Thursday, June 18, 2009


The other day I was sick and stayed home from church. I stumbled onto the crazy Christian network and after watching a bit of the crackpot preacher’s latest dose of crazy, I thought I ought to stream live the morning service of my own church – after all it is 2009, right? Sure enough, I caught most of the service including a baptism, the offering mediation and of course the sermon. Did I mention the Doobie Brothers song?

I can’t decide, though if this phenomenon – streaming of church services – is a good or bad thing? Not meaning to bite the hand that feeds me, I hope a healthy dialogue on 21st century church/spirituality might ensue. Certainly, for those out there unable to make it to church – because of injury or distance or what have you, there is a benefit for cyber-church, right? But I can’t help but wonder what difference it makes if one ever shows up to the actual building or not if I can “be” there in my PJs lounging on the couch? Or, in the fashion of a consumer, why wouldn’t I opt to stream the most popular sermon/church out there even if the physical church is a world away? Could I actually be a cyber member of a congregation a world away in effect?

On an unrelated note, why would I subscribe to my own church’s sermon podcast through iTunes when I could hear the sermon from the horse’s mouth every Sunday (so-to-speak)?

Earlier in the week, I hung out with a friend who’s church couldn’t be more different than mine. Every time we hang out, we manage to delve into a friendly banter on our own understanding of ecclesiology. We both affirmed church ought to be more like singing karaoke than attending a rock concert. (Neither one of us came up with this but we couldn’t remember where we had heard the metaphor) But to elaborate, church ought to be a setting where, like singing karaoke, everyone there is expected to participate and very little prep is needed. In fact the most meaningful material often comes from those who have absolutely no formal voice training but because of their sheer vulnerability inspire. On the other hand, a rock concert, save for the benefit of my ticket revenue, the show is not really at all affected by me in the audience. Sure I might sing along, cheer or even goes as far as holding up a lighter; but I’m never really a part of the show in the same way as the performer is a part of the show.

Be honest, would you rather go to karaoke church or rock concert church?


Amanda Mae said...

karaoke church! :)

Cafe Observer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cafe Observer said...

If Bruce Springsteen is the preacher, then I prefer to attend the Rock Church! And, would rather be there "Live" than just listening or watching it through a little tech gadget.

I think Christians should be viewed as peculiar & even crazy, relative to the respectable world at large.