virtual church

Back in July I spoke at an ASCM conference on virtual church. We had a really good conversation about what virtual churches might look like, and some of the issues and challenges that surround them. The ASCM, at their meeting after the conference, put the challenge back to me to do it, and offered their support… they were backed up by Lisa Hall who keeps asking me what alternative worship would look like in her little part of the world right in the middle of australia … so we’re going to give it a go…

There are obviously many virtual churches that already exist. Not many of them have a flavour that ‘works’ in much of Australia (I know, we’re precious about stuff like that!)… and we also are committed to some pretty challenging principles: that this becomes a worshipping community that the people involved are accountable to, which expects transformation and involvement in a local community in areas of justice and discipleship, and that it has the same principles of participation and interaction that we take seriously in ‘real’ alternative worship – where worship is different because of each person who has been there.

One of the things that crossed my mind in a conversation about it this morning is that it might work if we go the monastic community line – a commitment to a rhythm of life, where the virtual community sustains us to live differently in our own contexts.
Anyone done it? What can you teach us?


  1. craig mitchell

    yeah this really interests me. both personally and as I watch the twins online life and wonder about how much the church relies on face to face. I’ve always wanted to do some regular live online chat stuff as part of that too. and i like to think of people in diverse locations with some common symbols as well.

  2. paul

    Hey Cheryl,

    I’m sorry this is so late. I’ve just been re-reading your blog in preparation for our chat on Monday. I know of a virtual faith community that is more about generating faith practices offline that making online stuff work. I wonder if you’ve seen it before –

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