For the last several weeks, I’ve wanted to write a post about this topic. But, for some reason, it never came out right. So, I thought about it… and thought about it… and thought about it some more. And, now, I think I’m ready to write… but I’m not going to write a post; I’m going to write a series of posts.
So, what does “Disconnected Church Connections” mean? What exactly is this topic? What is this series going to be about?
Well, in today’s church, we often feel “connected” to other Christians without face-to-face interactions. We often feel like we “know” people who we have never met. (Of course, this isn’t a new thing, but I’ll get to that later.)
One of the reasons that I struggled so much in writing about this topic is that I did not want to come across as completely negative about this. Yes, I believe there are inherent dangers in this kind of disconnected connection. However, there are also some good things that can come from long distance (never met and never will meet) relationships.
So, please don’t read this series as a condemnation of disconnected connections. Instead, I hope you can read this article in the way that it was intended: a word of caution concerning these types of relationships, especially when these kind of relationships form the basis of someone’s fellowship in Christ.
Can we help and encourage and teach and admonish and train and comfort people we have never met and over long distances? Yes, of course we can. This happens all the time, and it is very beneficial when it happens. (And, in rare instances, “disconnected connections” are the only type of relationships that are available to people.)
But, I don’t think this is the way that God has designed us to interact with one another primarily. Instead, I think that fellowship, discipleship, community, etc. is best experienced in Christ when we are together – face-to-face.
Again, as you read through this series, and as you consider the descriptions and warnings that I offer, please understand that I’m not condemning “disconnected connections.” Instead, I’m only suggesting that these kinds of relationships are best as supplements to real, live face-to-face interactions with brothers and sisters in Christ.
I’ll try to state that clearly with each example, but I want to point it out up front as well.
So, what kind of relationships am I talking about? Well, you’ve probably figured out that I would include online/internet type relationships as “disconnected connections.” But, I would also include relationships such as television, video, radio, etc. as “disconnected connections.” And, I think that books and magazines are types of “disconnected connections.” Finally, conferences, seminars, and other speaking engagements are forms of “disconnected connections.”
Before I begin this series by looking at some of the examples above, what do you think about “disconnected connections” and our life and fellowship in Jesus Christ?
Series on “Disconnected Church Connections”
- Of Authors and Similar Personalities
- Of Online Friends and Followers
- Of Speakers at Seminars, Conferences, and More
- Of the Lack of Relationships Among the Church