21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch,
22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
There’s little question that online ministry is popular and prolific. There are some who would question its ability, communicability, and sustainability.
Ability – Acts 14:21: If the manner by which “disciples are made,” is rooted in preaching the gospel, then I think there is little doubt that we are “able to” effectively communicate the message of the gospel online.
Question: Is the “message” of the gospel alone sufficient to make a disciple?
Communicability – Acts 14:22: The counsel necessary to strengthen, encourage, and inform, can be communicated in electronic form. The sheer abundance of online data related to these three fields would substantiate that it is, at least, communicable.
Question: Does the absence of online “accountability” hinder the strengthening, encouraging, and informing of new disciples?
Sustainability – Acts 14:23: The appointment of Elders in “every church” was crucial in sustaining the newly made disciples. These new disciples constituted new church plants. This is where I see online ministry as nearly impossible. It is practically unwise and perhaps biblically imprudent to appoint an Overseer/Bishop/Elder electronically. Further, in my opinion, an Overseer/Bishop/Elder can not effectively sustain a flock or local group of believers via electronic media.
Question: Is it biblically feasible to have online church leaders emerge from within online communities?
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