Since I was a child, I was repeatedly told that the Church is not a building. Now I have to explain to people that the Church is not a virtual reality. It does not exist online with the absence of a building. The Church is a group of people committed to following Jesus and working together to bring God’s kingdom to earth. The physical structure and the internet are merely tools the followers of Jesus use to help them be the Church.
Sitting in a building for an hour does not mean you are a part of a Church, and neither does sitting online for an hour. Hearing someone else worship and explain the Bible to you are beautiful things, but they are not all of what it means to be a community of believers. Christians speak to one another in love. They know the needs of others and are praying for God to work in each other’s lives. They serve together in the name of Jesus in a way that benefits others. They worship with song, prayers, giving, and communion. The Church is so much than consuming a sermon presented online or in person.
This weekend Churches will be presenting programs both in physical buildings and online. Neither of those is the true Church, but programs meant to help the followers of Jesus become the Church. The people together are what make up the actual Church. It has been this way from the beginning and will continue despite the times. To understand how all this works, you will need to find a place to connect with other believers somehow. Start with a program this weekend but be willing to move beyond it if you genuinely want to experience Church.