The rise of the Internet is without doubt the most revolutionary development of the last 25 years. It has radically changed our lives. But has the internet also influenced the Church?
I've known Heidi Campbell from the early years of the internet, so when she approached me in 2013 for an interview to give my perspective on this as a 'religious digital creative', it led to a contribution to the book. I'm making this available in a pdf.
The internet has given ordinary people (the 'laity') considerably more influence.
- Everyone who wishes to do so has the opportunity online to nurture and shape their own spirituality, to become a creator or influencer, and to connect with others in communities and on platforms, completely outside the scope of their own church.
- To faith communities and church leaders, the internet provides an infrastructure and tools to make church fully interactive and participatory, and to extend its missionary reach far beyond the physical sphere of the church building.
This is fundamentally revolutionary. For the Church today, the Internet can be what the printing press was for the Church in the Reformation. A game changer.