If you don't know what I mean by Web 2.0 Click here. If you are two lazy to read the main thing you need to understand is that the internet is getting to be more community based.
I have been thinking a lot lately about the whole evolution of the internet in relation to the Church and how we work with individuals, other Churches, communities, and really the world. If you notice the Web has changed from a strictly information based organism to a community of people for all around the world joining in on each other lives.
Think about this, right now every one of you are a part of at least one social network, probably more than that. Whether it be Myspace, xanga, Facebook, twitter, or whatever else you are a part of a web based community. Right now I can think of about 10 different web communities that I am a part of. Some of them are forums where people from all around the globe get together and talk about theological stuff. Others people talking about sustainability and green living. It seems like there is a niche for everyone in the Web 2.0 world we live in.
Not only are we fully plugged into the world via our computers. Everything we could only do on our computer a few short years ago we can now do from our phones. This generation more than any other has the opportunity to be connected with people from different geological locations, religions, ethnicitys and so on.
So what is the point? Why does it matter that we have the opportunity to be so connected? There are a few reasons.
The first reason is that it give people a whole new arena to experience life. Think about it, there are actuality places on the web where people go and literally live a second life. Its a place where people go and experience community, only its over some wires that stretch all around the world. There are Churches that are strictly online, and others like Lifechurch.tv that have both online campuses and actual physical campuses.
The second reason it is important is that web 2.0 allows for total transparency in peoples lives. It allows others to experience life with people they do not even know. Example, some of you reading this right now have never met me or my family, but you, though pictures, experienced the birth of our second son. On top of the fact that it allows for us to experience life with each other. One of my main goals is to change the view that the a lot of non Church people have on towards Church people. Anyone reading this can tell that I am just a normal guy working though life, trying to figure stuff out just like everyone else.
The last reason I want to talk about is this: Web 2.0 allows us as Christians to meet and address needs not only in our physical communities but also our digital communities. Another blogger that I read a lot did a live prayer session over the web. During this time he prayed for needs that his readers had sent in over the course of the day by the time her started praying there was 93 request. You can view his blog here. Another really cool aspect of this is that because we have the ability to reach literally everyone with an internet connection things like To Write Love on Her Arms, The One Campaign, or any other cause you feel like naming have a chance to get rolling and needs can be addressed. I am not saying that those are Christan organizations I am just using them as an example.
I have spent enough of your time, this is a really long post but it is something to think about. The time in which we live is like no other, as a body of believers we have an opportunity like no other generation before us to spread the Gospel in a authentic and transparent way should we choose to.
If you have had an experience with where a online community helped you out or you noticed needs being met by one I would be curious to know about it. Comment or email me!