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Some have asked, “Does attending church online count?” Your church attendance isn’t about “counting” for something. Romans 4:3 says, “For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’” Attending church online or in person are both opportunities to meet, encourage one another, study God’s Word together, worship, and grow—all with the mission of seeing lives changed by Jesus. 

There is always value in meeting face-to-face. However, this doesn’t mean participating in an online service should be dismissed. Instead, it can be viewed as an opportunity to impact more lives and grow in your faith in new ways. 

Take a look at the benefits of attending church online and pray for God to continue opening doors in creative and innovative ways so that the good news of Jesus can spread and more lives are changed.  

Here Are 7 Benefits of Attending Church Online

  1. Watch and rewatch a service. 

If you are a note-taker, watching and attending church online is a great option. This doesn’t mean you can’t attend in person, but maybe the service was powerful, and you want to review it–you can online. Or you missed several things that you want to circle back to and hear again. Watching (or rewatching) the service online allows you to pause, take notes, discuss with those around you, and look up various passages the pastor references without worrying about missing portions of the sermon.  

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

Joshua 1:8 (emphasis added)
  1. Watch with those who can’t attend. 

Do you have an older parent or someone who would love to attend church but can’t? Meeting them and attending church online is a great option to minister to them, encouraging them wherever they are.  For those who can’t physically attend, taking the opportunity to spend time with them shows how deeply you care.

“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more… to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”

1 Corinthians 9:19, 22-23 (emphasis added)
  1. Watch when traveling and still want to be connected to your church community.

As you begin to do life with your church community, you might find that when traveling, you still have a desire to stay connected, pray for, and study God’s Word together. There might be online study groups or part of a sermon series you don’t want to miss. Attending church online allows you to stay connected even when you aren’t physically there. 

“…for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

Colossians 2:1-5 (emphasis added)
  1. Watch after a move

In today’s world, when relocating and working remotely are becoming common, attending church online can be a great way to transition. Maybe you attended a church for years and came to know the people there as a family. You can watch your church online. 

Though God may be moving you so that you can reach more people for Him, this doesn’t mean the connections from the past can’t remain. As you meet people in your new community, ask God if He is nudging you to invite them over to watch a sermon and start a small group in your home. Attending church online together is an excellent way to fellowship, worship, and study God’s Word—leading to spiritual multiplication. 

As referenced in the first benefit, you can pause, rewatch, take notes, and discuss at your (or your group’s) pace. 

“And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

2 Timothy 2:2 (emphasis added)
  1. Meet others in the body of Christ across the nation and world.

Online Bible study groups spread the Gospel and help many Christians grow in their faith. If you have a schedule that doesn’t allow you to attend Bible study at a physical location, many online groups are available. Furthermore, as new groups and studies start, new participants join. These can be opportunities to meet brothers and sisters in Christ from all over the world! It is encouraging and fun to see how God brings people from various backgrounds and cultures together, proving His Word that the body of Christ is diverse yet unified in Him

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (emphasis added)
A young family attending church online.
  1. Create family worship

The structure of a biblical family is critical to the success of the next generation and the building blocks of society. Attending church online as a family allows parents to teach, guide, and discuss biblical principles. Like many points above, watching online church as a family allows parents to be their children’s teachers, pausing the sermon or class and asking kids questions that will help them retain and apply the Word. 

As Christian parents, you want your kids to understand and apply the Bible to their lives, yet you might not know where to start. Attending online church as a family can be the springboard for a conversation to get kids thinking about the Bible in practical ways. 

“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

Deuteronomy 6:7
  1. Foster genuine fellowship.

Did you know the Bible never gives exact instructions about how a church service, prayer meeting, or worship time should be conducted? Rather, God’s Word provides visuals and explanations of how His people are meant to love, encourage, and live together. 

God wants us to build genuine and close relationships and gather for His purposes, not just ours. And when we do, He releases His authority, and things start to move in the spirit.  

Having prayer groups, sharing meals, studying God’s Word, and attending church online in someone’s home or with your family unites and ignites us for His kingdom.

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:1-4 (emphasis added)

In Conclusion

Attending online church challenges the way many have grown up “doing church.” Only years ago, you would invite someone to attend church as a way to introduce them to the Gospel and Jesus. This, of course, can and does transform people. However, that isn’t the only way transformation happens

When the message of Jesus is shared, and the Holy Spirit is at work in someone’s life—whether they hear the message in person or online—lives are changed. Let’s not limit the transformation to a church building. Instead, let’s ask God to stir hearts so that when they hear the message—wherever they are—they will receive it. 

It always comes back to the heart. When your heart turns to Jesus and earnestly seeks Him, whether in person or online, God always shows up. 

  • “…for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”—Hebrews 11:6
  • “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”—Matthew 7:7-8
  • “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”—James 4:8

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