Virtual Community?

The internet has opened up a vast array of possibilities no one, even Al Gore could or would have expected. Within seconds (unless you are still using dial-up, which in that case, splurge a little and get Verizon or something!) you can view almost anything you want (and most likely a lot of what you do not want to see). Anything from up to the moment sports pages, movie clips, music videos, environmental issue – you name it!

I have recently read that there are 12 million Americans (that’s with an ‘m’) blog sites on the internet right now! 12 million blog sites in America alone! 37% of bloggers cite “my life and experiences” as a primary topic of their blog. I do not even think the makers of these blog seen had a clue it would take off like this in the beginning. Perhaps they thought it would be ‘cute’ or even ‘interesting’ to see what would happen when people put their personal thoughts for the whole world to see. I am not sure. What I am sure of is that there has to be a reason why the idea took off like it did.

I have a personal suggestion and thought as to why. I perceive its popularity exists because people are seeking community. When they are unable to find someone worth while to provide genuine community, they find solstice in ‘virtual friends’ on the internet through blogging. How sad it is when someone is so desperate for true community with other people and yet finds no one. I am not suggesting all blogs are for this reason only. I am sure there are a variety of reasons why blogs have made their claim to fame in cyberspace. Schools use them, businesses use them as well. Whatever your personal reason, the issue of community for some will remain vital for those who have no one to communicate with on a daily basis.

The reason I am writing this is because the church is in need of community. We need to make an environment where people can interact with one another and build the very thing people want: Community with other people. There is no justifiable reason why anyone should have to resort to a ‘virtual community.’

We need to open up our hearts, souls, minds and strength to others. That is one of the greatest commandments Jesus gave us: Love your neighbor as yourself. When we love others as Jesus commanded us to do, community can be shaped and matured in a right way.

My challenge: Be the Church by loving others and building community with those around you. There are plenty of ways to do it. It is not hard. As you build relationships with others, you are fulfilling the commandment of Jesus. So let us stop making excuses and start being the Church. God bless!

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