church technology

Funny Video: If Church Online Were “In Person”

The folks at posted a hilarious video today depicting what online church might look like if it happened “in person.”  Check it out!

Pretty funny, huh?  And, IMO, not far from the truth at all.

It does make me wonder, though… If something like this happened in my offline church, it would be very distracting and awfully difficult to worship, pray, or learn anything.  If you’ve ever participated in an online church service did it sound like this video?  Did you find distractions made it difficult to worship, pray, or learn?  Or did that not affect your online church experience?

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.


  • This is hilarious! And I can attest to some of it's "reality" at least. We once did a Taize service (part of which is long moments of intentional silence) online and some guy thought it would be cool to blast a virtual foghorn in the midst of it all, whereupon another woman started screaming maniacally (It was a pre-recorded scream. For all we know, she might not have even been a woman). So…the black tape that they put over some people's mouth? True, true. We've had to "eject" people like that from the service. It bothered me at first, just because we like to think of ourselves as pretty open — but at the end of the day, those people weren't there to worship. They were there to disrupt.

    All that said, however, I should also point out that deliberate acts of distraction like that, in our community at least, are few and far between. Far more common are technical glitches like the video not working, or not working for a particular person. But it has forced us to always have backup options on hand, and to have designated people to go into private message mode to help someone who needs help. All of these things, if you think about it, are the sort of things traditional churches do (and face) on a regular basis, too — just in a different medium. What do you do when the guitarist breaks a string? What do you do when the fire alarm goes off in the middle of worship, or when a baby cries, or when there's feedback on the pastor's microphone? Or, more rare, but still happens, especially in urban churches: What do you do when a homeless guy (who is drunk) wanders in off the street and starts asking (loudly) for money?

    Church of any sort is an adventure. You prepare as best as you can, you learn from your experiences, and you trust God's spirit to move in the mix.

  • Never attended an "online church" but I did recognise the differing characters in the vid. Good stuff and makes me wonder how can online peer pressure ever work – as lets face it, this is what keeps most folks in line in offline situations.

  • LOL about the foghorn (though I suppose it wasn't funny at the time). Next time I come to FPCSL I will fire up this site

    I can relate to the video though, I've been to a few online church and like I wrote in the post about presence, people (including the moderators) chatted throughout the service about whatever was on their mind.

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