At the end of ECIC Conference in London, I had the chance to interview Tim Hutchings, author of the book “Creating Church Online: Ritual, Community and New Media”, on how churches are becoming digital.
There is a discussion on social media in Germany about the digital church. You are looking at it from a broader international perspective. What is a digital church?
I really had to think about it in my research because when I was starting my academic research we would talk about online and offline as obvious concepts and so I would talk about online church and offline church but as soon as I started writing I realized that there aren’t any offline churches now. Even if your church doesn’t have a website what if there’s somebody in the congregation who is using social media? What if there’s someone in the congregation who has internet access but they’re not using that to discuss Christianity but they still have that access. Many people have got a smartphone in their pocket which might be digitally connected all the way through the service. So every church is digital all the time and the question is not what does it mean to be a digital church but how do you use the digital dimension that your church has already got to further your mission in the community.