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Christian_Community_On_The_Web

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					Christian Community On The Web

Word Count:
774

Summary:
When you think about all the pros and cons of the internet one topic
always seems to surface, the fact of community. There are both positive
and negative aspects to online community but there is no denying that
online communities have formed a spiritual and relational tidal wave that
is sweeping our world.

The fact is that the internet allows for community in a unique and
powerful way that has never been possible until this millennia. Look at
the explosion of sites like My...


Keywords:
christian community, christian myspace, christian network


Article Body:
When you think about all the pros and cons of the internet one topic
always seems to surface, the fact of community. There are both positive
and negative aspects to online community but there is no denying that
online communities have formed a spiritual and relational tidal wave that
is sweeping our world.

The fact is that the internet allows for community in a unique and
powerful way that has never been possible until this millennia. Look at
the explosion of sites like MySpace or Facebook. Go to any college or
high school in the U.S. and you will find people who are living in
community on the internet. Now more than ever even the older generations
are utilizing the internet to find communities of like-minded people.
This networking is growing every day and is exciting to some and very
scary to others.

As Christians we must do more than just realizing the fact that online
communities are changing our world. We must actually begin to embrace
this change and use it for God’s glory. It is true that the internet’s
unique and powerful opportunity for community comes with some negative
repercussions. One, the availability of all kinds of sin and temptation
at your fingertips. Two, the lack of accountability for what is done
within online communities. There are many more, but my focus is not on
these negative repercussions. Rather, on the benefit that we as
Christians can bring to God’s Kingdom if we will embrace the concept of
digital community and use it strategically for His purposes.

I believe God frowns when His people are cynical toward new or
progressive concepts such as online communities. I can just hear God
saying, “Why not use that for my glory?” So why don’t we? I mean, why not
really use it! Why not get involved in such a way that we, as Christ
followers, become some of the forerunners in this digital age instead of
always the tale sniffers?

When we see something like online communities exploding across the world,
most of which seem to be ran by people who could care less about
Christ…why as Christians do we not get some unction in our function and
start figuring out how to compete? The apostle Paul was a competitor! He
competed for lost souls by which he became all things to all men in hopes
that he might win some for Christ. (1Cor9:22) He also said he ran this
race of life as to win the prize! (1Cor9:24) Sometimes I wonder if we get
more excited about our kids little league soccer competitions, Sunday
afternoon football, or climbing up the corporate ladder, than we do the
competition for lost souls!

Paul was a great winner of souls because he was available. Simply, he was
willing to do God’s work in God’s way! (K.P. Yohannan) Paul didn’t limit
God’s avenues of reaching the lost, he was on the cutting edge.

It is time as Christians that we make online communities a priority! Very
simply, we are losing the race. A whole generation is being impacted in
online communities and we are sitting on the sidelines booing! If we are
going to bring the transforming love of Christ to all nations and fulfill
the Great Commission (Matt28:19) then we must not forget about the new
nation of “the World Wide Web”. So far, it is our great omission within
the Great Commission…But I believe this is changing...

What must we do to continue the change? First of all, get involved in a
Christian online community. Use it as a tool to disciple and edify other
like-minded people. For the more experienced and those with bedrock
integrity, get involved in a non-Christian community like Myspace or
Facebook and let your light shine! Further, make your voice heard.
Support the pioneers who are out there trying to make a dent in the
internet for Christ! Encourage your local church to put a budget toward
online marketing or to partner with an online Christian ministry. Lastly
and most importantly, support Christian online community! We need more
places on the internet that are safe. Places where you can tell your kids
that it’s okay to chat, it’s okay to get advice. Support online
communities that you feel are spreading the gospel and if you can’t find
one start one! Online community is here to stay. Question is: in the
online arena, are you a contender or a spectator? Let the Gospel ring
loud in all our communities! Christ in us, the hope of glory! (Colossians
1:27)

				
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