I recently joined the GCC Online/idochurchonline.com team after a few meetings with Mark Meyer, who is our online campus director. One of the goals we have for online church is to evolve the experience to be more than just watching the message series and worship experience feed because you couldn't make it to a service this weekend, into thinking longer term.
Longer term means "where will people be doing church" in a year from now? 5 years? in 2020?
Technology is evolving so fast that our communication styles are shifting and evolving even faster. More teens text each other than making cell phone calls. In just a couple of years (like ...two..) the mobile phone browser will surpass desktop PC use as the main method of internet browsing.
As a result, church attendees will also modify their "brick and mortar" attendance to shifting busy families attending and rounding up the kids to head out to sharing worship and letting God meet us where we are at in more casual settings.. like in front of your laptop.
The question then becomes, where will the church reach these people that want to seek God but for various reasons, can't or won't seek Him in the 'traditional' church setting?
Where will people connect with other church goers outside of Saturdays or Sundays? By being Facebook fans? By following on Twitter? By gathering in traditional small groups that at one time were small Bible study and discussion groups in someone's living room, to what may now be a group at Starbucks sitting around their laptops following a message?
The answer is likely all of the above. And our mission at the GCC Online team is to figure that out and to bring others together.
We hope you'll join us as we shape what the online church community will becoming!
In the meantime, if we haven't me, feel free to join me on Twitter, or read up on the blogtastic writing that will be following here soon!