In these modern times, options are becoming more of a commodity. When it comes to faith and religion, is streaming a church service a good replacement for the in-person experience? While faith and the spiritual journey are personal, there are some things to consider if you are on the fence about attending a church versus listening-in online.
In today’s overwhelmingly fast-paced, “we’ve got to do it all” climate, most of us are being spread thin. From activities for our kids, keeping up with appointments, commuting to work, longer work days, home and vehicle maintenance, and the daily functions, many times our faith takes a back seat. With technology continuing to thrive, it’s no wonder that podcasts and online streaming of church services or spiritual speakers are on the rise. It’s important to consider what you may be missing out on.
While podcasts and online supplements can provide us with the Good Word or thought-provoking topics, what we are missing is connection. The connection to the body of Christ is not just about receiving the words from a pastor; it’s about connecting to each other. We learn, we love, and we live in this world together. When it comes to matters of the spirit, we can make positive changes in our lives by allowing for relationships with each other and our church.
When we find the right church and join with our brothers and sisters in unity, we find stories of hope and triumph, and of forgiveness and redemption. We don’t just hear these stories; we feel their pain and walk through it with them. To start, we can offer support directly (and not just with a credit card donation online) with a hug, a listening ear, a prayer, a hot meal, and support of ministry or small groups. Where God leads our hearts in these moments could change the course of yours or someone else’s path.
With all being said, there are some amazing spiritual speakers, pastors, and church worship online or on a podcast. If you are away from home or unable to attend, these are great alternatives or even additions to a traditional church attendance. However, to trade off the familial spiritual connection for a more convenient way to quench our thirst may leave us feeling parched.