Virtual Church

August 9, 2004 by

Church of FoolsNow you can attend church in your underwear, thanks to Church of Fools, what is quite possibly the world’s first web-based, 3D church. You can pray, kneel, chat and worship in the three-dimensional church environment as a character of your own choosing, somewhat like the video game The Sims. The virtual church was set up as a three-month experiment that ended on Sunday, though creators hope it will continue.

“On Religion” columnist Terry Mattingly covered Tony Campolo’s guest sermon at Church of Fools, and plans to tackle the question of whether or not an online church is a real church in his next column.

The site itself won’t answer the question of whether or not it’s a church just yet:

“We’re not sure yet – that’s one of the things we’re trying to find out. If you go back to Jesus, he said, “where two or three people gather in my name, I’m there in the midst of them.” We believe that the net offers people the chance for genuine meetings and true community, even when the people involved never get to meet each other face to face. So in this sense, Church of Fools might indeed be a real church. We’ll find out.”

Whether or not it’s a real church, the interest generated by an online church suggests a spiritual hunger not being met by physical churches. Perhaps brick and mortar churches could mimic the success of Church of Fools by holding events that stimulate discussion in a non-threatening atmosphere. A physical church can’t compete with the anonymity and convenience of an online church, but an evening coffee house atmosphere might appeal to the same interests.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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