Image from Kuksi.
Sometimes I think we invade the internet not unlike that of a crusade without thinking about the costly mistakes that we may (or are) potentially make[ing].
And sometimes, the bigger the organization (or ministry) the greater the ramifications.
Especially in the online segment, as more and more brick and mortars are finding and creating their identity online it makes me wonder if the medium changes the game and if mistakes can be averted if we just understood the media.
One idea that has constantly been upon my mind is making the web smaller. Not globally, but communally, in community.
Just like in local church, as it gets bigger it has to find ways to become smaller. Some have used small groups, house churches, community groups (whatever you call it), and I think these have worked. Living and doing life together in a smaller environment fosters a greater sense of community and makes available christian pragmatics that would not be so accessible in the much larger congregational setting.
Most verges would be 30 to 100. That size has a lot of power especially for young adults, because they want intimacy but they also want energy of a larger group.
Something as small as a house church is very fragile, not sustainable in many cases. And if you look at how modern armies and special forces move, they work in units of three, 12 through 30, and about 300. My guess is the biggest movement in churches of the future will be among those 30 to 300.
We call them verges, short for convergence, because they are a convergence of the best features of a small and a large church. I believe this size is going to be the most effective in many places around the world.
Is this just another name for what’s already happening, essentially? Or what others are already doing and looking into?
Perhaps. But I think the church online has an opportunity to use technology effectively and in such a way that communication is made better and that community can be fostered, although I’m very much for the physical meeting and having community in the real world (in other words, online shouldn’t 100% completely and totally replace physically meeting with other believers).
The internet affords, among a number of great visions and dreams of mine, the possibility of creating a “church” the size that no one has ever “seen”. Through online communication and networking technology, everyone who’s online could be a part of this digital-manifestation-of-a-church. The extent of which this church would function is certainly up for debate.
Perhaps it’s not necessary, or perhaps it’s already happening. In any case, make sure you do your research as you engage in the space; know the medium and the media, and you’ll be the most effectual for the Kingdom.