Mission presence in Europe: real or imagined?

How much mission in Europe is now on-line? Jesus promised in Matt 28:19-20 that he would continue to be present in and through our mission. What does the mean when our mission in Europe is taking place in chat rooms, appearing on blogs, and expanding across social networking sites?

What can we learn from the Roman Catholic Church’s understanding of the ‘real presence’ of Christ – not necessarily in the bread and wine of communion, but in and through our missionary activity and initiatives. When mission was being talked about during the 70s and 80s as ‘Mission in the way of Christ’, the ongoing presence of Christ in the missionary endeavour was part of the picture.

So, if we are engaged in digital mission, in what way is Christ present in the digital virtual space? Can mission be both real and virtual? Can Christ be present both in a real and a virtual sense?

It seems to me that this is not just a theoretical point. If Christ can be present in the digital space then he can be ‘met’ there and presumably his transforming presence makes personal and social and transformation possible?

I wonder who is giving this kind of mission practice any missiologial attention. It is certainly true that in Europe an ever increasing number of Christians are using the internet for social networking purposes. Some of them are certainly attempting to enter it as digital missionaries. There have been some attempts to think about this theologically – why are more missiologists not giving this important and growing mission activity in Europe a little bit more attention?

Explore posts in the same categories: europe, internet, mission, virtual presence

6 Comments on “Mission presence in Europe: real or imagined?”

  1. This posting is relevant and important. I wonder how many people have been exposed to the work done by Global Media Outreach. It is a branch of Campus Crusade, but it is a lot different than one would expect. It is led by one of the early senior executives of Apple Computer, Walt Wilson, and it has developed many sites that are sharing the gospel, drawing people to Christ and connecting them with believers and churches who can provide good followup. Perhaps this is a ministry that European ministries would like to partner with? http://www.globalmediaoutreach.com/

  2. andrew jones Says:

    last years Cyberchurch Symposium in London attracted experts from 5 countries and this was one of the issues we explored. This summer we will do it again. i will try to send the results your way . . .

  3. andrew jones Says:

    also, some thoughts on virtual church and the importance of the letter to the Hebrews here. <a href="http://tallskinnykiwi.typepad.com/tallskinnykiwi/2009/07/the-virtual-church-keeping-it-real.html&quot;

  4. andrew jones Says:

    sorry i just realized i sent you a bad link. oopps bit rusty. here is the link to my post on virtual church

    virtual church – keeping it real

    • Thanks. This touches on similar issues to those I want to explore. I’m not looking at how ‘present’ the virtual church is, but want to look at other forms of ‘presence’ and whether Web 2.0 is more than ‘mere communication’.

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