Would it be possible for The United Methodist Church to reach its goal of planting 650 new congregations by 2012 through reaching online churches? I am finding several models of Web-based churches, but we need one that brings in the Wesleyan method and teachings of grace. This will be a way to start a movement again like the Wesleys more than two hundred years ago.
Previously I mentioned the Loving Church founded by John Girton of Nashville, Tenn. The Loving Church, while less than a year old, has already formed groups around the country and reached people in other nations. A more developed example of a Web-based church is LifeChurch.tv. This church did not originate online. It started as a plant in Edmond, Okla., and has since grown through the use of the Internet.
LifeChurch.tv is therefore much more developed. It has several physical locations as well as groups that meet outside of the church buildings, some only meet online. It has developed videos and curriculum available freely online.
I would like to see a similar program developed within the mainline theology of The United Methodist Church. The UMC already has many of the pieces, though some of them or being developed by local congregations or independent business founded by United Methodists. Working together we can do this? Here is a fascinating way to Rethink Church. Will we come together to share the message?