Is Watching Church Online the Same as Going (Part I)?

Watching church online is not the same as actually going.

I could stay home and watch church on TV or online. I’d done that for more Sundays than I’d care to remember last year when health issues kept me home. With another upcoming surgical procedure, I wanted to go to church badly.

Why was it so vital to go to church? While homebound, I’d watched several amazing church services online and on TV. However, it’s not the same as worshipping together with my church family.

Many folks can’t go to church since they’re working, out of town, need to stay home with a sick family member, or due to physical or transportation problems. Praise God they can experience church via technology.

But for those with no restrictive problems, here are some reasons I feel God wants us to worship together in His house and follow the example of the first church. In Acts 2, it says that “on the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place.”

Reasons to Be in Church Together

Numerous pastors believe that watching church online isn’t the same as being physically present at church. The Book of Acts seconds this notion. The church is not just a place to get religious services and goods. Instead, it’s a place to come and do life together which is what leads to a believer’s spiritual growth.

It’s what we do when we come together that has some sort of form. That form is for the purpose of shaping us as disciples to live on a mission in the world.

You absolutely can’t grow spiritually in any meaningful balanced way apart from the means God has given for spiritual growth, which is the community.

For those who watch church online every Sunday, you should know that this shouldn’t be your normative experience of church or Sunday worship. You have to be there.