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The new church, how the internet is transforming the church

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Lifechurch.tv is nothing like your church or maybe it is like your church. If your church has no pews, no stained glass windows, no pulpit or even a building. Lifechurch.tv is just one of a growing number of churches who either are completely online or offer online church services.

Using a computer, tablet or other handheld device online church goers can attend a church service without ever leaving the comfort of their homes or work desks.

LifeChurch.tv offers access to sermons in two ways, a real time feed or online videos. There are also opportunities to join online Bible studies as well as fellowship with other church goers using social media tools.

Lifechurch.tv is not the only online church service available others include Real Life Church.org and Christian World Media.com among many. All that is needed is a Google search to find a listing of the many online church services or check with local churches to find out if any of them offer a simulcast of their Sunday services and special events.

However online churches are not without their detractors like, Bob Hyatt, a pastor who leads the brick-and-mortar Evergreen Community Church in Portland, Oregon, states in a post for Christianity Today, "The problem, in my mind, with virtual community and internet campuses isn't that it's not church... it's that it is just church enough to be dangerous. Because it has all the easiest and most instantly gratifying parts of community without the harder parts," like physical closeness with other believers.

In an article by Anne Hammock on CNN.com, Hyatt states, the disconnect from physical closeness is what he's "fighting hardest against." Hammock goes on to state in the article that Hyatt's church offers online extensions such as podcasts and forums but he (Hyatt) believes they are more of a, "supplement, not a replacement," for traditional church services and can be used for people who are infirm or to isolated to attend a traditional church.

The debate over online church services and their viability to a fruitful Christian life is sure to intensify as their popularity increases among younger generations who use various web tools as a big part of their daily lives

Check out a listing of 35 internet churches here.

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