Title

Surviving the storm: church online 24/7.

Date of Award

5-1-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

School

Drew Theological School

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

Abstract

This dissertation is about the construction of an online church as a tool for evangelism in the 21st Century. John1:14 says that the Word moved flesh and blood into the neighborhood and I feel that is the call for the Church at a time when fewer people are attending. It is time to leave the building and seek the welfare of our neighbors. Churchtogether.today is an online church website that seeks to do just that, in partnership with St. John's United Methodist Church in Rohnert Park, CA, in an effort to serve our neighbors in a new way. With an online venue our neighborhood loses geographic boundaries and our outreach becomes global. Leonard Sweet believes that the church has entered a "perfect storm" of postmodernity, post-Christendom and post-Scale. With fewer people coming to the church to feed their spiritual hunger it is up to the church to find new and innovative ways to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. There are five main elements to our online church: Home Page with links to our social media, other site pages, ways to donate and the story of how we came to be; Daily Chapel which offers inspirational readings, Bible studies, and YouTube with messages and music; Last Week Today with a filmed one hour Methodist Church worship service as well as a variety of church music; an opportunity to meet face-to-face with other Churchtogether.today family members on our Get Involved page; and a way to donate to the site and other causes through PayPal on our Collection Plate page. Our results have been positive but we have struggled with finding ways to market the site and to plan and execute face-to-face meet ups. Our main need is finding committed lay and Clergy to keep our content fresh, and finding a source for funding. We have many followers on our social media and the website is slowly reaching more and more people. We will continue to try new ways to market the site as we endeavor to make new disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world