There is a group of people who were raised on intimate person to person connection. They are still millennials but they were raised with a different set of communication-expectation. Church mothers were still in the front row back then. We could go to them for prayer or advice after service.
There was no such thing as “internet church” or “online membership”. You had to find a local home church and participate. You had a sense of “community”. Bible studies were in an actual building and people would have notebooks and bibles, ready to learn what the teacher had prepared.
With the onslaught of internet everything, so much learning is done online. We’ve got online therapists, life coach packages in video form, and mentorship programs with no physical human present.
I absolutely love the luxury of kicking my feet up on a Sunday morning and watching church on line with my husband. I scream at the computer screen and dance to the songs all around my living room.
The part that gets difficult is finding good counsel. I celebrate every pastor and bishop, church mother and intercessor who has an Instagram, Twitter, App, etc. It is a wonderful thing to be able to ask a question on IG and be answered via social media. I am so grateful for the wonderful prayers done over the internet and the cyber-touch-and-agree that is made available when we need it most.
Here’s what’s hard. If I am someone who is walking out my calling, and my church home is a wifi signal, how do I get the “ok” the “instruction” the “training” needed to walk in my purpose? If I’m sick and need laying on of hands, who’s got my back? Who’s speaking directly into my actual, factual life. (Keep reading)
I know there are millennials who are studied and sound in their word. They are so psyched about Jesus Christ and with the new trends of “social media evangelism”, coaching, mentorship and counsel, they’re following suit. There is an exceptional amount of word based advice on every other Instagram post. It’s like, “do I even need to leave home?”.
How important is a church home? How important is a physical and present pastor? How do millennials study and stay covered in the new online world of churchin’? Who’s leading... and how?
What are somethings we can do to elevate our experience as online members? How can we make the most of being pastored via “Cyber Church”?
I’ve contemplated this for a while, and I know I can’t possible be by myself so... I came up with a list of things I do, to make the most of my Cyber Churchin’ Experience. Check these out and let me know what you think.
- Be At Church! I go crazy at internet service. Yes. I run around the living room table 3 times if the spirit is heavy. I sing along with Miranda Curtis, clap my hands with Oscar and shout at the computer “Let’s Get to Work” with Bishop.
- Turn off Distractions - okay so maybe sometimes there ARE pancakes on the kitchen table right next to the laptop, but televisions are off, phones are down, (clothes are on) and teeth are brushed. The news, text messages and bad breath have NO PLACE, in service. I’m being a little silly here but I’m serious. If you have a roommate, let them know you’re heading to church. If you have an assistant or if work is calling, let them know you “go to church on Sunday mornings”. I do it all the time. My dance studio is open on Sundays and so is hubby’s clothing shop. Everybody knows, business has to go on with out us during service. Turn off distractions, music, TV’s, phone alerts etc.
- Get Out Of Bed - I didn’t want to go here but I had to. Bed is SOOOOOO comfy. I know myself well enough to know that cozy sheets and pillows are a distraction. Relaxation is certainly a by product of the peace that comes from a Sunday service, but NODDING OFF in those cozy sheets shouldn’t be my temptation. Sit up straight and be alert.
- Tap Your Neighbor! - Yes! I’m always tapping hubby or the teddy bear next to me and saying what Bishop said to say. The words we are given to say by our leadership are words that speak over our lives! We are creating miracles and manifesting the things of the Kingdom when we open our mouths. Get into service. Tap your self if you have to, but say what your church family is saying and be on one accord! Words will change your life.
- Text Your Leaders! I’m not afraid to text my leaders. To all the leadership that were kind enough to hand me their number, they KNOW, I’ll be asking them questions. Leadership has been charged with the calling to lead. If your leaders say they’re available, let your guard down and let go of your pride. It’s a new world! Welcome to Cyber Leadership! Just because I’m not physically in front of you doesn’t mean I can’t partake of the ministry you’ve been blessed with. No, it’s not a physical touch, but in 2018, texting’s just gotta be a little more personal.
- Tithes and Offering - Yup! I can’t receive all this food and goodness and not sow into the ministry that feeds me. I sow a seed and I expect a harvest. How do you think they’re paying for all of that camera equipment? Go ahead. Hold your seed up in the air (maybe that’s your phone if you’re text-giving), say a prayer and sow it! Now expect miracles!
- Invite a Friend - Have you found an awesome church on line that has sound teaching and really impacts your spiritual walk? Tell someone. Maybe you can pop a few pancakes together and have a little Watch Party Sunday at your place! Does your next door neighbor need a little more privacy? Does your bestie need a warm cozy couch? Go ahead, invite them over. My mother always said our home was meant to be a place where others could come for shelter and feeding. Dust your windowsills, puff up your pillows and open your doors.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, those are my Cyber-Churchin’ tips. We live in a fast paced world. I know. I’ve slipped and fell a few times myself. I’m holding on like my life depends on it! It does. I’m an online member at a church too! I’m working on my salvation one sermon at a time even as I travel. Here’s where I Cyber-Church every single Sunday (by His grace) no matter where life takes me:
Chrisette Michele Ellison
PS... I’m a little shy about this but I should tell you... it’s kind of old school but... I bring a Bible and a notebook to Cyber Service. I open it to the scripture even though it’s written on the screen. I write it down and take loads of notes. I go back during the week and study the notes and passages for a deeper understanding. I pray for revelation. Yup. Bible. Pen. Notebook. (The same notebook. Every Sunday.)
How do you Cyber-Church?