

3. Because church isn't just about you studying the Bible by yourself—it's about encouraging and equipping you to follow Jesus with others.

4. Because church isn't just about you passively attending a service—it's about robust one-anothering.

5. Because church isn't just a service to be consumed by consumers—it's the opportunity for you to move from consumer to participator.

6. Because church isn't just about getting biblical information—it's about living a Jesus-like way of life together.

7. Because church isn't defined only by what happens on a stage—it's about being the body of Christ together.

There. I said it.

What else would you add to this list?

You, Me, and Coffee Monday...
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