Tomorrow is the launch of JXN Cloud, our new online church. After doing online church for almost half a year now, a few things have necessitated this new online model for me.
1. Due to the health concerns of some, there are some who cannot go back to church until it’s safe, and 1208 Greenwood Church has tried for many years to be a church for people in the margins.
2. I imagine that many people who didn’t have a physical church before coronavirus aren’t going to go looking for one in the middle of a pandemic.
3. If people can fall in love online then the church can find a way to do authentic community online as well, but it’s going to take more than uploading some music videos and a message to watch once a week. While that’s been valuable, it has not been the fullness of church. JXN Cloud has a major focus on church community and we will be constantly tweaking things to figure that out.
4. I’ve seen the same errors with normal church services continue with online services. Many consider the real meat of church to be the message, as evidenced by online numbers dropping after the message is over. We need a new way of thinking so that meeting with God, going on mission, and being a community are all enforced equally.
5. If people attend online church differently than they would a physical church service by watching it later or taking it on the road with them, then the primary community time can’t be offered in the comments while the video is playing. Hence, we have one localized Discord Channel for everyone to chat about our many different services as they get around to it: https://discord.com/invite/Tdsfqrk
6. If we don’t find a way to do online church more legitimately early on, we will likely get stuck offering the most consumeristic form of the church ever created, where church is binge-watched, skipped for weeks without noticing, turned off when the message doesn’t sit well, judged for video quality and technology, and consumed like entertainment. I fear much of this is already present and I have already heard such stories. We need to find a way out of that mess before this model of church is cemented in our minds.
Online church in 2020 has been a whirlwind for pastors. It was hard for many to get it up and running quickly, and then good when people were excited about the newness of it, and then bad when everyone hit quarantine-fatigue. Likewise, many of the online opportunities we offered in this season were not taken or interaction decreased as time went on. As pastors, our hearts break at how many of our congregants we struggled to reach and serve in this time. And so JXN Cloud has come about in the midst of uncertainty in attempts to meet the present conditions of our world. I hope it serves you well and hit me up if you want to join us more deeply in these efforts. Check out our first morning show episode at our launch tomorrow by subscribing at the link below.