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The Case for/against Online Churches: There’s no substitute for the real deal…

Published Friday, Apr. 3rd, 2020

Everyone’s got an agenda, and with billions of scared people trapped in their homes and glued to their computers, we’re particularly suceptible to persuasion. Marketing departments are working overtime because fear sells (especially toilet paper). While Main Street is deserted, internet-based organizations are rushing to fill the void – and make the case for whatever virtual substitute they are selling.


But we would do well to remember that this calamity will pass. Sooner or later, we’re going to emerge from our homes and experience the unrivaled joy of simply being free to move about as we please. That’s what we’re getting ready for…


Online churches have been particularly quick to pull out their soap boxes and lecture folks for attending in-person worship services. We get it, stay home, stay safe. That’s what we’re doing, and we hope you are too. But as an online church ourselves, we want to remind people that there will never be a substitute for the physical presence of others.


We’ve been in enough virtual meetings to know that they suck. The last thing you want is a low-resolution video of the bride walking down the aisle. Twitch is a great platform, but Twitch weddings? Perhaps its worth waiting a few months if you can.


An older man with white hair looks at a laptop with a serious expression on his face

You're probably doing this a lot these days...


When Tennessee moved to bar online-ordained ministers from officiating weddings, we flew across the country and ordained our ministers in person. The month that we spent meeting our ministers, and just sharing our hopes and dreams, remains a high point for us. We realized that while most of what we do is online, the in-person part really matters!


All we can do here at American Marriage Ministries is help you take the first step, through ordination, and give you the tools to create the moment.


One day soon, you’re going to be officiating weddings again. You’re going to be surrounded by the love and community that wedding ceremonies seem to amplify to unimaginable levels. You’re going to step back into your role as a leader in your community, and we can’t wait!


So fellow churches of the terrestrial and virtual sort, we get it, you want to remain relevant. You’re scared. Society is changing and you’re wondering if your particular brand of theology will still make sense once the dust settles. But humanity has been here many times before, and we’ll be here again. Our role is to provide inspiration, not fear, so look to the future and act with honesty and integrity.


And as always, we’re here for you. We’re just working remotely, and are still available via email at [email protected] or by phone (206) 395-9164 if you have any questions or need assistance.

Lewis King
Lewis King

Lewis is AMM's executive director. He also wears other hats at AMM, like taking out the recycling, restocking the sparkling water, and watering the office plants.

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